Netflix Garage Special: Fatal Deviation Recap/Review

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I accepted the request to do Fatal Deviation, Ireland’s only martial arts film. It’s been covered loads of times, but I feel that the Avocado should have its own recap. (It’s not on Netflix, but you can find it online pretty swiftly)

For some background, the film was created by an Irish martial artist named James Bennett who really really wanted to make a kung fu movie. Through sheer will and the power of Boyzone, the film was made.

The synopsis:

A classic good versus evil action flick, mixed with kicks, guns, motorcycles and a hot babe!

The film kicks off with a copyright warning which is fun because the whole thing is on YouTube. It then shows you the website for the production company and the credits because why not just get that out of the way.

A portent of the quality to come?

Our hero Jimmy is in his room looking at the many karate awards he has received over the years and hopes that he can live up to his father’s legacy. His father is Jean Claude van Damme because he has way too many photos of JCVD in his room for it not to be.

A sad room for a sad man.

He tells us that he needs to go back home to become a man and also figure out what happened to his da. Jaunty music plays as Jimmy sets off on his one hour and sixteen-minute adventure.

The country of Ireland was created by the makers of Superman 64.

We never see him enter a vehicle of any sort so presumably he walked all the way home. He has trouble entering his childhood house which leads him to the logical conclusion of bashing the lock off with a rock. He gives the deserted home a much needed tidy and then heads to Londis for some great deals on cheese.

The shop is currently being terrorized by two roughly 50-year-old troublemakers who knock over produce and tinned goods. Unfortunately for them, Ireland’s premier martial artist circa 1998 is ready to bring the pain.

Van Damme would be proud?

After Londis, we cut to a tattooed fellow looking despondently at the floor. He’s approached by a pensioner who verbally abuses him and points a gun at his head. The guy “gets to work.” That’s it for this scene.

We’re back to Jimmy who continues spring cleaning. He finds his father’s old karate suit and flashes back to childhood. Apparently, Jimmy would get beat up a lot, so his dad taught him martial arts. In a cruel twist, Jimmy got way too into it and made this movie.

The next scene brings us what we’ve all been waiting for. We finally get to see who the “hot babe” from the synopsis is. She’s minding her own business when a car pulls up to aggressively give her flowers on behalf of a man named Michael. She refuses and is met with angry protests from the flower bearers. As they berate the girl, Jimmy jumps in to save her.

There is no warning or explanation about the Druid.

Jimmy takes the girl by the hand like a child and walks her to safety. He tells her that he knows what it’s like to be bullied. And then they awkwardly walk away from each other because Jimmy doesn’t know how to write character exits.

We find ourselves back with that angry pensioner. He’s finishing up a phone call when the two flower guys enter. Apparently, the drunk pensioner is a crime boss named Mickey and his two lackeys share important information with him: Jimmy Bennett is back in town. Mickey and his righthand man, Michael Graham from Boyzone, are taken aback. Mickey tells his lackeys that he killed Jimmy’s dad and wants to offer Jimmy a job, presumably because he feels bad for the murder?

While the offer letter is being written up, Jimmy is at home doing some martial arts stretching. He gets a knock on the door from the mystery blonde he saved. She says hello, hands him a pie, and then says “Look, I’ve got to go.” She leaves Jimmy alone with the pie.

Jimmy then gets two less blond visitors who take him by gunpoint to Mickey for his job interview.

Interviews are less formal in the West.

Mickey lays out his offer of manual labor and “fancy cars” to which Jimmy responds, “I don’t know.” The red-faced crime boss tells him to think it over and sends the martial artist on his way. Jimmy is stopped by Michael Graham who tells him to steer clear of the hot blonde if he knows what’s good for him.

“And if I catch her with you again, I’ll sing multiple covers of songs because we never once sang anything original.”

Jimmy ignores Michael Graham and takes the hot blonde to a fun fair. There’s an unnecessarily long, disorienting bumper car sequence which truly captures the essence of this film.

Ireland is well-known for its love of bumper cars and drugs.

If the bumper car scene isn’t jarring enough for you, we move onto a flashback of how Jimmy’s dad died. While Jimmy Sr. was meditating, Mickey – who most certainly suffers from gout – walked in with a sword and hacked the guy. Child Jimmy saw the whole thing.

Mickey clocked out early from managing the local SuperValu to do some quick sword-murdering.

