I know that I am excited about Sharknado Week going on right now on Syfy, but I have to admit that today’s movie is kind of bringing back some childhood memories. Mainly due to the fact that it is Sunday and back in the day, Sunday afternoons tended to be when they would show the classic kung-fu movies like today’s movie. Now I have never heard of today’s movie, or most of those types of movies that have been in the Martial Arts box set, but they all seem like the movies that I would have been on back then. So let’s see how entertaining today’s movie is as I watch Shaolin Deadly Kicks.
The plot: A group of bandits known as The Eight Dragons break into a house one night and, after their leader tells them not to kill anyone, they quickly knock out the people inside and begin searching for a treasure map. When they find the map, they go to leave but the owner of the house returns and after one of the Dragons accidentally says who they are, they are forced to kill him and everyone else so as not to leave any witnesses. Hiding out in the woods, one of the Dragons, Scarred Dragon, wants to go ahead and dig up the treasure, with several other dragons agreeing with him. However, Chief Dragon says that they should wait, as there is too much heat after them due to the murders, and suggests waiting three years before going after the treasure. When the other Dragons grow distrustful about his holding the map, Chief Dragon cuts it into 8 pieces and hands each of the Dragons a piece, then tells them they will meet back in 3 years but until then, they should stay out of trouble. Some time later, one of the Dragons has been staying at a brothel but ends up being caught by the police when he tries to steal some stuff to give the madam. In prison, another prisoner suggest they try to escape but the Dragon doesn’t want to at first, as he knows he will be out in a few days, but changes his mind and they come up with a plan with a third prisoner. The third prisoner fakes an illness and when the guard comes to check on him, he steals the keys to the cells and frees them. Later, the Dragon meets up with another member of the group and together, the two Dragons try using their parts of the maps to try and find the treasure, unaware that they are being followed by the police officer that arrested the Dragon bandit. The two dragons, as well as the two other crooks, start digging but find no sign of the treasure when one of the crooks reveals himself to be a police officer named Fong Yee. Fong Yee, along with the other officer, starts fighting the two Dragons and gets their pieces of the map back but the other cop is killed in the fight, as is the other crook. Fong Yee goes to see the third member of the Dragons and informs him that he killed two members of the Dragons and will let him live, plus get a doctor for the man’s son, if he just gives him the map. The Dragon goes to get the map but chooses to fight Fong Yee instead of giving him the map and Fong Yee is forced to kill him, but heads to his family’s house and gives the Dragon’s mother money to pay for the doctor, saying it was from her son. Elsewhere, a woman named Jade is travelling through the forest when she is attacked by a group of bandits. She manages to fend them off for a while but when they start to overwhelm her, Fong Yee shows up and manages to defeat or chase them off. Jade and her escorts thank Fong Yee and as they go their separate ways, Jade keeps looking back at Fong Yee as he walks away. Later, One of the Dragons hears about the three deaths and sets a trap for Fong Yee, having a snitch spread false rumors about where the Dragons will be meeting. When Fong Yee gets there, the Dragon’s men use smoke bombs to distract Fong Yee, then throw bamboo spears at him. Fong Yee appears to be killed and one of the men goes down and retrieves the pieces of the map but Fong Yee, knowing it was a trap, had faked his death and then uses a disguise to confront the Dragon and retrieve the map pieces. As he is leaving the city, Fong Yee comes across a fifth member of the Dragons and gets the piece of the map from him but spares his life. Later, Fong Yee sneaks into the home of the 6th Dragon member and tries to steal his piece of the map but ends up being captured, while the Dragon bandit kills his brother, who was the Dragon that Fong Yee had spared. Fong Yee manages to escape, freeing a forced bride on his way out, and returns the next day to reclaim the piece of the map. After defeating the Dragon’s guards, he begins fighting the Dragon, who uses a blade to cut up Fong Yee, but Fong Yee manages to defeat him. The Dragon hands over the map piece but as Fong Yee goes to leave, the Dragon throws a poisoned knife into Fong Yee’s back and Fong Yee kills the Dragon before stumbling out of the house. Making his way into the woods, Fong Yee pulls out the knife from his back but ends up passing out from the poison. When he comes too, he finds himself in a house with his wounds bandaged. Jade appears and tells him that she found him and the woods and brought him to her home, where she had her father help cure him of his poison. When Fong Yee asks about his clothes, Jade says she washed them, then hands him the pieces of map he was carrying. Jade goes to get more medicine for Fong Yee from her father, who happens to be the Chief Dragon, and he starts asking her questions about Fong Yee. When Chief Dragon finds the poisoned knife in the woods, he realizes Fong Yee is the one who killed the other Dragons and tries to kill him several times but is stopped by the appearance of Jade, who has fallen in love with Fong Yee. When Chief Dragon heads into town one day, he sees Scarred Dragon waiting for him, who reminds him that the 3 years is almost up. Wanting to keep Jade from knowing his past, and fearing for her safety with Scarred Dragon around, Chief Dragon speaks with Fong Yee and asks that he leave town and Fong Yee agrees to go but Jade overhears them talking and gets upset. Fong Yee talks with Jade and tells her the truth about who he is and what he has been doing and Jade asks what he will do when he finds the other two. Meanwhile, Scarred Dragon wants to kill Fong Yee after finding the pieces of the map and learning how he killed the other Dragons but Chief Dragon refuses to let him. Chief Dragon gives Scarred Dragon his piece of the map, as well as the ones Fong Yee collected, and asks that Scarred Dragon just leave and spare Fong Yee but Scarred Dragon kills Chief Dragon. When Jade and Fong Yee return to the house, they find Chief Dragon dead and quickly go off in search of Scarred Dragon. When they catch up to him, Scarred Dragon uses his clawed grapples to fight with them but and injures both of their legs. He then scales the top of a tower to use the map and find the treasure, knocking Fong Yee off the tower when he climbs up after him. Seeing the grapple on the ground, Fong Yee uses it to try and grab Scarred Dragon but ends up ripping open his bag of explosive powder. A distracted Scarred Dragon ends up falling through the week ceiling of the tower and Fong Yee grabs Jade and they run as the powder explodes, killing Scarred Dragon.
This is actually a pretty decent movie. The acting was pretty good, with the usual dubbing issues you would expect to find in one of these movies. The story was pretty straight forward and once it was established who Fong Yee was, there was nothing really surprising about it. I did like how Chief Dragon basically tried to turn his life around by becoming a healer, and the third one was also going straight, while the other Dragons seemed to continue doing evil things. The fight scenes were a lot of fun to watch and reasonably well coordinated. Plus, they had all the cool “whooshing” sound effects that you would expect from one of these movies. Some mindless entertainment to enjoy, but not worth hunting down.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5