It starts with the gang of extortionists collecting a "road tax" from the travelers. Larry Lee will not pay. Sun Lan plays his usual roll of a slimy crook. Bolo Yeung steps forward as Sun Lam's top fighter. As usual, Bolo is defeated in this first fight. What a sport! Bolo has probably lost more fights than any actor in Chinese movie history. Maybe I should phrase it thus - Bolo has been knocked down more than any actor in Chinese movie history yet he always gets back up and is standing today and available to be knocked down again.
Larry Lee Gam-Kwan is another of many people who seemed to come from nowhere to star in a few martial arts movies and then disappeared. I have no biographical information on him. In 1974 he starred in four martial arts movies. I do not know the chronological order. I have reviewed all four here and considered 1974 "The Chinese Tiger" or "Tiger from Canton" the best. Larry has all the needed qualities to demonstrate in a good fight. He does over ten moves before a cut in the action, he has power, focus, good posture, and smooth execution. No disrespect meant but hundreds of other unknown stunt men were just as good and maybe better. There was "an embarrassment of riches" in the stunt man department at that time.
Larry plays an "unbeatable fighter". All the fights are really just beatings by Larry. The final fight is worth waiting for and exemplifies the fabulous work of Lau Kar-Wing as action director. I rate the movie just above average for the year and genre and recommend it for fans of martial arts movies of the golden age from 1967 to 1984.
The "fighter who will not fight" plot done with some good fights for a change
The extortion gang is shaking down the traveling group of hawkers. Rape is threatened so two fighters strike out in defense of everyone. At home, Tang Chia-Chuan is ordered by mother not to fight again.
Only the revenge plot is used more often than the fighter who cannot fight plot in martial arts movies. This movie is about a fighter whose mother does not want him to fight anymore because his father was a fighter and died because of it. You might remember this plot from Bruce Lee's first major movie and about 1000 others. This plot is problematic because, when the hero refuses to fight, he typically gets beaten and beatings have no entertainment value as far as I am concerned. Otherwise there might just be few fights. This movie gets around that by having many different characters fight. There is some comedy and some creativity added to the fights also. Most of the actors have 30-40 credits but even as a hard core fan I don't remember any of them.
In film making there are basic rules about cutting and editing. As an audience we are unaware of this as the pictures we see flow smoothly. When these rules are not followed the audience feels like the pictures are jumping around and it is hard to follow. That is a problem with parts of this movie.
My copy is a digital file that plays on a HDTV as wide screen but small with dual English and Chinese subtitles. This is typical of laser disk sources.
Fans of this genre are always looking for something different, something memorable about the movie to distinguish it from so many that blur together. If you pay attention this one is a tad different in small ways but there is no single magic movie moment. I recommend it for all hardcore fans of the genre.
Serving authentic Filipino stick fighting with a double side order of cheese
It starts like Spanish soap opera with our hero and his teacher talking at the dinner table. Next the evil Spanish conquistadores who have taken over the Philippines are pillaging and raping. They stop at our hero's home to collect the extortion payment.
As a hard core fan of martial arts movies of the golden age from 1967 to 1984 I accept there is a lot of bad along with the good in these movies. I can accept or put up with a movie with little or no plot, one dimensional characters with no development, over-acting, goofy dialog dubbing and other cheesey things that would make most viewers turn it off. There is a general rule that the better the martial arts the more cheese that can be tolerated.
One thing I do not tolerate is bad martial arts. I have practiced kali, arni, escrima, whatever you want to call Filipino stick fighting. The stick fighting here is rather basic but authentic. I have also practiced fencing and the fencing in this movie is similar to what a child would do with a long pointy stick. Fencing is a sport not a martial art. It was invented so that male adults could play with swords and not get hurt or killed. Three kinds of swords are used. The epee and foil are both long with pointed ends. They can only minimally be considered as weapons. The only attack is a thrust and the only damage it could do to an opponent is a stab. In a real fight such a stab, even if to the heart, is unlikely to stop or even slow down an aggressive attacker. The saber is the most recent addition to the sport of fencing. It has a true blade edge and the tip is a knife not a pin point. In a real fight the saber could dismember or kill an attacker.
If I had to choose between using an epee or foil in a real fight against a skilled fighter or picking up a chopstick I'd use the chopstick. The use of fencing techniques and weapons in this movie annoyed me way beyond any of the cheese.
