action, crime, drama, martial arts, movie, movie review

December 2nd, 2017 Movie – Return Of The Street Fighter

return of the street fighter

Ahhh, a Saturday morning and I find myself watching a martial arts movie. That is really a flashback to my childhood, though the movies would usually come on in the afternoons, as I obviously needed to watch my Saturday morning cartoons first. Anyways, today’s movie is the first of two sequels to The Street Fighter and luckily for me, it happened to be a part of the Martial Arts box set. So let’s see what happens to Terry Tsurugi with today’s movie, Return Of The Street Fighter.

The plot: Terry Tsurugi is hired by Isamu Otaguro to kill two of his former business associates, one of whom is being held and questioned by the police. Terry speeds through town and fights the officers attempting to arrest him in order to get arrrested and taken to police headquarters. As he is being taken to his cell, Terry hears the man being questioned in the interrogation room and breaks free from his captors and smashes his way into the room. Once there, he takes out the guards and kills the witness, then fights off some more cops before making his escape out the window, where he gets into a car and drives off. As he drives, his assistant, Kitty, unlocks the handcuffs for him and then asks about when he will take out the next target. The next day, Shichiro Yamagami, the police inspector in charge of the case,  asks to be allowed to go after Terry but when he is turned down, he resigns. As he is leaving, the police get word that the man’s partner, who is also the second man Terry is to kill, has been spotted and they go to pick him up. The man is hiding in a movie theater while waiting for a flight to take him to Australia. When he sees the police looking for him, he tries to run but ends up running into Terry. Terry tries to stop him from leaving and the man ends up throwing the bag he is carrying at Terry so he can pull out a gun but ends up getting into a shootout with the police, while Terry escapes with the bag. Sometime later, Kitty takes the bag to Otaguro, where it is revealed to contain a priceless statue. At Masaoka’s dojo, Yamagami goes to speak with Kendo Masaoka and tells him what he knows of Otaguro’s martial arts academy and it’s ties to the Yakuza. He also asks Masaoka about Terry and Masaoka tells him that Terry is a skilled fighter and that they had fought once a few years ago. Masaoka goes to speak with Otaguro, saying he knows what is being said and if the rumors are true, that he should stop what he is planning and return the money but Otaguro gets angry and tells him to leave, summoning some of his stronger fighters to try and intimidate him. Meanwhile, Yamagami heads over the the building architect to ask him some questions about Otagura’s proposed building but the architect refuses to answer at first until Yamagami beats all of the security that had come to escort him out of the building. Elsewhere, Terry is working out in his gym with Kitty when they receive a secret message on an 8-track, telling them to head to a nearby subway station. Once there, a man gives them a key to a locker and when Terry opens it, he finds a suitcase of money from Otaguro and a note saying to kill Masaoka. Terry rips up the note and takes the money back to Otaguro, telling him he refuses to kill Masaoka, and after he leaves, Otaguro orders his men to kill Terry. Terry heads up to a snow covered mountain with Kitty and when she asks why he refused the job, he tells her he couldn’t kill Masaoka as he is the only person he can really trust. After riding a ski lift to the top of the mountain, Terry comes under attack from two of Otaguro’s assassins and manages to kill them. As he relaxes at a spa, Terry comes under attack again from a group of men but manages to beat them all, then places their unconscious bodies in a sauna and turns it on high while locking them inside. Back at his dojo, Masaoko is speaking with one of the men that runs another of his dojo and learns that Otaguro is forging his name to solicit donations for his organization. Terry returns to his hotel, where he ends up picking up a woman in the elevator. As they lay in bed together, the woman reaches into her purse to pull out a collapsible baton and tries to attack Terry only for him to easily disarm and beat her. Suddenly, the woman’s escort, an Arabian martial arts champion, breaks through the door and attacks Terry but Terry beats him and questions him, learning that the Mafia had sent him, before finally killing him. Kitty pleads with him not to go but Terry heads out to deal with Otaguro when he is confronted by Junjo, whom he had believed to have killed. Junjo, speaking through use of a voice box, tells Terry that he survived and the Mafia performed an operation to save his life in exchange for killing him and he eagerly agreed to it. Terry and Junjo fight and as Terry tries to fend off one of the sai that Junjo throws at him, he ends up falling off a building, crashing to the ground below, and Kitty cries over the body, pleading for him not to be dead before dragging the body away. The next day, Masaoka, Yamagami, and the heads of several other martial arts organizations, confront Otaguri about his crimes and his connections to the Mafia. A defeated Otaguri goes to see Don Costello and apologizes for what happened only for Costello to kill him, saying he will take over the operations. Costello sends some of his men to ambush Masaoka and the others as they have a celebratory dinner and shoot and kill most of them but Masaoka survives and manages to take out the men that had come to finish the job. Elsewhere, Kitty is tending to Terry’s injuries and is happy to see that he isn’t dead and pleads with him to keep fighting. Terry blacks out, where he dreams about when his father was executed for being a traitor and hears his father’s voice telling him to keep fighting and let nobody beat him. As he is eating and resting, Terry indicates that he knows Kitty was working for the Mafia the whole time and she admits that she betrayed them because she fell in love with him. She then tells him that Yamagami was killed and Masaoka injured and Terry makes plans to deal with the Mafia. As he heads out, Kitty is grabbed by the Mafia while she is walking and is tortured. When Terry arrives at Otaguri’s building, he finds Kitty lying on the stairs, and she warns him to run but he finds himself surrounded by Costello and his men. Costello tells Terry his plans for controlling the area, then kills Kitty but before he can kill Terry, Junjo stops him, saying he and Terry have to settle things. Terry lays Kitty’s body on a nearby table, using the time to slip two hidden blades into his hands, and as he faces off against Junjo, Terry throws the blades, killing one of the Mafia men while the other goes in Costello’s eye. Terry then begins attacking the men, making his way towards Costello, who is trying to escape. Terry eventually takes out all of the attackers, though he is wounded in the process, until the only people left are Junjo and Costello. As they continue to fight near an electrical transformer, Terry knocks Junjo into the leads, electrocuting him, then continues chasing after Costello. The two end up on the roof of a passing tanker truck and Costello pleads for his life but Terry strikes him, knocking him onto the hood of the truck, causing the driver to crash into the support for an overpass while Terry jumps to safety and watches as it explodes into flames.

