Best Of The Best 3: No Turning Back is a STV sequel that happens to be the franchise's best. The rise of VHS saw to it that even if a movie didn't perform well theatrically, it could still earn a healthy profit on video. This also saw a rise in direct to video franchises such as the Puppet Master series. The original Best Of The Best starred Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight) and James Earl Jones and followed a team of American martial artists who take part in a South Korean karate tournament. The movie had a great cast and fight sequences and owned more than a slight debt to Rocky.
Best Of The Best II arrived in 1993 which found Eric Roberts' character Alex seeking revenge over the death of a friend. While the movie underperformed at the box-office, it did surprisingly well on video. It was decided to continue the series on video, with a script called No Turning Back being retrofitted to revolve around Phillip Rhee's character Tommy Lee, who played a supporting role in the previous entries. While Roberts was offered the chance to return he passed on the sequel.
Best Of The Best 3: No Turning Back is set in a town dubbed Liberty, which Tommy arrives in to visit his sister. A vicious Neo-Nazi gang is also active in the town and after they attack Tommy's family and girlfriend Margo (Gina Gershon, Blockers), he teams up with the sheriff and his brother-in-law Jack to take them down.
Philip Rhee also directed Best Of The Best 3 and is a skilled martial artist in real life, leading to some of the best fight scenes in the series. The plot itself is pretty straightforward and basic, but its bolstered by a surprisingly good supporting cast, including Gershon, Christopher McDonald, Dee Wallace and an uncredited R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket). While the script won't score any points for originally, Rhee does a good job making the villains hateable and building tension until the action finally explodes.
While the original film does a better job with the actual drama and building characters, Best Of The Best 3 is just very enjoyable action cheese. Phillip Rhee would return one last time for 1998's Best Of The Best 4: Without Warning, which again featured a solid cast including Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters) and Tobin Bell, but sadly it proved to be the weakest of the bunch.