My copy is a digital file made from a VHS recording of a television broadcast. The original dialog is English.
I do recommend this movie for hard core fans of the genre because of the Filipino stick fighting. This style is rarely seen in these movies and here it is presented authentically although rather basic and slow. I also think Filipinas are the most beautiful women in the world and there are many to look at in this movie.
We will always have Paris but not much martial arts
It starts with Tam Sing goes out for medicine for his dad when the loan sharks demand payment. Dad dies. A student of the old guy joins in to fight the gang and the two become kung fu buddies. They become gangsters working for some boss and making big money then decide to go to Paris and be their own boss. By ten minutes in the plot has been stretched to the breaking point but that doesn't stop them - off to Paris!
This is the second of two movies starring Tam Sing. He was another martial artist who seemed to come out of nowhere in the 1970s to star in martial arts movies and then quietly returned to nowhere. I have no biographical information about him other than his screen credits for this movie and 1974 "The Sharp Fists in Kung Fu". I assume the production company made some money on the first movie so they took that money and spent it all on a European vacation to make a second movie planning to make more money and continuing that business plan. Problem was this movie turned out to be a double nostril stinker. Many movies were made according to this business plan in the early 1970s and I cannot think of a single one that was not a putrid turd.
The movie has the typical lengthy travelogue sequences as the stars drive around Paris looking at the sites. From a movie viewer perspective these scenes can be soporific. I like them because I like to see how the cities looked years ago without ten million tourists and gridlock everywhere. I wish for a time machine to take me to Paris back then.
Back to the movie. I could go on at length about the basic Film Making 101 mistakes committed. Instead I will just detail one important rule. Start the scene as late as possible. For example, if it needs to be established that the character has checked into a hotel then perhaps start with him opening the door to his hotel room. If you want to make a boring movie that is obviously padded for runtime then show the character getting out of his car, walking through the parking lot, checking in at the front desk, riding up in the elevator and then opening the door to his hotel room.
This movie is way below average for the genre and I cannot recommend it for fans. I watched it once and I am done.
Profligate means recklessly extravagant, wasteful of resources. Now that I know I doubt I will use the word again. The title on my copy has a typo - "The Iron Trofligates".
It opens with three guys attack and kill a man on the beach who claims to know nothing. Cut to the big boss, played by Tien Yeh, hires a new guy but this involves talking to the police first. Our hero, Tong Lung, lurks in the background during all this. As usual, it's all about drug dealers as the bad guys.
Tong Lung is another of those actors from the 1970s who seemed to come from nowhere to lead in a few martial arts movies in which they displayed good skills and then vanished back to wherever it was they came. Other than his credits I have found no biographical information about Tong Lung. I do have almost all of his movies and will be reviewing what I have. His first movie and lead was "The Ferocious Brothers".
My copy is a digital file that pays on a HDTV as a square shaped low resolution video. The dialog is Chinese. The English subtitles look like they were added by a fan. Thank you, unknown fan!
The action in this movie, particularly by Tong Lung, is competent. He has good posture, strong moves and is on target with the blows and blocks. Beyond that there is nothing special. The story drags whenever the action is missing for a while. The entire movie is adequate and quickly forgettable so I rate it totally average for the year and genre.
Fans of Jimmy Wang Yu only, to watch once and done
I first watched this movie back in August 2015 and wrote a review but could not find the movie listed here on IMDB. Now I find it along with two user reviews. I appreciate jddog130's review for clarifying the title problems. Fans of this genre are well aware of this and are often left scratching our heads and wondering exactly which movie we are watching. Bey Logan had that problem in one of his audio commentaries. He acknowledged the movie had titles problems then made his choice for a title but he chose wrong. I can add this movie has also been titled "A Dollar a Fist".
My copy is a digital file made from an Ocean Shores 1980 VHS. This plays on a HDTV as a square shaped video with poor resolution and English dubbing. The English is done by the "A team" of voice over actors.
It opens with murder, rape, and child abuse which results in the child losing his left hand from the evil Japanese guy's sword stroke. I would bet the farm the child grows up to be Jimmy Wang Yu and I would win that bet. This time Jimmy forgoes the one armed fighter bit and just wears a black glove supposedly covering a prosthesis.
Jimmy wants to make his way to Japan for revenge against the big boss. The story stagnates for a while when it becomes all about gambling and two girls. When the fights resume it is like watching the same fight over and over. Perhaps even the director became bored and added a motorcycle chase to the final fight sequences. It didn't work.