Not as extreme with the violence but this was still a pretty good movie. Sonny Chiba did a good job in his role and I feel like he actually had a lot more character development with this movie than he did in the first one. I also liked Masafumi Suzuki returning as Masaoka but felt like Masashi (Milton) Ishibashi’s return as Junjo was a little anti-climatic. The story was pretty good, with Terry still working as a mercenary but showing a little more honor in how he handles his contracts. There were a lot more fights in this movie than in the previous and they were pretty well choreographed (such as the fight in the spa)  but the violence was toned down some, such as leaving out the x-ray scenes of various broken bones and some of the more violent death scenes. However, they did decide to leave in one of the funniest scenes I have seen in a serious martial arts movie. When Terry was facing the assassins on the mountain top, he punched one of them in the back of the head and….welll…eye poping out

Needless to say, this had me cracking up for how ridiculous it was. That aside, this is a fun movie to watch and a great way to indulge in some mindless action cinema.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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action, crime, martial arts, movie, movie review, thriller

December 1st, 2017 Movie – The Street Fighter

the street fighter

You know, as hit or miss as the Martial Arts box set has been, I will say that today’s movie is one of the reasons I am glad I got it. Now as odd as it may sound, this movie came to my attention by way of another movie. See, in the movie True Romance (which I will be reviewing sometime next year), Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette’s characters were watching a triple feature of the Street Fighter movies and my interest was piqued by it and decided to rent today’s movie one day. So let’s see what all the hype was about with today’s movie, The Street Fighter.

