Jump to content
DVDVR Message Board
Execproducer

The Wong Fei-hung Kung Fu Movie Review.

Recommended Posts

I will NOT allow this continued disparaging of Delta Force to continue.  Now, if ya'll want to shit on Delta Force 2 on the other hand...

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I liked Delta Force when it came out. The cast is In-fucking-sane. It just happens to be the point where I stopped going out of my way to see Chuck Norris films. But it was a long, beautiful ride.

Edited by Execproducer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if anyone bothered to review Billy Jack so we can get our fill of the Dollar Tree version of Chuck Norris in the late Tom Laughlin

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Billy Jack... god, that movie is long. Someone should review The Trial of Billy Jack, too. 

You all might remember me marking out over finding Silent Rage at Walmart one day on here. Well, my reaction watching it was... less than enthusiastic. It is now residing at my best friend's house, safely ensconced with his zillion other DVDs and BluRays.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Three hours long?!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I just looked that up. And I thought Billy Jack was long! Fuck...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I've seen all of the Billy Jack movies but at this point I'd probably watch The Killer Elite instead.

NINJAPALOOZA!!!

 

Edited by Execproducer
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait, Peckinpah and THAT cast? How come I've never heard of that before?! Is it Sam in the absolute bottom of the bottle or something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Film: The Miracle Fighters

Picked by: Setsuna

"I had absolutely no idea what to pick. Chose this movie because a) it stood out and b) speaks to my love of martial arts films and more specifically, HK martial arts movies. My wish list for a good HK flick is pretty small - give me something fun and give me some good action. It's been a minute but I remember this movie ticking both boxes. I still have no idea what the storyline is or what's going on half the time. It's more a collection of scenes with some of my favourite actors from the HK days. I imagine that it can be lame or cringey at times, but that can be said for a lot of the kung fu comedies, especially ones from the 1978 - 1984 time period that just come across as incredibly dated. Not trying to get anyone to start smoking weed but if there was ever a time to try some....

Shaw Brothers get a lot of talk on here but my favourite has always been the Golden Harvest studio movies and off-shoots. Probably because my first exposure was to the the early Jackie films so I kind of went down that rabbit hole initially. Somewhere along the line you get caught up in the 'groups', whether those would be opera groups, studio groups or families. Here we've got one of those groups represented in the Yuen family in a Yuen Woo Ping directed movie.

It marked an interesting transitional time in his career. He's coming off some just rock solid, classic as they get kung fu films in Magnificent Butcher, Dreadnaught and even Buddhist Fist. I can only assume that he and his brothers discovered hallucinogens at this time as Miracle Fighters and the next two parts in the trilogy are such a strange turn from his earlier work. Hope you enjoy!

Reviewed by: Execproducer

The Miracle Fighters

(Hong Kong, 1982) 

Golden Harvest

Right off the bat, these type of over-the-top films usually aren't  my cup of tea. I like my Faerie Tales on paper, especially when it concerns concepts and mythos that I'm unfamiliar with, so that you can take the time to absorb the material.  There are always exceptions; The Bride with White Hair and Butterfly and Sword rank among my favorites, films with brilliant cinematography that sell the hell out of their supernatural elements.  On the other hand, I found nothing to enjoy in a film like Kung Fu Cult Master which struck me as a huge mess, not surprising since it was a Wong Jing film. To be fair, I watched it 20 years ago on a grey market bootleg tape and have never revisited it. 

The Miracle Fighters, a Yuen Woo-ping film,  falls somewhere in the middle. It starts off with a Manchu general (Eddy Ko)  before the Emperor. He has illegally married a Han woman and the Emperor tells him he'll spare his life if he kills his wife. He can't do it so the Emperor has her executed on the spot. As you might imagine, this causes him to erupt into a Sword-Fu rage and he wipes out the room. Before he can get to the Emperor, Sorcerer Bat (Yuen Shun-yee) appears and just as quickly disappears in a magician's smoke bomb haze. In his place? Clown in a jar (Brandy Yuen). No kidding, it's a magical creature with a clown face and wearing a wine jar like a tortoise shell. He pulls out a death warrant for the general that he turns into a paper sword and they get to fighting'!!  The general manages to hold Clown Jar off but reinforcements show up so he grabs the nearest young Prince as a hostage to make his escape.  Unfortunately he inadvertently strangles young Prince to death with his own seal. Eleven years later, two Taoist priests, Old Man (Bryan Leung AKA Beardy) and Old Woman ( Yuen Cheung-yan in drag) stand before an alter with incense and wine to give respect to a portrait of their deceased master ( The late Yeun Siu-tien AKA Sam the Seed AKA Drunken Master AKA the patriarch of the Yuen family).  Old Man puts a cup to Master's lips and it drinks the wine!! Old Man and Old Woman are constantly bickering to the point that they have divided their temple with a line that neither can cross without facing dire consequences from the other.  

