3 July 2019 | ckormos1
Tong Lung please step forward out of the shadows
It opens with our lead, Tong Lung, spars with a tall white guy. He wins and gets a message to go to Japan. There his adventure begins. He must find his brother and kill Tanaka to avenge his father's death.
This is Tong Lung's very first movie and he is the lead. I have five of his movies where he is the lead and have watched just one so far - "On the Verge of Death". I reviewed that movie here and recommended it solely because it seemed to be the first vampire themed martial arts movie of the golden age from 1967 to 1984.
IMDB currently has this man incorrectly identified as Kim Tai-chung, a South Korean martial artist. I submitted a correction. The actor is Tong Lung. Kim was only 15 years old in 1972. I have not been able to find any biographical information on Tong Lung.
I also suspect the release date of this movie is later than 1972. Tong Lung's scene in the restaurant is certainly a rip off of "The Way of the Dragon" which was released at the end of 1972.
I am a hard core fan of martial arts movies for over a decade and have watched thousands of the genre. Yet I never heard of Tong Lung until now. The main thing about this movie is that it is a legitimate attempt to launch him into stardom. I guess we know how that turned out. This movie has all the tropes you expect in a major release to introduce a new actor/martial artist.
Tong Lung does deliver the fight moves. Problem is the fight choreography shows nothing creative, nothing the audience hasn't seen a million times. The sequences are brief, there are no sequences with about sixteen or more moves before a cut in the action. There is no imaginative use of props or the set. There's not even a weapons fight. Everything is immediately forgettable.
I recommend this movie for fans of the genre. That does not imply fans will like it. I simply feel the movie is significant.