22 September 2012 | ckormos1
Let's start making movies about two martial artists - one Asian and one Black
I first watched this movie back on September 22, 2012 and posted a review here. I called the movie "Ong Bak 1974" because there seemed to be a few parallels, except no elephants. I found this movie on a $20 DVD along with 20 other movies. I rated it 7/10 for the year and genre and put it on my list to watch again someday. Someday came today.
There are at least seven martial arts movies out there with the title "Tough Guy, starting with a Chan Sing 1972 movie. Viewers probably watched this as "The Black Dragon". So if you watched a 1970s movie with a black guy fighting (the great Ron Van Clief) then we are talking about the same movie.
The story line here is actually similar to Donnie Yen's 1993 "Iron Monkey" in that there are two good guys with conflicting goals. Jason Pai Piao starts by thinking he is doing good for the other coolies on the dock until he finds he was tricked into working for the drug smugglers.
The fights had many "non-Asian" stunt men who could not measure up to their Asian counterparts and served more as punching bags or inert obstacles rather than as martial opponents.
Jason Pai Piao began his career in about 1969 as a stunt man and extra. In 1972 he starred in some South Korean movies. This seemed to be an attempt to launch him as the next big thing. That never happened but he continues to have a long and productive movie career. This movie is his first Hong Kong movie lead.
Ron Van Clief also began his movie career with this film. The film's alternate and more well-known title comes from Ron's nickname, the black dragon. "Brucexploitation" and "Blaxploitation" started together. Ron is also one of the first mixed martial artists. He started training in Goju-ryu than added Filipino stick fighting and jiu-jitsu. He even fought Royce Gracie in the 4th UFC. He lost to Gracie (like almost everyone did), but was only choked out (no broken bones).
I still rate this movie 7/10 and recommend it for all fans of the genre.