The plot: Tateki Shikenbaru (Junjo) is awaiting execution in his cell when the police bring a priest, Takuma Tsurugi (Terry), in to offer him last rites. Junjo refuses at first but after staring into the Terry’s eyes, Junjo asks to be left alone with the priest. The police agree and after they close the door, Junjo comments about Terry knowing karate and says he wishes he had the time to challenge him and Terry says he has the time so they begin fighting. Terry wins by using his oxygen coma punch, a technique which Junjo recognizes, and Terry tells him to hold on for 10 minutes before he falls victim to the punch. The police come to lead Junjo to his execution but before he reaches the noose, he collapses and the police send for an ambulance. As the ambulance makes it’s way to the hospital, they stop when a man (Ratnose) is standing in the street and as some of the officers go to move him, Ratnose attacks them. After he deals with the police and doctor, Ratnose is joined by Terry and they drive off in the ambulance. As Terry and Ratnose are watching the news about the ambulance theft, Gijun and Nachi, Junjo’s brother and sister, arrive and ask to see Junjo. When Terry refuses to tell them where Junjo is until they pay him the rest of the money they owe him, Gijun attacks Terry but Terry easily beats him. Nachi pleads with Terry to give him more time and Terry agrees, but says he will need some collateral, grabbing Nachi and kissing her. Gijun becomes enraged and attacks Terry again, joined by Nachi, and during the course of the fight, Gijun does a jump kick at Terry but Terry dodges and Terry ends up jumping through the window and falling to his death. Elsewhere, Kendo Masaoka, the owner of a karate dojo, informs his niece Sarai that her father, a wealthy oil tycoon, has just died while in Cairo and some people arrive to take her home but Kendo says that it is better if she stay there where he and his students can protect her. Meanwhile, Terry sells Nachi to Renzo Metaguchi, who proceeds to sell her to a sex trafficker. Renzo then introduces Terry to two of his associates, who want to hire him to kidnap Sarai but Terry refuses after learning that they are part of the Yakuza. Worried that Terry will be a threat to them since he knows their plans, the Yakuza send some men to kill him but Terry easily beats them and sends them back with a message for the Yakuza’s boss. Terry then heads to the dojo and after making his way to Sarai’s room, challenges Kendo and the rest of the dojo to a fight. Terry easily defeats Kendo’s students but Kendo is able to get the upper hand against Terry. After knocking Terry down, Kendo says he recognizes his name as belonging to a karate master from long ago who wanted to combine karate with Chinese boxing and asks Terry if he is his son. Terry, recalling the events of his childhood, is able to continue the fight and ends up battling Terry to a standstill. As the two men recover, Terry tells him what is going on and Kendo agrees to let Terry take over guarding Sarai, despite Sarai’s objections. Elsewhere, the Yakuza is coming up with plans to kill Terry and kidnap Sarai, planning on sending several of their strongest assassins to handle the job. Junjo happens to be in the same bar as the Yakuza boss and when he discovers that Nachi is one of his prostitutes, he quickly heads to her. Nachi is happy to see that Junjo is still alive and says that he has to avenge their brother’s death. The Yakuza boss, thinking it a coincidence that Junjo happened to be there and discover his sister, decides to take advantage of the situation and agrees to give Junjo a job so that he can get his revenge on Terry. Some time later, Sarai is preparing to head back home to deal with her father’s company, with two students from the dojo accompanying her. Terry and Ratnose follow in another car but the Yakuza box them in and use a crane to capture them, then drive to a ditch and drop the car into it. Two Yakuza members head down to ensure he is dead but Terry quickly manages to kill them. Heading after Sarai, Terry kills one of the Yakuza assassins that is waiting for him, then tells Ratnose to head back to the car and keep the motor running. Continuing to look for Sarai, Terry encounters Junjo and Nachi, who are there to kill Terry, and Junjo tells him he is too late, as Sarai is being taken to Renzo’s place as they speak. Junjo attempts to fight with and kill Terry but Terry jumps out the window, landing in the back of the truck and tells Ratnose to get them out of there. Meanwhile, Sarai and her escorts arrive at Renzo’s place, where Sarai’s father’s worker reveals he double crossed them. Sarai and her guards try to leave but they find their way blocked by a blind swordsman, who manages to kill both of the students, but the students kill his knife throwing companion before they die. The next day, Terry and Ratnose take a motorboat to Renzo’s place, where Sarai sees them and waves out the window to tell them where she is. Sarai is about to be raped but Terry climbs up to her room and kills her attempted rapist by castrating him by hand. Terry then has Sarai climb down the rope and he joins her but when Renzo’s men chase after them, he tells Ratnose to get Sarai to safety while he holds them off. Terry takes out several of the guards before Renzo faces him and the two battle to a stalemate when the other Yakuza bosses say they need to question Terry to learn where Sarai is. Terry is tied up and tortured but refuse to talk when Ratnose, disobeying Terry’s orders, shows up and attempts to free him but is captured. Ratnose gives up Sarai’s location to try and spare Terry’s life but the Yakuza end up knocking Terry off the cliff and into the water below. Ratnose heads down and manages to save Terry but Terry pushes him away, saying he betrayed their duty and are no longer friends. Terry heads out to rescue Sarai, who is being taken to a freighter out at sea but he encounters the blind swordsman on the docks. Terry and the swordsman fight, during the course of which a man on a motorbike interferes and is attacked by the swordsman. Terry manages to take advantage of the distraction and kills the swordsman, then discovers that the motorbiker was Ratnose, who was trying to make amends to Terry. On the freighter, Sarai learns that her father’s business partner was behind her kidnapping, as he wants her to sign over control of her father’s company to him, so the Yakuza will have a monopoly in the oil business. Meanwhile, Renzo speaks with Junjo and says that if he can defeat Terry, he will turn over control of his organization to him. Terry makes his way out to the freighter and begins taking out the guards as he tries to locate Sarai. Terry eventually finds Sarai but is unable to rescue her and Renzo says to let Junjo deal with him. Junjo and Terry head out to the deck and start fighting as a storm buffets the ship. During the course of the fight, the bodyguard of Sarai’s father’s business partner tries to shoot Terry and Renzo kills him and the business father for interrupting the fight. Nachi attempts to stab Terry but when she misses, she grabs onto Terry and tells Junjo to stab Terry through her. Junjo reluctantly agrees, killing his sister and severely injuring Terry, then continues to press the attack. When Terry is knocked down, Sarai rushes over and tells him to get up but Junjo pushes her aside and goes to finish off Terry. As Junjo attempts to strangle Terry, Terry manages to grab Junjo’s throat and rip it out, then get to his feet, where Sarai and Renzo both help him keep his balance.