At this point in time the only person watching this movie would be a hard core fan of martial arts movies of the golden age from 1967 to 1984 who wants to watch every movie made by the great Jimmy Wang Yu. I am such a fan. I watched the movie, wrote my review, and I have no intention of ever watching this below average movie again.
The movie starts with five minutes of training and fighting and no dialog until Lau Wing (the lawyer in "Back Alley Princess") defends himself against a knife in the back and kills a man. It's the general's only son so it is complicated.
Sammo Hung appears in this movie. It is a Golden Harvest production filmed in South Korea with Sammo as action director and Wu Ma as the director. Sammo and his gang play the typical one-dimensional Japanese bad guys. They rob, kill, and lust for Chinese ladies. These activities fill the movie as it drags along to the climactic big tournament. The gang has been killing off the contenders to guarantee a win. Their brilliant plan fails. Our hero wins the tournament and all is right, everyone is happy, and the world is a nice place once again.
My copy is a digital file that plays on a HDTV as wide screen but the picture is small. The dialog is Chinese with English subtitles.
I first watched this movie back in 2015. I wrote some notes and intended to post a review here but didn't. Now I am back to watch it again and post my review. I really wish I had done that in the first place because no one should have to watch this movie twice. The fatal flaw is the action sequences all look alike, are all basic stuff with minimal effort apparent in the execution, and no attempt at anything beyond that.
Just another average and forgetable film in the genre
It starts in a casino where a fight starts. Next is an abrupt cut to Lau Kar-Wing and crew mining on a mountaintop. Tino Wong Cheung enters and orders some "special quality rocks". There is a fight and Sek Kin is the master that stops it. He gives our hero words of wisdom, particularly "do not fight". Our hero is soon framed for murder.
The star and action director is the great Lau Kar-Wing. Lau Kar-Wing, a.k.a. Liu Chia-Yung, is the brother of Lau Kar-Leung, a.k.a. Liu Chia-Liung who I consider to be the most important man in the history of martial arts movie. They do look alike and used that feature in 1982 "Legendary Weapons of China", the movie I consider the greatest martial arts movie of all time. I could only tell them apart by his brother's mole over his eyebrow.
Lau Kar-Wing with his brother began a movie career in the black and white Wong Fei-Hung movies then moved on to Shaw Brothers. I could go on for pages praising his work but fans of this genre are already well aware of his accomplishments. Instead, I will use this review simply to say thank you for the great movies.
My copy is a digital file that plays on a HDTV as the typical VHS quality size and quality video. It is English dubbed by the "A" team of voice over actors. I first watched this movie about four years ago. By about the one hour mark the movie was not holding my attention so I stopped. The posting on IMDB needed corrections before I could post my review. I decided to wait for that and try to watch the movie again later.
Lau and Sek spar briefly hand to hand. It's a good fight but nothing special. Sek fights again versus two assassins in hand to hand. It is also a good fight but nothing special. He dies from a backstab. The weapons come out for the final fight and these are the best fight sequences. The movie does drag in the middle from too much talking about the plot. Overall nothing about the movie makes it any better than just another average one for the year and genre.
It starts with street performers doing martial arts and acrobatics. This is one of the most frequent scenes in this genre. Then there is a twist: a flashback to other street performers doing martial arts and acrobatics. This should not have worked but somehow the first 20 minutes of this movie was one of the most creative and engaging openings in this genre. The next 45 minutes or so was just average. The final fight was all good.
Alex Lung Ji-Fei made 7 movies from 1973 to 1975, this being the first. He is another one of many martial arts movies lead actors who seems to have come from nowhere then quickly went back to where he came from. I can find no biographical information about him.
I watched this movie under the title of "He Walks Like a Tiger". It was the typical VHS quality of the old Ocean Shores releases but there were no credits. It was dubbed into English.
I have been on a mission to view and review every martial arts movie of the golden age from 1967 to 1984. Many of these movies are not good. Some are really bad. The best part of my mission is coming across an obscure movie that that has something special. It has been quite a while since I found a gold nugget in the muddy creek. It's a small nugget but gold. I recommend it for all fans of the genre and rate it above average.
