5 August 2005 | averymor
The best of it's genre
Long before the Kung-Fu cinema of this period became a cult following and channel 5 (FOX) started running the more contemporary of these movies on Saturday afternoons, my cousin told me about a movie that he'd seen on 42nd st. (NYC, the Mecca of the kung-Fu craze) that I had to see.
As a kid, we had grown up on some of the older stuff, 5 Fingers Of Death, 7 Blows of the dragon, and all of the Bruce Lee movies. Most of this during the blackploitation era.
Then there was a lull in our Kung-Fu diet, well as far as anything new and different was concerned.
So when I finally saw this with my cousin on his recommendation (Said it was so good he had to see it again) I was blown away. I'd never seen anything like it before or since (with the exception of "Kung Fu Hustle" which now ranks a 10 on my greatest Kung-Fu list) The story was tight, the choreography was above average for it's time and the cinematography was top notch.
What I like best about this movie, compared to all the others, is that you didn't see a guy get punched or kicked 12 times before coughing up blood and then coming back to give 24 blows of his own before that person hacked up a lung.
This was a three to four hit minimum movie, which means there was more focus on style and defense in the fight scenes before eventually someone scored a hit, and when they got hit, they felt it..like a real fight more or less.
Also, this was one of the first movies to give you the styles that appeared here....Drunkard, Monkey, Snake and when you think about it, all three are the more flamboyant of styles (not to leave out the Mantis style) I've argued with other Kung-Fu aficionados in video stores over a novice's query as to what's the best Kung Fu movie to start out with.
Hands Down, you up your Kung-Fu appreciation immensely with this gem.