In the sizable wake created by Steven Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme, Hollywood studios are racing to pump up their own martial arts superstars. But with such interchangeable vehicles as Seagal's Marked for Death and Van Damme's Death Warrant, it's easy to get confused about what's what and who's who. That's why we separated the he-men from the clean-and-jerks. Below, our pick of the pecs.
STUDIO: Warner Bros.
LATEST MOVIE: Out for Justice
HT./WT./CHEST: 6'3''/200 lbs./48''
MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING: Studied aikido from age 17, registered sixth-degree aikido master in Japan
BIRTH ACCENT: Husky, David Carradine whisper
FAMILY STATUS: Married to model-actress Kelly LeBrock; two children
FASHION STATEMENT: Eurotrash hairdo and clothes landed him on the cover of GQ
ROLE MODEL: Chuck Norris
GIMMICK: Snaps arms and legs of opponents with a flick of the wrist
LATEST MOVIE: The Perfect Weapon
HT./WT./CHEST: 6'/185 lbs./46''
MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING: Fourth-degree black belt in kenpo (American karate variant)
BIRTH ACCENT: Generic Middle-American
FAMILY STATUS: Single
FASHION STATEMENT: Serious beard stubble appears to be at least a week old
ROLE MODEL: Steven Seagal
GIMMICK: Lots of tiny, whiplike moves; big whomp-'em sound effects
Jean Claude Van Damme
LATEST MOVIE: Double Impact (due this summer)
HT./WT./CHEST: 5'8''/185 lbs./40''
MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING: Kickboxing black belt
BIRTH ACCENT: Belgian
FAMILY STATUS: Married to champ bodybuilder Gladys Portugues; two children
FASHION STATEMENT: Blue jeans in Lionheart modeled after French sailors' pants
ROLE MODEL: Arnold Schwarzenegger
GIMMICK: Balletic, brain-shattering round-house kick
LATEST MOVIE: I Come in Peace
HT./WT./CHEST: 6'5''/235 lbs./54''
MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING: European kick-boxing champ in 1980-81; won Fulbright Scholarship to M.I.T.
BIRTH ACCENT: Husky, Swedish, but after coaching is more like Big 10 jock with a head cold
FAMILY STATUS: Single; used to go out with Grace Jones
FASHION STATEMENT: Regular-guy T-shirt and jeans
ROLE MODEL: Stallone (his opponent in Rocky IV)
GIMMICK: Despite decent high-kick and head-butting skills, prefers semiautomatics
LATEST MOVIE: Iron & Silk
HT./WT./CHEST: 5'8''/140 lbs./38''
MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING: Studied under wushu master who hits a steel plate with fists 1,000 times a day
BIRTH ACCENT: Yale (B.A. in Chinese language and literatrue, 1982)
FAMILY STATUS: Married to Chinese-American documentary film-maker Jessica Yu
FASHION STATEMENT: Sensible prep-wear befitting image as beefcake for intellectuals
ROLE MODEL: George Plimpton
GIMMICK: Doesn't fight; plays himself an English instructor/matrial arts student in China
LATEST MOVIE: Film debut Stone Cold opens 5/17
HT./WT./CHEST: 6'2''/220 lbs./51''
MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING: Three years as linebacker with Seattle Seahawks
BIRTH ACCENT: Dude-speak
FAMILY STATUS: Single
FASHION STATEMENT: Trademark ''Boz buzz'' hairdo
ROLE MODEL: Fred ''The Hammer'' Williamson
GIMMICK: The hell with technique; throws bad guys through walls