A Chinese immigrant, recently arrived in America, fights to free Mexican slaves from their cruel master.A Chinese immigrant, recently arrived in America, fights to free Mexican slaves from their cruel master.A Chinese immigrant, recently arrived in America, fights to free Mexican slaves from their cruel master.
The story is straightforward, almost verging on the simplistic. Joe is a recent immigrant from China to San Francisco, where, in search of work, he heads to Texas. Here he gets on the wrong side of a powerful, racist rancher, Stanley Spencer (Piero Lulli), after he witnesses the massacre of Mexican slave labourers.
This Western tries to say some interesting things about the West, and how Chinese immigrants helped do a lot of the "dirty" jobs that Whites wouldn't do. Sadly, most of this is drowned under its comic book style and some pretty bad kung-fu. Yet it does have some good parts: most of the action scenes come with Peckinpah-esque slow motion and exploding, bloody squids. Some of the violence is pretty strong too, with Lee pulling a bad guy's eyes out on screen. But due to its light-hearted mode, it never feels dark or repellent. In fact, it is all rather comic, lacking the seriousness as "Django Kill, If You Live, Shoot!" (1967) has from its strong violence.
Acting wise, Chen Lee is probably as wooden as his martial arts, but Piero Lulli makes a fine villain and Klaus Kinski's virtually cameo-like role is memorable. The scene where the Mexicans are killed is well-directed, as are a number of other action scenes, sufficient enough to make sure that the Western is at least fast paced.
It isn't a brilliant piece of cinema, but as the Spaghetti Western genre went down the drains, it is refreshingly old fashioned in a way, occasionally recalling the past Golden Era of the late sixties that makes it worth checking out for the Spaghetti Western enthusiast.
- Jun 22, 2011