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Tiger Cage

Posted by Josh Samford On June - 21 - 2011

Tiger Cage (1988)
Director: Yuen Woo-ping
Writers: Kwong Kim Yip and Wing-Fai Wong
Starring: Dodo Cheng, Simon Yam, Jackie Cheung and Donnie Yen



The Plot: Inspector Shirly Ho (Dodo Cheng) is a police woman who lives and breathes for the law. When her husband, and fellow policeman, is shot down in cold blood, her world is turned upside down. Things become even more chaotic in her life when she finds out that her husband was apparently a corrupt police officer. Her two friends Fan Shun-yu (Jackie Cheung) and Terry (Donnie Yen) start to do some digging and find out that their Sergeant, Uncle Te (Ng Man-Tat), is also a corrupt official and that may not be the end of the bad-roots within the HK police department. Will they manage to root them all out or will the corrupt officials put a stop to their quest for justice.

The Review
Tiger Cage may not be a widely talked about title, but it is one that I have been looking forward to for a long time now. As anyone who reads this site may have noticed, we at Varied Celluloid are most assuredly fans of Donnie Yen. Tiger Cage marks one of his earliest roles and shows the actor when he was still under the tutelage of Yuen Woo-ping, who also directed this film. Touted as Donnie Yen’s first time stepping into the choreographer/action director’s chair, it is a title that certainly marks an important step in his career but it is also a rather fun and inventive piece of action cinema from the glory day of Hong Kong action cinema. Made in the wake of of John Woo’s pioneering A Better Tomorrow, Tiger Cage is a mix of Kung Fu and heroic bloodshed excitement. Martial arts cinema, with gun-fu, directed by Yuen Woo-ping and features Donnie Yen as choreographer? Tell me you’re not excited!

Although Donnie isn’t the star of this film, he is certainly an attraction and part of the reason the film still has a degree of longevity. However, Donnie isn’t the first nor the last member of this epic cast to achieve international fame. Jackie Cheung is the true leading man here, while Donnie Yen serves as a strong supporting cast member. Cheung is likely best known for his role in the classic Wong Kar-wai film As Tears Go By. Cheung is a serviceable lead here and has his chance to shine whilst performing in the requisite melodrama that the heroic bloodshed genre often calls for. Amongst a cast of very over-the-top performers, Jackie Cheung manages to stand out as he displays a great reservoir of righteous indignation. Speaking of known scenery chewers, of course we have one of the crown holders in this department, Mr. Simon Yam. Yam is in classic form as he showcases his natural ability to play slimy and disturbed characters. Years before he would be known for starring in every single Hong Kong film produced, he was easily one of the best slime-balls in cinema.

The absolute star of Tiger Cage though is the tremendous action set pieces that punctuate the film several times during its run. The introduction to the film is easily the most insane sequence from the entire movie. A traveling gun fight that runs from several sets and culminates with a series of death-defying stunts, it is the stuff of internet-highlight-video fame. Amongst these is a tremendous fall from one roof to another that sees some poor stunt man being absolutely hammered as he lands in a very terrifying manner. Although Yuen Woo-ping wouldn’t direct many heroic bloodshed titles himself, the work he does here on Tiger Cage stands up very well next to the litany of other titles out there that try to emulate the John Woo formula. He manages to mix in the traditional martial arts alongside the use of modern weaponry, and the resulting action is superb.

However, if there’s an area that draws Tiger Cage down, it would be the convoluted plot which takes us through a by-the-numbers case of corruption and melodrama that has essentially defined this genre. Jackie Cheung and Dodo Cheng are great in the lead and they handle this drama with the skill of veterans, but unfortunately there isn’t a lot of pathos involved here to suck the audience in. The characters tend to feel a bit hollow without a lot of personal tragedy or triumph for the audience to latch onto. When your big emotional montage toward the end is made up of generic and corny moments from just thirty minutes earlier in the movie… you don’t have a lot of character in your product. This lack of character is probably the one thing that holds this back from being a true “classic” piece of cult cinema.


The Conclusion
You get some brutal violence, some wicked martial arts and a wealth of entertaining ideas thrown against the wall, and most of it sticks! While it’s nothing spectacular in the grand scheme of things, if you’re looking for a quick dose of action and excitement (or you’re just finishing off Yuen Woo-ping’s filmography) you really can’t go wrong with Tiger Cage. It gets a solid three out of five.




