|The Hot, The Cool and The Vicious (1976)|
|Writers:||Chang Hsin Yi|
|Starring:||Don Wong, Tommy Lee and Dorian Tan|
|The Plot: Pai Yu Ching (Don Wong) is a killer fresh in town, and he is immediately roped into a fight at the local teahouse. Captain Lu (Dorian Tan) sees the trouble that he brings with him, and at first hopes to see Pai leave town. However, Lu has misjudged Pai, and the real problem is with those from his quaint city. Man Shan, the rebellious son of the mayor, who actually made Lu the captain of the police force, begins to harass Lu’s very own wife. When he breaks into their home one day and threatens her, he shoves Lu’s mother-in-law down causing her to smash her head into a table and die. Lu demands that Man Shan turn himself into custody, but the mayor immediately begins to hide his son and sends off for any martial artist who may be able to assassinate Lu. He assigns Pai Yu Ching to protect his home, but Pai has no problems with Lu and refuses to go out in search of the lawman. He simply promises to protect the mayor’s home. This causes the mayor to bring in the deadly Mr. Lung (Tommy Lee), who is a golden-haired monster of a martial artist. As it eventually turns out, Pai Yu Ching has a secret reason for aligning himself so close to the mayor and he is soon seeking Capt. Lu’s help. Will these two team together in order to defeat the nefarious Mr. Lung?|
A kung fu potboiler, The Hot, the Cool and the Vicious might be a bit slow in developing its plot, but it keeps things simple enough that audiences can easily keep up with the interchanging motivations. It doesn’t hurt that the necessary characters are both interesting and likable. Written by kung fu film veteran Chang Hsin Yi (Militant Eagle), he establishes all of the important elements early in the film and then fleshes the story out in a very responsible manner. If there’s anything I’ve noticed from the hundreds of kung fu titles that I have watched, it is that the weaker films often develop plot twists at the very last minute. The characters in our film today, however, are developed very early on. Even though this title may, on the outside, look like a ripoff of Secret Rivals, in many ways it does much more to play with narrative devices. In the most important aspects, however, it does lack in comparison. The cast isn’t as outrageous, the characters aren’t quite as zany, and the movie does lack in the comedy department.