It starts with women on a forced walk to become prostitutes. Our hero (pulling a coffin on a cart) intervenes and after a fight sets them free. One girl follows him. He goes to town and stops at the teahouse to eat but they have a problem with him parking the coffin out front. After another fight he leaves with takeout food.
A straight forward story, heavy on the drama but they did not forget the action as it is good and plenty. There is no conflict, it is all black and white. The hero keeps his moral ground, he is unbeatable from the beginning but needs a bit of help at the end. It was interesting and held my attention all the way. I rate a tad above average for the year and genre.
The lead, Henry Lu Yi-Lung, was in about 100 more movies, many martial arts movies, and this is the first I have noticed him. I find no biographical information about him.
It starts with a guy chased down and captured. His wife asks the town chief for mercy. The heinous fiend is banished for his crimes. He commits rape and robbery on the way back to his gang. Sun Chia-Lin fights off a rapist. Cut to the heinous fiend hosts a party for his big dumb son who lacks sexual experience. Back to the rapist brings some buddies and takes on Sun Chia-Lin again with the same results.
I have no personal information about Sun Chia-Lin other than her credits. She was in 52 films from 1971 to 1987 and many of them were martial arts films. I have watched and reviewed a few of her movies but this is the first time I really noticed her. In this movie her fights were above average. She did ten or more moves before a cut, had power and focus, and appeared balanced and comfortable with the punches, kicks, and blocks, and even some acrobatic moves.
I'm a hard core fan of this genre and have watched thousands of martial arts movies but I've never heard of the leads in this movie despite each of them having a significant amount of credits. My copy is a typical VHS size and quality video. There are dual Chinese and English subtitles. The English subtitles seem to have been added by a fan. Thank you, unknown fan.
The storyline is awkward with the villain introduced first and our girl and her male friends brought into a conflict without reason. But anyone watching this movie today would only be a hard core fan of the genre and certainly used to feeble stories and just watching it for the fights. There is a lot of good fighting in the movie. It is almost all hand to hand. Most of the fights are above average but instead of getting better toward the end I felt the fights got sloppy toward the end. There was a lot of arm flailing, wind mill moves, and high kicks that showed a lot of blue sky between the foot and face.
I rate this movie just a tad above average for the genre of martial arts movies of the golden age from 1967 to 1984 and recommend it for hard core fans.
One man's only movie credit and he was better than others with many credits
It opens with a dragon dance and street performers. The people watching get their queues cut off by some guy who is actually testing if the magistrate will prosecute them as rebels. A tinker is knocked over in the scuffle and Nancy helps him in. Her father owes a guy money and he starts a fight. The tinker is a rebel agent from the south. He goes to meet iron somebody who is also a rebel but with a different agenda. The blind guy asks if he can stay at the inn, he will play and his daughter will sing. There are a lot of characters and a lot going on in this movie.
The male lead is Cheung Chaan-Ting. This movie is his only credit. I have no biographical information on him but I have questions. How did he get a lead for his one and only role? Why only one acting credit? Where did he come from and where did he go to? I'll never know. All of his fights are above average for the year. The fighting is straight up hand to hand martial arts. Some acrobatics are cut in but no wire work like flying. There are no weapons used. The fights never get repetitive. He shows good power, speed, and focus. The final fight sequence includes a guy using a snake.
Nancy Yen Nan See had over 43 roles from 1969 to 1982. Her first lead martial ats role was 1971 "The Matchless Conqueror". She appeared often with Wen Chiang-Long and sometimes with Jimmy Wang Yu. I have reviewed many of her movies here.
My copy is a digital file that plays on a HDTV as wide screen. It has the Ocean Shores 1985 title. Though wide screen the resolution is poor, below VHS quality. It is English dubbed. The dubbing is not by the "A team" and can be annoying at times.
I rate this slightly above average for the year and genre. I have been looking for a better quality copy but haven't found one. I recommend this movie for all fans of martial arts movies of the golden age from 1967 to 1984.
A good movie to introduce new viewers to the genre
The movie starts with murder and robbery. Chin Kang (Kam Kong) has a criminal record as a thief but has served his time and now earns an honest living as a blacksmith. He is the dumb ox in the title and this role was made for him. Leung Siu-Chung (Bruce Leung's father) is one of the action directors. His strength is making the fights solid and realistic. The story is a twist on the revenge plot with Chin Kang being falsely accused. There is quite a bit of drama in this movie but it is all done well and serves to spice up and not drag down the action.