While there isn’t a critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, the average movie goes loved this movie, giving it an 81% score on the site. The Street Fighter is famous for being the first movie to receive an X-rating in the U.S. due solely because of the violence in the movie (primarily because of the scene where Terry castrated a man with his bare hands). The movie, and it’s sequels, gained a lot of mainstream exposure after it was featured in the movie True Romance. 16 minutes were cut from the movie to give it an R rating, which is the version that was first released on home video. The movie has since been released in it’s entirety but is now in the public domain, where it can be downloaded for free.

This is precisely the type of film that you expected to see during the martial arts craze of the 70’s. Violence, violence, and more violence makes this a great movie to watch if you are in the mood for some almost nonstop fighting and action. Sonny Chiba was really good in his role but I will admit that some of his facial features during the fights were absolutely hysterical. The story was a little confusing after Terry’s first fight with Junjo, but it seemed to correct itself as the movie continued. The fight scenes were as brutal as you would expect from the title and while I think some modern movies look a little smoother, the choreography between Sonny Chiba and his opponents was pretty good. If you are a fan of martial arts movies, this is definitely one of those movies that you should watch, if for no other reason than the cultural impact it had.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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November 2nd, 2017 Movie – SPL: Kill Zone

spl

From a martial arts movie, to an anime movie, and back to another martial arts movie. I sense a pattern here. Now I remember first hearing about today’s movie years ago when I was going through a pretty rough patch in my life and, deciding on a change of pace from my usual sci-fi B-movies that I was drowning my sorrows in, decided to check it out. Needless to say, I obviously liked the movie as I own it so let’s see if SPL: Kill Zone is still as good of a movie as I felt it was back then.

