Fist of Unicorn (1973)

R   |    |  Action, Drama


Fist of Unicorn (1973) Poster

Unicorn travels to a village troubled by gangsters in search of revenge for the murder of his parents years before. The task is made more complicated when he befriends a middle-aged woman and her son who begin to admire and depend on him.


6.6/10
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Director:

Ti Tang

Writer:

Ti Tang

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14 February 2006 | damonfoster
Directed by Bruce Lee??? Not quite!
Unicorn Chan, a childhood friend of Bruce Lee, completed this movie in 1973, right before Lee's death. To make our heroic, scrawny runt Unicorn Chan (FIST OF FURY, RETURN OF THE DRAGON, THE BLOOD HERO, BRUCE LEE: THE MAN THE MYTH) seem like a good fighter, he had his superstar pal Bruce Lee help choreograph the fights. As the story goes, Unicorn released the movie briefly under the title "Bruce Lee and I", to capitalize on his soon to be ex-friend's fame. I read somewhere that Lee felt betrayed, and never spoke to Unicorn again, for the rest of his life—which, admittedly, was only a few months. Other stories go so far as to say that Bruce Lee has a "walk on cameo", or that Lee appears in the outtakes. I watched this average chop sockey movie closely, and couldn't see any obvious Bruce Lee shots other than a still shot at the beginning.

I did, however, spot a young Jackie Chan in a microscopic cameo as a background henchman (blink and you'll miss him), at least I think so. Regardless, as an early 1970s kung fu romp, it's okay. There are cool fights, but most of the better ones don't involve Unicorn Chan. There's some other hero, and a heroine who do their share of kicking, so the battles are fast-paced and enjoyable. Otherwise, it's so ultra-average and predictable, I'm at a loss for words.

There's an interesting role reversal in the cast: Yasuaki Kurata plays the Chinese translator, and it's Wei Ping Ao who who plays an actual Japanese this time (with a Hitler mustache, no less), not the interpretor. It's another "good Chinese vs. bad Japanese movie", but also has some subplot about Buddhist acupuncture.

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