Meanwhile the general is now an old drunk being looked after by an orphan, Shu-kan (Yuen Yat-cho),  that he found years earlier as a young child. He put the Prince's seal around the boy's neck in grief for what he had done. When Manchu assassins find them, the general is blinded in the ensuing battle. Shu-kan goes off to seek medicine and ends up at the temple where the two old priests show off their power. He gets medicine for the general who attempts to run him off to protect him. But then Sorcerer Bat shows up and it's on again. Sorcerer Bat plots to pass Shu-kan off as the Prince so that he can rule the kingdom through him. Shu-kan escapes and makes his way back to the temple to become an apprentice to the magical priests.  The rest of the film concerns the machinations of Sorcerer Bat and a magical contest for something called the Supreme Command. 

So this is a really fun movie to watch. Relatively little Kung Fu but what we get is great because the Yuen clan is really good at that stuff. But the action is non-stop. There is always something magical and weird happening. More Clown Jar, a fight with  a living stick figure, a rain making battle, talking fish,  fight with a human puppet and on and on. I enjoyed the nod to the greatest Beggar So ever. A surreal thrill ride. Not the best movie ever but I'll watch it again. 

 

Edited by Execproducer
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

BONUS REVIEW!!!!

Film: Infra-Man

Picked and Reviewed by: J.H.

I revised a review of Infra-Man I wrote for my blog almost a decade ago for a bonus review!.
Am I lazy?
Probably
Do I care?
Not really

INFRA-MAN

(Hong Kong, 1975)

Shaw Brothers

There are 2 categories of movies in my mind and there always has been. First there is Infra-Man, then there is everything else. I say this with no sense of hyperbole whatsoever. Infra-Man is quite simply the greatest movie an 8-year-old could ever watch. Understand that growing up in New York City, almost every 8-12-year-old would drop everything on a Saturday afternoon at 5pm. See the old Channel 5 would show “Drive-In Movies” at 5 every Saturday. “Drive-in Movies” showed mothing but classic Shaw Brothers and Golden Harvest kung-fu films. My primary education in Martial Arts films came from “Drive-in Movies” and it was the best education a child could ask for. It was here that I first watched Infra-Man.

 

This is what happens when Hong Kong isn’t satisfied with just making epic Kung-fu movies. No, they must combine elements from 2 Japanese icons, in this case we are talking about the well-known in America Ultraman and the not-so-well known Kamen Rider. Combine the 2 and you get Infra-Man. The movie is undeniably cheap, though I imagine a mint was spent in Hong Kong currency to make it. Hell, just the promotion of the movie in Hong Kong was insane enough as Infra-Man had the distinction of being the first movie to use a hot-air balloon during production, the first Chinese Super Hero movie and the first Shaw Brothers movie to ever be storyboarded. With so many firsts you just know this movie is going to destroy an 8-year-old’s mind with its awesomeness!

 

The movie poster says it all. He is the man BEYOND bionics! That means he would beat the living hell out of The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman AND the Bionic Six all while eating a pork bun!

 

The story is so epic it still blows my 8 year old mind and I’m now in my late 40s!

The evil Princess Dragon Mom, (her name in the English dub, in Chinese she is Demon Princess Elzebub), and her evil horde of Skeleton Monsters plan on conquering the earth. I mean, they are aliens after all…. no wait they are demons… at least I think they are demons. Maybe they are demonic aliens? Fuck if I can figure it out. They never really clarify to my recollection. Anyway, with the threat of Dragon Mom the world looks to the one country they always look to for ideas to save the planet… HONG KONG! Because when you want the best scientists in the world you want the British to politely ask a country, they won in the Boxer Rebellion/Opium Wars for help. Luckily, Professor Chang has the answer to fighting the hordes of demon/aliens… turning his daughter’s fiancé Rayma into Infra-Man!

 

Can you imagine the good Dr. Chang telling the U.N. his plan? “Say I’ve got this technique for turning a regular guy into a one-man fighting force to stop these aliens AND I’m going to use my daughter’s tool of a fiancé as the test subject! Take my baby girl will he!” Anyway, Rayma becomes Infra-Man and does battle with Princess Dragon Mom’s kung-fu trained demons/aliens. A few initial encounters go well for Infra-Man, including 1 fight where he grows 30 feet tall and fights a giant plant monster. Dr. Chang also helps devise new weapons for Rayma to use, which leads to the greatest conversation in all modern cinema!

 

Finally getting fed up with Infra-Man kicking her ass, Princess Dragon Mom has her goons, led by the cleverly named She-Demon, kidnap Dr. Chang’s daughter. This leads to the big showdown of the movie as Infra-Man invades Princess Dragon Mom’s base within Inner-Earth (Inner-Earth? Ok so they are demons!). Marvel as Infra-Man gets his ass-kicked and gets frozen in ice. But thanks to the power of the flashback Infra-Man remembers that Dr. Chang told him that if he ever found himself trapped in ice; he can always throw 3 rockets on the ground to thaw out. Now see this is where the story breaks down for me. Nowhere previously in the movie did Dr. Chang tell Rayma this.