Trailers From Hell Vol. 2

Posted by Josh Samford On June - 20 - 2011

Trailer From Hell Vol. 2 (2011)
Director: Not Available
Writers: Not Available
Starring: Bryan Trenchard Smith, Joe Dante, Guillermo Del Toro and many more.


The Review

Trailers From Hell, which is based off of the website of the same name, has become a true fixture in the film geek community. The concept, in a commercial form, seems even more profitable than other “grindhouse” trailer compilations such as the 42nd St. Forever films, so it was only a matter of time before the DVD’s started to hit the market. Although this DVD might not catch the eye of passive movie-go’ers, for film enthusiasts and all around geeks this might prove to be too entertaining a prospect to pass on. The premise is simple. You take some of the most creative genre-film directors and commentators in the business and you get them to offer commentary over trailers for some of their favorite b-pictures. So, there is no true “plot synopsis” on this disc other than to say that several great minds sit around and talk to the camera about movies that they have loved from their past. This disc isn’t a general movie, obviously, so it’s difficult to critique it as a whole so I’ll glance over some of the most engaging moments from the one hour long set.

The very first director to introduce a title on this set may turn out to be one of my favorites, as we get Bryan Trenchard Smith commenting on both The Devil Ship Pirates and The Stranglers of Bombay. He is everyone’s favorite Australian genre-movie filmmaker and he is also well spoken and almost always interesting. With The Devil Ship Pirates he has a lot of fun, as he points out the Napoleonic ships used in a movie about the Spanish Armada, but he always remains affectionate. The Stranglers of Bombay, the second of Smith’s choices on the set, was another Hammer produced title (along with The Devil Ship Pirates) and Smith goes into a bit of background on the film and its dealings with the BBFC due to its rather grizzly material. He also expounds on the film and its dealing with the very real Indian cult The Thuggee which were the main inspiration for the strange natives in Steven Spielberg’s The Temple of Doom. Bryan Trenchard Smith, who is easily one of the most relaxed and outgoing filmmakers out there and whom will gladly speak with his fans as if they were friends, seems to be as caring about cinema here as he presents himself outside of the camera’s gaze.

Ernest Dickerson (Dexter and Juice) covers The Quartermass Experiment (aka The Creeping Unknown within the US market). Dickerson’s presentation is similar to a very detailed review, which is a bit different from most on the set and is actually impressive since he manages to elucidate his points very clear with such a small amount of time. Dickerson, who is a director I wouldn’t have known straight off the top of my head, is well spoken and turned out to be one of my favorite speakers on the set.

Guillermo Del Toro, who is far from being an obscure choice, presents Dario Argento’s Deep Red in both the English language as well as a special Spanish version. The way that Del Toro describes his love for both Deep Red and Argento is incredibly passionate. In the short amount of time that he talks, he makes some very thoughtful remarks on Dario Argento as a director and what precisely made him special as a filmmaker. The logical versus the lyrical is discussed and Del Toro makes some of his most thoughtful remarks while discussing Argento’s use of violence in comparison to childlike and soft visuals and how that tends to create something bizarre. Del Toro also presents the 1957 version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame which is a classic piece of horror that featured Anthony Quinn in the lead role. A sentimental favorite for the filmmaker, he has more fun with less overt praise for the title.

Joe Dante, the brilliant director who never seems to hold back during any speaking engagements, has fun whilst giving his interviews/commentaries. He first covers Donovan’s Brain and, the same with the rest of the gentleman here, he is well spoken and goes into a lot of the background information for the film. Including amongst his dialogue, he talks about its influence on many aspects of the general “mad doctor playing with brain surgery” concept that has been played with time and time again. The second feature that he discusses is The Invisible Ghost which featured Bela Lugosi on his downslide. The film seems like fun and although Dante generally razzes it for the majority of the trailer, he seems knowledgeable about its production and has a true affection for it and the Monogram Pictures studio that produced it. Jack Hill, who has to be everyone’s favorite true “grindhouse” film director, gives an introduction and discussion on his very own second film: Pit Stop. If anyone had information on this picture, it would be him. Hill describes it as potentially one of his best films and certainly one of his favorites, despite it never being given the chance to catch on with an audience. It’s a film about figure-8 racing and features Hill’s go-to actor Sid Haig. A film I never would have pictured coming from the early work of Jack Hill, it’s a title that jumped right up my personal “to watch” pile.

