Return of the Chinese Boxer [1977]

This DVD finally arrived this week [9-26-2000]. It's from Crash Cinema. That should give you an idea of what we are up against. The source is a ragged 35MM print with scratches galore at the beginning and end of each reel. No extras on this DVD, with 11 chapter stops. Dubbed poorly in English, soundtrack is noisy and on the low end. Look closely and you can see the projectionists' prompts pass by the gate.

Martial arts superstar Jimmy Wang Yu [whose name is spelled Wong in the film credits] plays Rapid Fist, a mysterious Chinese martial artist who is on a mission to protect a princess while she journeys to meet a Japanese general and his pretty henchwoman. Along the way Rapid Fist meets Flying Dagger, with his exploding knives, and Black Crane, who uses four pistols. The Japanese use 3 zombie warriors against Rapid Fist in a very funny sequence. The final fight between Rapid Fist and Black Crane is quite odd. Black Crane's special weapon is a giant 8-barrelled shotgun.

Watching this film gave me the sense that this was pieced together with footage from another project. Some scenes seem like 'filler'. The main sequences with Wang Yu are really great. The opening title sequence has Jimmy training against mechanical bows firing arrows, some of which he catches in his mouth, and then kicking and punching "heavy bag" dummies through walls, all the while maintaining that stoic Wang Yu glare. It's a fun movie. When the invincible zombies are introduced the film makes a huge leap from being just an ordinary 'chopsocky' to being 90 minutes well spent.

Worth a rental. Get your local video rental store to stock it. Save your cash for something else.

Copyright © 2006 John Crawford. All rights reserved.