This movie has a few titles depending on country of release. In 2015 I watched a German version based on the title screen "Shaolin - Der Todesschrei des Panthers" (Return of the Panther). This copy was dubbed into English. The movie is also known as "The Dumb Ox" or "Kung Fu Strongman" or "Chinese Kung Fu". "The Dumb Ox" is considered the original title. That copy played as 4:3 video with both sides of the picture cut off. (Back in the VHS days that was how it was done. Chop!) Since then I came across a wide screen version. Wide screen versions of these movies from the 1980s and earlier are hard to find. It was dubbed in English but overdubbed in Russian. I suspect this to be a fan edit. Thank you, Russian fan, but I don't speak Russian and cannot remove that audio.
I originally reviewed the movie and rated it 8/10 and ranked it as one of the best martial arts movies of 1974. I also recommended it for viewers beginning to get into this movie genre.
This year I watched the movie again. I played the muted video of the wide screen and synchronized it with the audio of the English dubbed 4:3 version. It's always interesting to watch a movie again after many years to see if I feel the same way about it.
Kam Kong or Chin Kang was a student of the Korean martial artist Dorian Tan (Tan Tao-liang). His first movie lead was alongside the great Kurata Yasuaki in 1973 "One by One" which I also reviewed here. Other than his birthdate of August 26, 1936 and his movie credits I have not been able to find information about his life. I have watched almost all of his 61 movies and rate most of them above average for the year and genre. "One-armed Boxer vs. the Flying Guillotine" with Kimmy Wang Yu is my favorite. Chin Kang's fighting skills are supreme in this movie. He does twelve or more moves without a cut and versus multiple opponents in many fights. He demonstrates power and accuracy with his strikes and parries. His posture and all the small details of fighting are spot on. Plus, he has concurrent facial expressions in his fights that match the choreography and add to the visual experience.
I totally enjoyed my second viewing of this movie. My opinion, rating, and recommendation of this movie is the same as it was four years ago. I rate this movie as one of the best martial arts movie made in 1974 with a score of 8 out of 10.Only the Shaw Brothers series of Shaolin Temple movies rate higher.
Typically I only recommend these movies to other fans of the genre. This time, in addition to that, I also recommend this movie to anyone who is thinking about watching a movie of this genre to see if you like it. It is a fine movie to introduce new viewers to the genre.
If there is an English dub of this movie I can't find it
It opens with four guys with nets and tools walk to a beach. They spot a small boat just off show. The boat crew attacks and kills them. A man in a military uniform suddenly appears and challenges the boat guys. As they fight, John Cheung Ng-Long appears all dressed in white. The title screen flashes. There is an abrupt cut to a man walking to his execution. He escapes. Michael Chan appears involved in capturing him. But when they fight they stop and seem to have a history together.
The action was off to a good start with something different as the criminal had his hands tied during his fight to escape. Overall the fights were all above average. There was good power and the moves never seemed repetitive. The only downside I found was the focus was off at times. Back then film was expensive and "take two" usually was not an option.
My copy is a digital file that plays on a HDTV as wide screen but small with German dubbing. I have only been able to find German and Spanish dubbing for this movie. I do not speak German. Sometimes these movies can be followed despite a language barrier. I had a hard time following this one. So I have to adjust my review to focus only on the action because I didn't really get the story.
I can only recommend this movie for hard core fans of martial arts movies of the golden age from 1967 to 1984 and with the warning about the language barrier.
Has all the flaws of the worst martial arts movies
It starts with a fight and it is a good fight. The movie totally stinks otherwise. The plot begins with the martial arts expert who has promised his mother he will not fight. Everywhere he goes people fight him for paper thin or total nonsense reasons. He leaves town and drags his mother along with him. There is no way a situation like that can result in entertainment. In the next town he gets in fights either because he might be a rebel or he might not be a rebel, whatever is appropriate at the moment.
Bolo is introduced as the villain yet he does nothing to show the viewer that he is a bad guy at all. Bolo challenges the hero to a fight and Bolo loses. (I can only remember one fight in all the movies Bolo did that he won.) Upon losing, Bolo offers friendship, but the hero refuses. Again, Bolo as the villain is just not coming across. The hero next meets his long lost brother. Brother tries to stab him in his sleep! What a reunion. Hero has no problem forgiving him for that but he cannot forgive him for working for Bolo.