That really seems to be one of the best features of a compilation such as this one. Sure, you can youtube trailers for hour after hour and come up with some pretty strange titles, but when you hear John Landis describe his affection for Gorgo (a British kaiju film of all things) your enthusiasm jumps up several additional notches. The background information provided via the commentaries also gives insight into the context and history of these films, so not only is your interest piqued after watching this DVD but there is a strange connection now between you and any one of these titles.


The Conclusion
There are so many others on this set and so many other outrageous films. Josh Olson (Infested, A History of Violence), Larry Karazweski (Ed Wood, The People Vs. Larry Flynt), Lloyd Kauffman (The Toxic Avenger, Tromeo & Juliet), Mick Garris (The Stand, Riding the Bullet), Mary Lambert (Pet Sematary 1, 2), Michael Peyser (Hackers, SLC! Punk) and of course the godfather of b-cinema Roger Corman pops up on the disc. Corman’s very own Little Shop of Horrors is also included on the Shout! Factory DVD as a supplementary feature for the first time ever in widescreen. For what it is, I have to say I enjoyed this compilation. It’s very simple stuff and it drew me in as a viewer. I give it a solid four out of five.




Delinquent Girl Boss: Blossoming Night Dreams

Posted by Josh Samford On June - 18 - 2011

Delinquent Girl Boss – Blossoming Night Dreams (1970)
Director: Kazuhiko Yamaguchi
Writers: Norio Miyashita and Kazuhiko Yamaguchi
Starring: Reiko Oshida, Junko Miyazono and Yukie Kagawa



The Plot: Rika (Reiko Oshida) is a juvenile delinquent recently released from the reformatory. She at first finds work at a cleaning business, but soon enough the bossman ends up putting the moves on this young woman and her jealous wife demands Rika leave. So the young woman packs up her things and heads out on the streets of Shinjuku where she runs into a local pimp, who is really more a geek than anything, as well an all-girl gang who she quickly has to trounce. The bottle nose geek just so happens to work as the manager for a local bar, and he takes Rika in where she meets up with a set of familiar faces. The owner of the club is a sweet older woman who at one time was a juvenile delinquent herself, so she has become a matriarch figure for many of the girls from Rika’s old juvenile home. The yakuza however aren’t so interested in these good deeds and are instead interested in the land that the hostess-club happens to sit upon. These goons are currently trying to muscle in on the owner of this bar as they want to bulldoze the property. Since the owner inherited this particular building, it means a lot more to her than just a pocketful of money. This doesn’t go well with the Yakuza and soon enough the girls are forced into a conflict with these criminals.

The Review
The Pinky Violence genre is one that means quite a lot to me. Although I have only been delving into these titles for a little more than two years at this point, I feel that I have accomplished quite a bit of viewing in that time and have loved the discoveries I have made. The genre, as with any, is eaten up with both good and bad titles along the way, but every now and then you’ll run into something so fresh and different that you have to talk about it relentlessly. Within the Pinky Violence genre you’ll usually find films that expound upon their well known genre excesses (most notably cute girls getting naked and causing extreme bloodshed in battles with one another) but there are still some that take a course into very creative moments, most notably their characterization and social subtext. The Delinquent Girl Boss series is one that didn’t wrap its hands around my throat and demand that I pay attention when I first watched Worthless to Confess, but it did feature Reiko Oshida who i was an immediate fan of and whose filmography I most assuredly meant to track down.

Blossoming Night Dreams, the first of the Delinquent Girl Boss (or Zubek├┤ banch├┤) series, doesn’t prove to be any more groundbreaking than the previously reviewed Delinquent Girl Boss: Worthless to Confess, but it does show the blueprint that was honed here and later copied for many other films within the genre. This series of four films, directed by Kazuhiko Yamaguchi and starring Reiko Oshida in varying roles with the name Rika, made the young woman a star and although I find it hard to argue that these movies are all that exemplary on their own; they do paint a vivid picture of both the Pinky Violence genre as well as the rebellious spirit of Japanese cinema during the seventies.

Within the very first few minutes of Blossoming Night Dreams we are introduced to the anti-establishment attitude of the era. A young girl is onstage, dressed in a brides gown, giving some form of recital about female etiquette. The teacher who is schooling the young girls makes it known that becoming a bride is simply the greatest thing any woman could hope to aspire to be. This of course leads to the teacher being smashed in the face with an egg before one of the girls rushes onto the stage and begins to strip the bride of her clothing. An act of defiance on behalf of the director in order to knock down the misogynistic society of the time, or simply a bit of titillation? You’ll find in the Pinky Violence subgenre that often these two things are one in the same.