The plot: In 1994, Inspector Chan Kwok-chung is escorting a witness and his family to court in order to testify against Wong Po, a notorious gangster. However, there car is t-boned by another car driven by an assassin named Jack, who ensures that the witness is dead. With the witness dead, the police do not have enough evidence to hold Wongin custody and he is released. Chan survived the crash, as did the witness’ young daughter Hoi-yee, and Chan decides to adopt her due to his guilt over her parents’ death. While visiting the hospital for a check-up, Chan is told that he has a brain tumor and while there is a chance to remove it with surgery, the odds of success are slim. Meanwhile, Hoi-yee had wandered off and encounters Wong, who was sitting in the hallway after being told of his wife’s second miscarriage. Hoi-yee offers Wong a piece of candy but as he speaks with her, Chan comes and pulls her away from Wong, then tells him that as long as he lives, he will come after him. Chan tells the members of his team (Inspectors Kwok Tze-sum, Lo-Kwun-wah, and Lee Wai-lok) about the cancer and they dedicate themselves to trying to bring Wong down, sending one officer undercover to infiltrate Wong’s gang. Three years later, Chan is set to retire in two days and turn over his unit to Inspector Ma Kwun and the police chief asks Chan not to cause problems before he retires. Chan and his team head out and one of Wong’s drug rings and afterwards, they head out to the beach with Hoi-yee. Ma meets up with them there and talks with Chan about his team while on the shore, Chan’s team are dismissive of their new boss and make plans to take care of Hoi-yee when Chan dies. That night, Chan is showing Ma the portion of the city that they are in charge and as they discipline a punk for throwing a bottle at a police officer, they encounter Wong, who taunts Chan by throwing his own bottle on the ground, causing several other thugs to do the same. The next day, Chan and the team arrive at the scene of a murder and discover that it is his undercover officer. At the station, a young man comes forward with a video tape showing the murder and Wah takes the tape to show Chan. Chan calls Lok and Sum into his office, excluding Ma, and they watch the tape to see Wong beating the officer with a golf club before he is shot by one of Wong’s henchmen. Knowing they can’t arrest Wong for murder, Wah suggests erasing the part of the tape showing who really killed the officer. Chan orders Wah to check on the witness, Lok to find the henchman who actually killed the officer, and Sum to come with him to arrest Wong. Ma enters the office to find out what is going on and they show him the altered tape and Ma goes with Chan to arrest Wong. They find Wong at the hospital heading up to see his one month old son and when they try to arrest him he starts fighting with them but they eventually overpower him and arrest him. Meanwhile, Wah is intimidating the witness to say that Wong was the one to kill the officer and ensuring that there isn’t another copy of the tape but after he leaves, the witness reveals he has another tape. Later, Chan and the others go to where the real killer is hiding and after chasing and beating him down, they kick him off a roof. Ma arrives in time to see them kill the man and after a brief fight, confront’s Chan about his framing Wong for the murder. Chan explains his reasoning for doing this, saying that they tried doing it by the books but were going nowhere, and leaves Ma. Ma is conflicted about what to do, as he had once beaten a drug dealer so bad that he is now a mentally handicapped homeless man and Ma’s guilt causes him to check up on him every week. Ma returns to the station to find several of Wong’s henchmen trying to confess to the murder and Ma tells the officers to take their statements but doesn’t turn in Chan or his team. Knowing they need a gun to frame Wong with, Lok contacts a dealer that is not associated with Wong and goes to get a gun from him and Ma accompanies him. Chan heads down to evidence to get the bullet from the crime scene while Sum goes to see his daughter and Wah comes with him. As Chan is in evidence, Wong’s men show up with the witness and the unaltered tape and the chief is forced to release Wong. The chief then goes to arrest Chan but Chan, sensing something went wrong, manages to avoid them with the help of Uncle Ba, an officer who is friends with Chan. Lok and Ma go to meet with Lok’s contact and when he demands more money, Ma goes to get it. While he is gone, another man shows up to talk with the dealer and after he leaves, the dealer and his friends suddenly race out of the area a few minutes later, locking Lok inside. Lok is approached by Jack, who proceeds to fight and stab Lok, but when Ma shows up and starts shooting at him to drive him off, Jack uses Lok as a shield, then slashes his throat before making his escape. Ma calls Chan to tell him what happened and Chan tells him to go check on Wah and Sum but he is too late as Jack shows up at the square where they are at and attacks them both. When Ma arrives there, Wah is still alive but barely and Wah tells Ma that they took the drug money from the raid and hid it in Lok’s car in order to help raise Chan’s daughter. Chan is finally able to sneak out of the station and meets up with Ma, who tells him what his friends did. Chan says if they give back the money, Wong will call off his men so Ma goes to get the money but Chan heads to Wong’s place with a bag full of newspaper clippings, claiming it is the money, and proceeds to attack Wong’s men but he is attacked and injured by Jack. Meanwhile, Ma gets the money from Lok’s car but as he goes to leave, he is confronted by the chief over Chan’s actions and Ma’s knowledge of them so Ma hands over his badge and gun, quitting the force. Ma then calls Wong and tells him he has the money and will turn it over so long as Chan is still alive and Wong tells him to hurry. When Ma gets to the building, he is met by Jack outside and the two start fighting, with Ma using a metal baton to counter Jack’s knife. After a brutal fight, Ma is able to beat Jack, killing him with his own knife. Ma heads inside and, seeing Chan’s body strung up, begins fighting with Wong. During the course of their fight, Wong’s wife calls and Ma, who has Wong in a choke hold, loosens his grip so that Wong can speak with her and Wong tells her to wait downstairs in the car. After she hangs up, the two continue fighting and Ma eventually wins, throwing Wong into the tower of liquor bottles and seemingly killing him. Wong then grabs a bottle of vodka and pours himself a drink then stares at Chan, who asks if he plans on cutting him down. Suddenly, Wong recovers and attacks Ma, pushing him out the window and Ma ends up landing on Wong’s car, killing his wife and and child when the roof collapses on them. Wong stares down the window and recognizes the car, just as his phone starts ringing with his wife’s ringtone, and Wong collapses into a chair. Some time later, Chan is seen at the beach with Hoi-yee and as she plays in the surf, Chan succumbs to his tumor and he ends up dying on the beach.