Overall no one in this movie can act even for the briefest moment. The storyline makes no sense or consistency. The English dubbing is forced to fit the exact moments the actors are moving their lips and the tone of the voice actors is cartoonish.
There are plenty of fights but after the third fight or so it is all just the same thing over and over again. The use of the nunchucks as a weapon is totally unrealistic as choreographed. It is not the worst martial arts movie ever made but it has all of the fatal flaws of the worst. There were no special moments. I watched it once and I will never watch it again.
It starts with two guys on a stage fighting in a tournament. Cut to son/father argument and son leaves home. He goes drinking with his friends. A bunch of tourists leave without paying after hitting on the owner's daughter. Jimmy steps in and a fight results.
The first fight features white guys as stunt men. The result was as bad as anything ever made in Hollywood. Why use white guys as stunt men when there were hundreds of extremely talented Asian guys available for $10 a day?
Jimmy apparently killed the guy and is doing hard labor in the next scene. He gets a mean letter from his sister blaming him for father's death. He swears never to fight again. On release from prison he refuses an offer to fight in legitimate martial arts contests.
Jimmy Heung Wah-Sing began his career starring in this one movie. He then went on to co-found Win's Entertainment with his brother. Fortune followed by producing Stephen Chow's movies. This was either fabulous luck or his suspected link to the triads. It could have been talent too but no talent was evident in this movie.
I am a hard core fan of this genre and I never heard of this movie. I acquired it only because it was labeled as martial arts. I tried to review it on its own merit since it is a one of a kind. The "fighter who refuses to fight" plot is emotional and requires acting that builds up to the climactic moment. Jimmy has one emotion - frustration. One movie - one emotion. He also does "passed out drunk" but that doesn't count. The only good fights in this movie were with Tsai Hung and he has done better.
Bottom line, I watched it once, I'll never watch it again, I cannot recommend it, and rate it below average for the year and genre.
This movie has many alternate titles including "The Dragon and Tiger" or "Match for Dragon and Tiger" or "Blood Avenger" or "Bamboo Brotherhood" or "The Dragon's Executioner". There is also a 1973 movie with a similar title "The Dragon and Tiger Joint Hands". I have also reviewed that movie on IMDB.
This movie starts with a child witnessing rape and murder. He grows up during the opening credits and is an unbeatable hero. The first fights are beatings because the hero is so good. The pace then slows down as the daughter of the villain and a hooker are introduced. The plot is revenge so you can guess how it ends.
My copy is a digital file that plays as wide screen on a HDTV. The dialog is dubbed into English. I do not recognize the voice over actors but they do the job without being distracting. It seems to be a true wide screen and the resolution is comparable to a DVD but without any restoration.
Yu Tien-Lung had his first lead in 1972 "The Insanity Being". I also reviewed this movie here. I also reviewed another of his leads 1973 "Infernal Street" which I rated as just average. Other than his movie credits I have no information about him. He has good posture during his fights. The moves are smooth, show enough power, and are close enough to the target. He does a few extended sequences of about ten moves or so without a cut. All of this adds up to good as can be expected for a lead in this genre in 1974.
I rate this as just a tad above average for the year and genre. I recommend it for only hard core fans of martial arts movies of the golden age from 1967 to 1984.
Heavy on drama but heavier on the fights make this a tad above average for the year and genre
It starts when a big shot arrives and another guy tries to kill him but fails. Cut to our guy getting hung. He refuses a deal. Then it turns out he wasn't really executed. They want him to kill the big shot. He says doing so would only make it worse for the townspeople. He heads home. The big shot gives orders through another guy who has a grudge against everyone in the town.
It's all political and heavy on the drama but plenty of fights. Make sure you know which movie you are watching. There is also a 1974 "Dragon and Tiger".
My copy is from a French VHS release. "La Panther Jaune" or "The Yellow Panther" is the screen title. The credits and such are in French. The dialog is also in French but there are English subtitles. I suspect the subtitles were added by a fan. Thank you, anonymous fan! The picture size and resolution are typical of VHS quality but sometimes the picture is wavy at times and the subtitles are lost.
The plot is "hero won't fight" and in this case unless something is lost in the translation it seems he won't fight because he is too dumb to see that the bad guy is really a bad guy. There is also a character using "iron head" technique. This could be the first I've seen it in a movie. The great Gordon Liu was known for using this technique in some of his Shaw Brothers movies.