While these movies were certainly about empowering women to a degree, we know that these movies were certainly marketed towards a male demographic as well. When you watch two back-to-back shots that show women lifting their legs and kicking at the camera so that their panties are fully displayed in frame, you know that this is a movie that respects the appetite of its core audience. As with the majority of the film, it doesn’t attempt to break from the mold of Pinky Violence titles. We have plenty of nude women, some rape, shirts ripped open and of course the always epic cat-fight showdown which is treated with a rather grandiose set-up that goes slightly unfulfilled. Yamaguchi attempts to give this cat fight a Sergio Leone vibe, but when the girls start pulling each other’s hair and slapping each other, it tends to take away from that epic build-up.

Reiko Oshida is, for me, the number one contributing factor for this films success. She’s one of those great Pinky Violence vixens that may not be as well known as Miki Sugimoto or Reiko Ike, and most certainly she hasn’t reached the cult appeal of Meiko Kaji within the international market, but she was an actress with a larger than life presence. The Japanese girl with a buxom physique that most often centered around her legs, she was physically different from the majority of women who were cast in these movies but also her bubbly personality gave life to her performances. It doesn’t hurt that she is curvy, sassy and incredibly sexy, but as a pure talent she is one of the better stars of the genre. The rest of the cast here are mostly made up of regulars in the series, including Yukie Kagawa (The Horrors of Malformed Man, Girl Boss Blues: Queen Bee’s Counterattack and Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41) as well as guest star and Kinji Fukasaku regular: Tatsuo Umemiya (Cops Vs. Thugs and Graveyard of Honor). Aesthetically, Blossoming Night Dreams is a beautiful piece of work. As a first time filmmaker, director Yamaguchi puts his best foot forward and certainly delivers on the promise of great visuals that the Pinky Violence genre looks to deliver. The colors are as lush as ever and the costume and set decoration paints a vivid and lively world that doesn’t seem close to our own reality. There are quiet and tender moments, such as a sequence on the beach between the characters of Rika and Tony, as well as a hellish decent into a drug-din that is rife with madness and seems like something out of a Teruo Ishii (Japanese filmmaker who specialized in the erotic-grotesque) nightmare. The visual qualities and the cast unfortunately aren’t enough to hold this one up on a pedestal. The overall product becomes somewhat murky as it goes along, with there seeming to be no true foundation for the story and through several episodic sequences we ultimately arrive at our final destination.


The Conclusion
A Solid, but not great, Pinky Violence outing. Delinquent Girl Boss: Blossoming Night Dreams introduces us to Reiko Oshida as a pop-princess within the world of Pinky Violence, but the story provides few surprises or twists. There are momentary flashes of brilliance, but they never have their time to shine. Still, a solid film and worth watching for fans of the genre. I give it a three out of five.




Red to Kill

Posted by Josh Samford On June - 17 - 2011

Red to Kill (1994)
Director: Billy Tang
Writers: Ho Wa Wong
Starring: Lily Chung, Money lo and Ben Ng



The Plot: Ming Ming (Lily Chung) is a special needs little girl whose father has recently died in a car accident. Ka Lok (Money Lo) is a social worker who is handed her case and helps her become comfortable within her new home for the mentally handicapped. This large school is run by Chan (Ben Ng) who is beloved by most everyone that knows him. Unfortunately, Chan has some serious issues that no one else knows about. For the most part he is the sweet and sentimental character that everyone sees him as, but whenever he sees the color red… he absolutely loses his mind. He strips off his clothing and looks for the first woman that he can rape. Muscular, covered in oil and wearing very little, he continually finds young women to take his aggressions out upon. However, when his attacks strike too close to home, Ka Lok will be the one to help avenge his injustices!

The Review
As someone who is a wee bit late venturing into the gritty and overly nasty world of CAT III cinema, I am quick to jump at the opportunity to find any new piece of truly transgressive and disturbing cinema. After all, what purpose does the CAT III rating really offer if not for utterly repugnant films? Well, in my new-found search I discovered This Week in Sleaze, which is an amazing Podcast dedicated entirely to CAT III films (and for a brief explanation of CAT III, read my review for Run and Kill) which is a part of the Podcast on Fire Network. The hosts King Who? and Sleazy K both mentioned Red to Kill in an earlier episode which started my search for the movie. Touted as a disturbing and overtly nasty title that was just blatantly “mean”, I knew this was truly Varied Celluloid territory.

