Call Him Mr. Shatter [1974]

An infamously troubled production, Call Him Mr. Shatter is the second film of a two picture co-production deal that Shaw Studios made with Britain’s Hammer Films, which also included the cult hit The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. American filmmaker Monte Hellman was hired to direct the film which features Shaw Studios stars Ti Lung and Lily Li Li-Li alongside American, British, and European actors. Filmed entirely in Hong Kong, the picture makes good use of the locations around the island.

In the aftermath of Bruce Lee’s death, Ti Lung gives the viewer his best shot at imitating the legendary star. He gives a good martial arts performance, the fight scenes are pretty good. Ms. Li seems to struggle with her English dialogue. Stuart Whitman’s performance is horrible. At this point in his career, this actor was better suited to American television series than to being any kind of action hero, or anti-hero which is the case in this mediocre Don Houghton screenplay.

Hellman and his English-speaking camera crew had problems with the Shaw’s factory style production methods. He was fired from the movie and replaced by British producer Michael Carreras. The finished film is pretty sloppy. Editing is off just a beat, holding some takes too long and others not long enough. Originally released in Britain under the title Shatter, the film was re-titled for its international release and made it to Hong Kong theatres in 1980.

Copyright © 2007 John Crawford. All rights reserved.