The fights are long and they don't get repetitive so based mostly on that I give it a 6 out of 10. I also recommend it for hard core fans of martial arts movies of the golden age from 1967 to 1984.
I first watched this movie back in 2015 but did not post a review. I didn't finish watching it because it just did not hold my attention. Today I tried again. My copy is a digital file that plays as a 4:3 sized video similar to the old VHS format. It is English dubbed. It is the "A team" of voice over actors but the dialog is progressively out of synchronization toward the end.
Be careful of what movie you are watching as there is a similar title South Korean movie from 12/1/1973 "Tornado of Kuang Chou" or also known as "The Devil's Assignment" or "The Blood Wind". I also reviewed that movie.
The movie opens with the helpful narrator explaining the foreigners are taking over China. On the shipping dock the Chinese coolies work for foreigners who smuggle guns and opium. The first fight is a brief brawl. The second fight is also a gang fight. Dorian shows his high kicking spinning style with a few moves at the dinner table. (Spinning like a tornado, see title.) This somehow results in a bedroom scene with the lovely Woo Gam (Hu Chin).
Woo Gam has always been my favorite non-martial arts actress of this time period. I found scant biographical details about her. Her mother was an opera performer. Typical of the times it was her looks that got her off to a start in movies and she most often played the sex kitten role. In my opinion she also had talent for comedy roles.
This is Dorian Tan's first movie. He was a martial artist first and gained movie popularity because of his flashy kicks. His movie career ended about the same time the golden age of martial arts movies ended in the early 1980s. Currently he teaches Korean martial arts in Los Angeles.
The movie needs to be reviewed as Dorian's introduction. I rate it just a bit above average for the year and genre and recommend it to hard core fans of martial arts movies of the golden age from 1967 to 1984.
A bit above average but only for hard core fans of the genre
The movie opens with demonstrations at the martial arts school. Next, in the dark, our hero Charles Heung returns to town and finds his uncle stabbed to death. He is falsely accused, flees, and takes refuge at the home of the guy who owns the casino. A suspicious gambler wins big and Charles follows him, suspecting he is the real killer. It gets complicated after that.
I first tried to watch this movie about four years ago but failed because the copy was poor to the point where I could not see anything of two fights in the darkness. I since came across a better quality copy. It is a digital file that plays on a HDTV as wide screen with English dialog. If you come across this movie make sure you get the wide screen version rather than the 4:3 video.
It is notable that the action director was the great Yuen Wo-Ping and many others of the clan appear as stunt men.
1973 was Charles Heung Wah-Jeung's breakout year for martial arts movies. He starred in no less than 6 movies that year. I also reviewed "The Big Fellow" and "End of the Wicked Tigers" and "The Magnificent Boxer" and "Beba, the Mermaid" and rated them all just average. I consider his high point as a martial arts actor in "Goose Boxer". I reviewed and rated that movie as one of my favorites of 1978. Charles went on to be a big name producer of Win's Entertainment and China Star Entertainment Group. His personal life is linked to one of China's biggest organized crime groups, the Sun Yee On triad. Charles has often denied involvement with triads. There is plenty of information about this online so I will not repeat any of it. If you are interested I recommend starting with his biography on Wikipedia. Charles is also a philanthropist and involved in poverty relief, natural disaster assistance, and free cataract surgery for seniors.
I rate this movie a tad above average for the year and genre and recommend it for hard core fans of the genre.
Starts good, ends good, but the middle is just filler
It starts with "Who are these people and why are they fighting?" It's a contest. At about 1:30 into the action Sammo Hung appears as a fighter. The big fight is Paul Chang Chung versus Charlie Chin Chiang-Lin. There is wirework in the swordfight and for two non-martial arts actors in 1971 it was a good fight. Paul rides off without his gold winnings. He finds his woman in bed with another man and kills them both then surrenders to the authorities. Walking to his execution he decides to escape. Melinda takes him in hiding.
My copy is a digital file that seems made from a television broadcast. There is an "8" in the corner as in Channel 8 I suspect. The resolution is comparable to an old VHS tape. The dialog is Chinese with no subtitles and I do not speak Chinese. Initially the story was easy to follow. The extended drama in the middle of the movie was hard to follow.