I kick-started my venture into the work of “Bloody” Billy Tang with his magnum opus Dr. Lamb, but I have been steadily clawing my way through his other works such as the similarly titled Run and Kill, as well as this film here. A director who may not have a vast catalog of films, but it is a filmography chock full of incredibly subversive and disturbing material. His contributions to the world of CAT III cinema in particular proved to be genre-defining. His “go for the gusto” attitude and his cinematic lawbreaking made him a unpredictable filmmaker, which obviously makes him one of the more fun filmmakers within Hong Kong genre cinema. However, any review for Red to Kill deserves no mention of the word “fun” because if ever there was a movie that was the antithesis of that particular adjective, this may very well be it. Red to Kill is the movie that absolutely defines the nastiest reputations that CAT III movies have been given over the years.

While I think that Run and Kill had some of the more depraved moments between these two titles, Red to Kill definitely pushes the buttons of any person who might be slightly offended at the prospect of rape. Along with this consistent theme of rape, the movie also takes place in a mental home, so the thought of seeing those who are mentally handicapped being abused and denigrated is the other large attribute that this movie carries with it. Without a doubt this is the type of movie that doesn’t even know HOW to pull its punches. In fact, this is the sort of picture that you are going to have a hard time defending as a piece of entertainment on your shelf. There are many movies out there that deal with both the issues of rape and murder, but few deal with the subject matter with as much gleeful violence as this one does.

The moment you see this group of “special” kids, as someone familiar with Run and Kill, you might already start squirming in your seat. Right from the start there’s no question about what the intentions are in this movie. It’s here to push buttons. Yet, for a movie that is as vile and as disgusting as this one really is, the project is both visceral and beautiful looking. Even in some of the most brutal moments, Billy Tang and his crew still decided to keep an artistic direction flowing throughout their film. During the introductory rape sequence, where we see our then-obscured Ben Ng defiling a beautiful woman, this concept seems most apparent. The sequence is dominated by shots of flexing muscles, sweat and eruptions of steam. The sequence is the polar opposite of ‘sexual’ and seems to bring to life the animal spirit involved in the heinous act. During this sequence Tang takes advantage of a rather special set-piece revolving around a series of triangular metal columns that seem to stretch out into the infinite. Peculiar and bizarre, these stylistic choices are unnecessary but absolutely welcome.

Ben Ng is absolutely legendary in his role as Chan. Consistently overacting throughout, he emotes more in this film than the culmination of every extra in every Charley Chaplin film combined. His oeuvre of moves consists of strange faces, heavy breathing, twitching, making more strange faces, twitching whilst breathing heavy and also… this guy can make some pretty strange faces! He even does all of this before he goes absolutely maniacal and shaves his head during the final third of the film. Ng is in fantastic shape here and Tang keeps him oiled up and flexing throughout many of his earliest scenes. Although his character is an outright monster and not one that ever elicits even the remotest feelings of sympathy, I would be an outright liar if I said I wasn’t entertained with his performance here. If there are any entertaining factors within Red to Kill, it is the performance of Mr. Ng. The rest of the cast all sell their roles just fine, including Lily Chung who is perhaps the sweetest and most sincere leading woman that you could possibly want in order to garner sympathy from the audience.


The Conclusion
Overall, Red to Kill is a bit of a hit or miss kind of project. If you come into it expecting a cruel and unusual film, then you will most likely be left appeased. However, if you’re expecting anything other than a very average piece of exploitation, then you might want to look elsewhere as this one rarely goes off the beaten path. I give it a solid enough three out of five.




Once Upon a Time in China

Posted by Josh Samford On June - 4 - 2011

Once Upon a Time in China (1991)
Director: Tsui Hark
Writers: Leung Yiu Ming, Tang Pik-yin, Tsui Hark and Gai Chi Yuen
Starring: Jet Li, Rosamund Kwan and Yuen Biao



The Plot: Wong Fei-hung (Jet Li) is a legendary Chinese folk-hero who looks after the well being of the people. After his master is ostracized to Vietnam, Wong Fei-hung is left to form up the local militia within Hong Kong in the face of a tremendous number of foreigners stepping into China in order to take advantage of slave labor and local commodities. Wong Fei-hung is soon left in charge of 13th Aunt (Rossamund Kwan), who he begins to develop a relationship with. At the same time, Leung Foon (Yuen Biao) is searching for Fei-hung in order to become one of his students after being harassed by the Shaho gang who rule this small coastal town. This gang soon becomes the enemy of Wong Fei-hung after Foon is chased into his school, and it turns out that this gang has been hired by the foreigners. Soon Wong Fei-hung is attacked by this gang as well as city hall who are also in cahoots with the foreign invaders.