Remember the Druid that we got a quick look at earlier? He’s been busy bashing flyers into trees. He’s spreading the word about a tournament taking place in the Outerworld. Jimmy’s gonna fight Goro.

The Microsoft Parchment Paper design adds the perfect touch to this announcement.

Mickey and gang sit around a foldup table to discuss the tournament. You see, as Michael Graham so kindly explains, if they win this, the gang takes control of the town. There is no further explanation.

Later, Michael Graham rings Hot Blonde to forcefully ask her to live with him. She asks for more time and abruptly ends the call. Hot Blonde then goes on a date with Jimmy in the woods. They visit the house from Father Ted which now happens to be run by a druid commune. The Druid from the fight scene appears and freaks the couple out, so they leave.

We haven’t had any violence in a while, so the film decides to drop some in. Jimmy beats up two bouncers so that he can gain entry to a pub. A waiter spills a drink on one of Mickey’s guys which somehow causes Jimmy to stick his nose into the whole thing and a poor fight scene ensues.

What skill!

The next scene shows us how to arrange fake flowers.

A full 10 seconds of runtime was spent on this.

As Hot Blonde tends to Jimmy’s wounds, the Druid appears to give Jimmy a printed invitation to the tournament.

At Mickey HQ, Michael Graham cuts up baking soda and snorts it.

There are too many cuts to new scenes. The next one has cheery music playing while Jimmy punches a bag. The mysterious Druid comes up from behind to invite Jimmy to the woods. He accepts.

Instead of killing Jimmy, the Druid plays the uilleann pipes which is like murder but for the ears. The Druid also teaches Jimmy how to martial art even though Jimmy already knows how to.

Other weird stuff happens, too.

Hot Blonde and Jimmy have been going on loads of dates and are in the middle of a picnic when three dirt bikes come racing up the path. Jimmy kicks them all unconscious and steals one of the bikes. He picks up Hot Blonde and a chase ensues.

Jimmy has also acquired a gun.

But all is for naught because the baddies kidnap Hot Blonde and bring her to Michael Graham who has a temper tantrum regarding Hot Blonde’s inability to make a romantic decision.

Hopeless, Jimmy seeks out the Druid for sage advice on what to do. The Druid tells him that he should win the tournament. He provides no other info. We are then treated to a flashback of a sex scene with Hot Blonde and Jimmy.

I’m not making a GIF for this one.

It’s the day of the big tournament which conveniently takes place in the Druid castle. The audience is made up of a handful of middle-aged country folk. Do you pay to get in? Is that how the Druids support themselves? After two days of fighting, Jimmy makes his way to the final. He battles an impossibly massive guy but still wins. Rather than celebrate, Jimmy chases after Mickey’s minions.

This is the opening to the next scene. It wants to be a joke, but it didn’t quite make it there.

After exploding a car through careless driving, Jimmy arrives at Michael Graham’s HQ. He murders a few guys…

He triple kills this one guy.

… and finds Hot Blonde captive in a caravan.

He rescues Hot Blonde but is briefly stopped by Michael Graham. Jimmy is clearly no fan of “Picture of You” as he snaps the boy bander’s neck.

Jimmy and Hot Blonde go on another picnic to celebrate the many deaths. Unfortunately for Jimmy, he forgot to kill Mickey who shows up with a shotgun.

Mickey angrily states, ““You killed my son, now I’m going to kill you just as I killed your father!” Jimmy swipes the gun out of his hand and declares, “You killed my father, now I’m going to kill you just as I killed your son.” Jimmy needed to workshop that catchphrase. Mickey is shot dead. FIN.

The film plays some wacky music over bloopers.

The film was bad. There’s nothing more really. I mean it’s actually a testament to how if you want to get something done, you can do it. So if you’ve been sitting on that screenplay, send it out! If you’ve been meaning to write that novel, write! If you’ve wanted to release a bad film on VHS, go for it! It’s probably better than watching this.


  • I’m pretty sure it’s not karate, but I don’t care to fix it.
  • The film flashbacks feel like something from one of those video games from the 90s that featured live cinematic footage.
  • All the jeans are too high in this film.
  • I bet you production had to pay to get into the fun fair.
  • Jimmy is pretty stacked though.
  • There are a billion montages.
  • Happy St. Patrick’s Day!