Though the opening fight looked good, the rest of the action was below average. The moves were off balance and not smooth. There was no power in the punches and kicks and the focus was mostly off target. The movie became heavy on the drama after Paul's escape. There were only a few short fights until the final fight. The last ten minutes is the final fight with Paul versus Melinda. Most of the action is Paul avoiding her attacks. There is a lot of wire work also. Melinda's attacks are powerful and on target. So the two good fights are the first and last. The action in the middle is all below average.
I rate this as just average for the year and genre. I recommend it only for hard core fans of the genre.
It starts at a train station then quickly cuts to a casino. The sex scene was just weird and I will say no more. Nick and Wilson meet and fight then realize they are on the same side. The plot is revealed as the standard evil Japanese plot.
This was Nik Cheung Lik's third lead role since 1973 "Kung Fu's Hero". I also reviewed that movie. I noted that Nik seemed to have some skill with the nunchuks but overall most of the action was sloppy as in off target or poor timing. This movie is a definite improvement in the action.
My copy is a digital file that plays on a HDTV as widescreen but small. The resolution is typical of the old VHS tape format. The dialog is English dubbed by the "A team" of voiceover actors.
There is plenty of diverse action and the story doesn't drag too much. The Japanese army has guns and guns are always a problem when mixed with martial arts. Except for one scene the guns were nothing more than props, so problem solved. The most interesting scene was the two naked women swordfight. It was too short but 90 minutes would also have been too short. Overall the movie doesn't get any better than average for the year and genre. I would recommend it for hard core fans only.
It opens with guys dumping a coffin from a boat into shallow water. It washes up on shore. The body has fallen out and comes up fighting. There is an abrupt cut to a fight in a martial arts school. Pai Ying gets an important phone call but nothing is said. Mr. Big talks things over with his girl.
Paul Chun Pui has one of the longest careers in Hong Kong movie history, from 1949 (as a five year old child) to 2018. He was another of the many established dramatic actors with no martial arts skills cast as martial artists during the golden age of martial arts movies from 1967 to 1984.
Today this movie would only draw the attention of a hard core fan (like me) of the genre's golden age. My copy is a multigenerational copy that has lost most of its color and resolution. The dialog is Chinese and the subtitles are English and another language I can't identify but resembles Arabic script. The resolution is so poor I doubt the script is readable. This poor condition is something hard core fans of the genre have come to accept. In the 1970s movies were disposable entertainment that had no value after the theatrical run ended. This movie would have been on five large film reels about the size of large pizzas. Sometimes the reels were returned to the production companies but even then they were just put on a shelf somewhere. Otherwise the last theater on the circuit either had a shelf in the rear or a garbage can out back for the reels.
This is an early gangster movie. All the fights, even in the martial arts schools, are basic fist fights. The only difference is adding judo throws. The gangsters also have guns which are okay gun versus gun but become problems gun versus fist. The big final fight takes up the last ten minutes. The runtime seems long but is only seventy minutes. I rate is as just average for the year and genre.
Asian actors in blackface and times have certainly changed
My copy is a digital file that plays on a HDTV as widescreen. It has a logo "Letv" so I suspect is was recorded from a television broadcast. I do not recall how I acquired it. The dialog is Chinese and there are no English subtitles. I do not speak Chinese.
The movie starts with cartoon animation over the opening credits. Next Polly and her friend, Samuel Hui Koo-Kit, await an arrival at the airport. They meet a man and in the next scene they are working at a restaurant. There was a gag involving the language barrier but I didn't get it. They take a trolley and foil Chin Yuet-Sang the pickpocket. His gang accosts them on the street. The female pickpocket victim and her martial arts teacher come to finish the fight.
The first fight was at about eleven minutes into the movie. It was comedic and the execution was sloppy. She spars with Idemura Fumio and that fight was good. The next fight is a brawl in the restaurant and back to sloppy. The final fight lasts about five minutes. It is also a sloppy brawl.
Polly has a photo of a girl she seems to be looking for and that seems to be the plot. I can't discern anything more without understanding the dialog.
Yes, Polly did appear in a similarly title movie 1973 "Back Alley Princess" with Angela Mao. I reviewed that movie as below average. Polly has been around since 1967 "Dragon Inn". I also reviewed that movie as one of the best martial arts movies ever made. This movie marks the low point of her career in retrospect. She and Samuel play in full blackface in public at about the eighty minute mark. In 1974 this was comedy but times have changed .
I rate this movie below average and cannot recommend it. After watching it once to write my review I doubt I will ever watch it again.