Film Review: ‘Chavez: Cage of Glory’

Argentinian MMA star Hector Echevarria makes an ill-conceived bid for cinematic 'Glory.'


Hector Echavarria, Danny Trejo, James Russo, Steven Bauer, Patrick Kilpatrick, Sadie Katz, Heath Herring Tony Lopez.

There’s precious little glory — and not even that much cage fighting — in “Chavez: Cage of Glory,” a poverty-row vanity project for Argentinian mixed martial arts champ Hector Echevarria, best known in movies for his supporting role in the hit early ‘90s action-comedy franchise “Los Extermineitors.” An apparent bid by the now U.S.-based writer-director-star to break out of a string of straight-to-DVD action fare (with titles like “Death Warrior” and “Death Calls”), this hilariously straight-faced inventory of moth-eaten fight-movie cliches opened Sept. 13 on a few dozen SoCal screens via Echevarria’s own Destiny Entertainment label, and just as promptly vacated them.

You know you’re in for a special kind of bad-movie experience when “Chavez: Cage of Glory” proffers characters with names like John Stone and Cage Fury without so much as a wink or a smile. The hulking Mr. Fury (played by Echevarria’s fellow real-life MMA competitor, the Dolph Lundgren-esque Heath Herring) is the movie’s prize catch, a world champion fighter whose last opponent ended up in a coma. But that doesn’t deter 42-year-old Hector “The Mexican” Chavez (Echevarria) from jumping at the chance to battle Fury in a high-profile televised bout — on Cinco de Mayo, no less.

As conceived by Echevarria, Hector is the ultimate hard-luck case: unemployed, barely scraping by with his earnings from the low-rent cage-fighting circuit (where the nefarious promoters further pick his pocket), hustled by two-bit thugs (led by the innately menacing Danny Trejo) who want him to join their street gang, and unable to provide adequate medical care for his terminally ill son, afflicted with one of those mysterious heart ailments that used to befall people in ‘30s melodramas. Even Hector’s leggy blonde wife (Sadie Katz) can scarcely go on a job interview without nearly being raped by her prospective employer. Nor is this level of misery anything new for our hero: flashbacks wreathed in a gauzy white light reveal that, as a child, Hector’s father quite literally beat him with one hand while guzzling booze with the other.

Echevarria certainly seems more comfortable in the cage than in these domestic scenes, but even at 92 minutes, “Cage of Glory” takes its sweet time getting there, with lots of training montages and further personal tragedies en route (cue “Scarface” alum Steven Bauer as Hector’s older brother, now a man of the cloth). Pic’s production “values” (or lack thereof) make the average telenovela look like “Masterpiece Theatre,” with scant attempt to disguise recycled locations and insert shots. Composer Niel Argo’s maudlin synthesizer score sounds like a Casio keyboard stuck in “funeral dirge” demo mode.

Film Review: 'Chavez: Cage of Glory'

Reviewed at TCL Chinese 6, Los Angeles, September 19, 2013. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 92 MIN.


A Destiny Entertainment release and presentation. Produced by Ken Schwenker, Alejandro Arigo, Travis Murray, Pablo Garcia, Patrick Kilpatrick. Executive producers, Hector Echavarria, Gina Hattenbach.


Directed, written by Hector Echavarria. Camera (color, HD), Seo Mutarevic; editor, Eamon Glennon; music, Niel Argo; production designer, Travis Murray; sound, Jakob Beetem; supervising sound editor, Greg Vossberg; associate producers, Alejandro Arico, Corey Hughes, Jennifer Carmody, Jorge Elias; assistant director, Jennifer Carmody.


Hector Echavarria, Danny Trejo, James Russo, Steven Bauer, Patrick Kilpatrick, Sadie Katz, Heath Herring Tony Lopez.

More Film

  • Knuckle City

    Jahmil X.T. Qubeka on Durban Opening-Night Film ‘Knuckle City’

    DURBAN–Dudu Nyakama is an aging boxer whose best fighting days are behind him. But for a man whose only glory has come in the ring, a big prize fight offers the one shot at saving his family, dragging him into the criminal underbelly of the gritty township he’s spent his whole life trying to escape. [...]

  • it chapter two, comic con

    Comic-Con: 4500 Gallons of Fake Blood and Everything Else to Know About 'It Chapter Two''

    Comic-Con 2019 kicked off with a stacked presentation from the director and cast of “It Chapter Two” on Wednesday, inspiring a curious amount of joy at San Diego’s Spreckles Theater in spite of the abject terror offered up by the film. The closing chapter to 2017’s record-obliterating “It,” the highest grossing R-rated horror film of [...]

  • 'Between Me and My Mind' Review:

    Film Review: Trey Anastasio in 'Between Me and My Mind'

    Trey Anastasio doesn’t look like a rock star. With his thick rimless glasses and flop of sandy red hair, you might say he resembles John Sebastian, but really, he looks like a mashup of Mike White and Jon Cryer and the filmmaker Chris Smith. He’s an appealingly ordinary shaggy-geek dude, like some guy you might [...]

  • Photo taken July 18, 2019, from

    More Than 20 Feared Dead in Arson Attack on Japan's Kyoto Animation

    UPDATED: More than 20 people are feared to have died Thursday in an arson attack on the Kyoto Animation company in Japan, shocking a nation in which extreme violence is very rare. Emergency services in Kyoto City received a call about 10:35 a.m. local time Thursday reporting an explosion on the first floor of the [...]

  • sith trooper

    Sith Trooper Revealed From 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'

    “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” revealed a new storm trooper uniform Wednesday at San Diego Comic Con as part of a special exhibit celebrating the evolution of the storm trooper design. Dubbed the Sith trooper, the new uniform sports all-red armor plates with a matching red and black blaster. Also decorating the armor is [...]

  • Dunkirk

    Harry Styles Is the Perfect Prince Eric; Why He'd Rock 'Little Mermaid' Role

    Could Harry Styles be the perfect Prince Eric? One day after the announcement that the One Direction star is “in early negotiations to play the iconic ‘Little Mermaid’ role,” the internet exploded with speculation as to how he would portray the object of Ariel’s affections. “I can see lots of reasons why Harry is perfect,” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content