 

Anyway, Infra-Man thaws out in record time, rescues Dr. Chang’s daughter and engages Princess Dragon Mom in combat in a fight that if you blink, you’ll miss it. Are you beginning to see why an ADD riddled 8-year-old would adore this movie? Ishtar’s Eyes! It has everything an 8-year-old could want in a movie. Let’s run the checklist!

 

Superhero? Check!
Evil Women in skimpy outfits? Check! It is possible She-Demon may have resulted in my first pre-teen hard-on
Rubber suited monsters? Check!
Guys in shiny jumpsuits doing Kung-Fu? BIG CHECK!

 

My lord, this movie is a smorgasbord of juvenile awesomeness! Seriously, God bless the Shaw Brothers for making a movie this insane. It is the greatest 90 minutes of movie ever put to film. So, there you have it, a review of the over the top awesomely bad Infra-Man and brief look into my rather damaged childhood psyche. By the way, the lessons of this movie still hold true today. If Earth is getting invaded by demons, aliens or even worse Demonic Aliens, find a Chinese scientist with a helpless daughter. He probably can turn you into the earth’s most bugfuck insanely awesome superhero… INFRA-MAN~!

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be damned - there actually is a story to Miracle Fighters. I was totally ready to have my pick get torn to shreds but glad you got some enjoyment out of it. It's one that always stuck me with me because of the absurdity of it all. The sequels are more of the same with diminishing returns but I've always got a kick of Yuen Shun-yee's roles in the films.

 

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, Setsuna said:

 I was totally ready to have my pick get torn to shreds

Its not like you picked a Michael Dudikoff film or anything. 🙂 

Edited by Execproducer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

Wait, Peckinpah and THAT cast? How come I've never heard of that before?! Is it Sam in the absolute bottom of the bottle or something?

It's Sam towards the end and apparently discovering cocaine though he hadn't done Convoy yet so it isn't like he was completely washed up.... if he ever really was. Scanning Wikipedia and I had completely forgotten that his last bit of work was directing two music videos for Julian Lennon .  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is kind of random but I was watching tv with my wife the other day and there was a newish Chinese movie playing. I had no idea what was happening, because the subtitles weren't in English (I live in Myanmar), but noticed Chin Kar Lok. Completely blew my mind that my wife knew he was. I didn't believe her at first, but then she threw out, 'Yeah, he has a brother who makes movies too."  Mind blown because she is not big on Chinese movies, or action movies, and Chin Ka Lok didn't have that many notable roles in bigger movies( I can only think of DM2 off the top of my head). Zero idea what she would know Chin Siu-Ho from(Fist of Legend?), or how she knew they were brothers.

Anyway, to bring it back on topic, seeing him reminded me of Operation Scorpio / Scorpion King. That probably would have been my pick had the contest had I thought of it at the time. Won Jin's role/performance in it pretty much carried an otherwise lackluster film, and I've always been a sucker for the Chin bros.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Yes.  I loved the Super Inframan as a child.

Yes.  I love it even to this very day.

Yes.  Princess Dragon-Mom and She-Demon are super hot and sport the best 1970's platform boots ever not worn by hookers.

Oh and:

"For success it is essential you have THUNDERBALL FISTS~!"

"I CAN HAVE SUCH A THING~?"

Edited by J.T.
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, @J.T., had you not taken on all of those other movies, The Miracle Fighters was your film to review. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Execproducer said:

BTW, @J.T., had you not taken on all of those other movies, The Miracle Fighters was your film to review. 

I think I would've enjoyed reviewing it.   It's another movie I haven't watched in ages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The only thing that remotely rivals JH's glowing review of Super-Infaman is Commander USA's intro segue.

"Out of the lab and INTO OUR HEARTS comes, THERE HE IS~!   INFRA-MAN~!"

One thing the YouTube video reminded me of is that I really hated the change in the opening credits for the US release.  The very 1970's psychedelic opening credits for the HK version are much more epic.

 

Edited by J.T.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Film: Against the Drunken Cats Paws

Picked by: Magnificent 7

"Because it’s awesome." 

Reviewed by: odessasteps

 

Against the Drunken Cat Paws

1979, Shan-Hsi Ting

 

Disclaimer: this genre is outside my area of expertise, so apologies to all the Kung Fu devotees for I’m sure will be some faux pas and knowledge gaps.

 

Off the top of my head, I do not recall seeing this before, although it’s very possible I have seen it as one of those Saturday afternoon Kung Fu Theater matinees we used to watch in the comic shop back in the 1990s. 