The Review
Every film critic or writer has to have a select number of films that generally intimidate them when it comes time to give some kind of a critical review. There are those films that have been so heavily praised amongst film critics for such a tremendous amount of time that any coverage seems like it will undoubtedly come across as old-hat material. How does one comment on a film when some of the best writers who have ever lived have already wrote entire books on a particular film, or filmmaker? There are those, which are more excusable due to our own fear of inadequacy, but then there are the titles that we grew up on as well. The movies that have left a tremendous impression on us, that we know we likely can not and will not remain objective with. Once Upon a Time in China is a film that truly lives up to that concept for me. Beloved by a limited but devoted group of fans, Tsui Hark’s magnum opus could very well intimidate any author due to its impact and due to the praise it has received in years past.

Once Upon a Time in China was, certainly during its time, a very important and game-changing title in the realm of Hong Kong martial arts cinema. The influence that Once Upon a Time… would have on the industry is something that is still felt throughout Hong Kong cinema even to this day. An “epic” that mixes everything that Kung Fu cinema had established up until that point, but does so with a touch of class and a revelry for folk lore that had not been seen in such an established manner. The film marks an important and interesting step forward in the word of martial arts cinema. Larger in scope and production values than most martial art films of the time, Kung Fu cinema would shed its simplistic past and enter into a new direction with the release of Jet Li’s worldwide breakout role.

What Once Upon a Time in China does differently from the films that came before it is enormous. There are elements from all of the varying offshoots of Kung Fu cinema that had been alive since the earliest days of cinema in Hong Kong, but the way the film mixed them all into a bag is what created this new and unique vision. You start things off by looking at the choreography. Taking the use of wires to exaggerate “flying” movements, this technique was primarily reserved for swordsman films and general Wuxia titles from back in the day. This sort of exaggerating was popular due to its root in Chinese folk lore, but the mix of this along with a more rooted tone was certainly a new concept. You never truly believe that Jet Li has the ability to fly whilst watching Once Upon a Time in China, but at key moments he is able to defy the laws of gravity for only the tiniest of instances. Then you have the very Chinese-centric sense of nationalism that pervades every frame of the film. Although we had seen this before, more often than not in Kung Fu titles that also focused on the turbulent years around the turn of 20th century where China had to deal with such a Western influence, it had never seemed so militarized. Wong Fei-hung had been represented as a national icon in years previous, but here he truly is the Chinese version of Superman. Truth, Justice and the Chinese fighting spirit.

The use of “wire-fu” is actually quite sporadic throughout the film, to be honest. This turns out to be a good thing and with the use being so subtle, it creates a new use for the concept. Many of the fight scenes are actually grounded in reality and not just a series of acrobatic “flying” sequences. The fights that break out between Wong Fei-hung’s students and a gang chasing Yuen Biao near the beginning of the film are handled very well and require little to no excessive physics-defying action. The few moments that really seem to break free of logical thought are handled very well, including the infamous “ladder” fight which may well be one of the impressive fight sequence in Hong Kong film history.

Part of what makes the movie so special, aside from the blistering choreography and the inventive new cinematography, are the performances from the all star cast. Jet Li had already made a name for himself within Hong Kong but this film along with some others would help solidify him as an international star. It would also introduce a great number of Kung Fu film fans to an entirely new generation of martial arts cinema. However, these are just contextual issues that make the movie great and I must assure you from the point of general film entertainment: it is one of the very best.


The Conclusion
Clocking in at two hours, something not entirely common for a Kung Fu title to be sure, the film retains a high quality pace that doesn’t relent throughout its running time. Fun, innovative, genius from a technical standpoint and certainly action packed… I really can’t recommend it higher. If you haven’t seen it, then you have waited too long to enter into one of the great trilogies of Martial Arts cinema.




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Varied Celluloid is a film website intent on delivering views on movies from all genres. Started in 2003, the website has been steadfast in its goal and features a database of over 500 lengthy reviews. If you would like to contact us about writing for the website or sending screeners, please visit the about page located here.

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