 

The plot involves a young female martial arts expert attempting to get revenge for her murdered senses father. There are a few other sidebar stories, but this is the A plot. Did I also mention she’s blind, having taken a poison dart to the eyes, shot from the blow gun of an evil dwarf? Oh, yes. 

 

In addition to all the well-choreographed fight scenes, there is plenty of comedy here. From her drunken antics to the precocious kid sidekick to the over-officious government official, there are plenty of gags. 

 

Perhaps the best thing about the picture is a number of plot twists, best not revealed here. Some might be telegraphed, but at least is a bolt from the blue.  Most of us have seen so many genre movies that it’s hard to surprised, but the big shocker here was nicely well done. 

 

The star of the film is Chia Ling (also known as Judy Lee) and does a wonderful job in both her dramatic scenes and fight sequences, of which a few are extremely impressive. The highlight may be a scene where she is sword fighting with a sword in each hand, using a different technique. 

 

At 93 minutes (the version found on Amazon Prime, the film breezes by, although the final fight sequence seems to end abruptly. Certainly worth checking out

 

 

Edited by Execproducer
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/14/2019 at 8:17 PM, Curt McGirt said:

Wait, Peckinpah and THAT cast? How come I've never heard of that before?! Is it Sam in the absolute bottom of the bottle or something?

It came between Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia and Convoy. I remember catching it on Starz back in the mid-90s. Other than that my memory is a blank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Film: THE KID WITH THE GOLDEN ARM  

(Hong Kong, 1979)

Shaw Brothers

Picked by: J.H.

"Man picking just one Shaw epic or even Sonny Chiba film is so tough!

In the end I think I'm just going to go ahead and pick Kid With the Golden Arm because it just my absolute fave"

Reviewed by: Curt McGirt

Whew, where to begin? 

First of all, this feels like a practical joke. I'm probably the biggest (admitted) alcoholic on this board and I end up getting the movie about a drunk kung fu fighter. And I get it while already drinking. Go figure. 

Second... goddamn, this isn't something you want to have to review after you've been drinking. The plot of this film is basically, a pile of gold is going to be sent off on horseback to a bunch of villagers beset by a famine, but a bunch of people want to steal it. These people comprise the famous Venom Mob of actors, but all are of their own interests and talents. Things from that point on get murky for me. As with all the Venom Mob films, everyone has their individual skill -- sword, staff, traditional kung fu, etc. -- and all get their own individual battle, of which there are TONS in this film. If you aren't familiar with the classic Shaw Brothers fight, it is musically silent, punctuated only by the grunts and groans of its combatants, as they fly through a baffling and incredible exchange of sparring, until one of the opponents dies in a blood-spraying grisly demise.

It is the coolest shit you will see in your entire life. 

So, there are a lot of plot twists, your anti-hero drinking a lot of wine and kicking a lot of ass, and some genuinely nasty bits involving booby traps that are unexpected. In the annals of the Shaw Bros. catalog I think this might be below Executioners from Shaolin, Five Deadly Venoms, or the incomparable 36th Chamber of Shaolin, but it's still an admirable piece of work, albeit a bit long in the tooth. I wish I could say more, but that's all I got. Curt Bob says check it out.

 

Edited by Execproducer
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Kid With The Golden Arm undoubtedly has my favorite movie intro of any SB joint. 

I could watch Lu Feng and Lo Meng go through weapon and empty hand forms all fucking day.

Long Axe and Short Axe may be my favorite Kung Fu movie protagonists that don't survive to the end of the movie.

That's not really a spoiler since it's not old school Kung Fu if 99% of the good guys don't die while taking out 99% of the bad guys.

Mag 7 made an amazing pick.  I still have that movie on VHS and I really should hit up Amazon for a proper DVD copy.

Oh, and today is both Sho Kusugi's birthday as well as Jeff Imada's.  Thank you, IMDB app.

Edited by J.T.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

In honor of Sho Kosugi's birthday I will watch Ninja Sentai Kakuranger episodes 28-29 just to see him get killed by his own son!
Also in honor of Sho Kosugi'sBirthday here is a picture of the Ninja Master himself

797E401F-1DD8-B71B-0B91B2EB70EF8B07.jpg

James

Edited by J.H.
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched the trailer and it makes me think that I really need to re-visit that one. I mentioned earlier seeing it on a terrible bootleg dvd from a Walmart bargain bin and being disappointed. Just from that trailer - man, I think I missed out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Setsuna said:

I watched the trailer and it makes me think that I really need to re-visit that one. I mentioned earlier seeing it on a terrible bootleg dvd from a Walmart bargain bin and being disappointed. Just from that trailer - man, I think I missed out.

Golden Arm was on just last night on El Rey Kung Fu Movie Sunday.  It was on with the extremely wacky Holy Flame Of The Martial World!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...