When I first heard about it, this movie was advertised as one of the best martial arts films of the century and I have to say, the claim isn’t far off. The acting was pretty good, with Donnie Yen (Ma), Simon Yan (Chan), and Sammo Hung (Wong) doing great jobs in their roles. The plot was really good, using a great deal of drama that only accented the brief times where the action scenes took place. The dilemma that Ma faced in deciding if he wanted to help Chan in his vendetta to bring down Wong under any circumstances was made even more poignant in the scene where he hung out with the drug dealer he crippled, as he deals with the results of his actions face to face. As for the fight scenes, they were great, with some of the fastest paced choreography I have seen in a long time. The fight between Ma and Jack (Jing Wu) was incredible and the weapon movement between the two was amazing. Whether you are a martial arts fan, a crime movie fan, or a combination of both, this movie is definitely worth watching.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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October 31st, 2017 Movie – Spirits Of Bruce Lee

the spirit of bruce lee

Happy Halloween everyone. I was hoping that the holiday would coincide with a horror movie but unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Now I always found it funny that martial arts movies from the late 70’s would capitalize on Bruce Lee’s name in order to market them in the US, even if they had nothing to do with Bruce Lee. Granted, it was probably the studio that released them in the US that did this but still, I feel like it is kind of sad that they couldn’t come up with a better way of marketing than to use the name of a dead man. Now let’s see if today’s movie, Spirits Of Bruce Lee, would have been able to stand up on it’s own marketing

The plot: A Chinese man named Chang Fan travels to Thailand to purchase some jade but as he makes his way through the jungle, his guide betrays him and Chang Fan finds himself surrounded by bandits. Chang Fan attempts to fend them off but his guide stabs him and the bandits steal the jade and Chang Fan’s watch, then leave him for dead. One year later, Chang Fan’s brother, Chang Chen-Wai, travels to Thailand to look for his missing brother. Stopping at a roadside restaurant, Chang witnesses a group of thugs arrive and force other patrons away from one of the tables. When the thugs see two girls walking towards the restaurant, they quickly surround them and attempt to rape them but a man, Li Pai-Yu, attacks them, allowing the girls to escape. Chang goes to help and the two men quickly drive off the thugs. Afterwards Chang and Li discuss where they are headed, Chang going to find his brother while Li is looking for work, and when they realize they are heading to the same place, decide to travel together. Reaching the town, the two friends part ways after Chang gets a room at an inn. Later, Chang talks to the innkeeper about his brother and the innkeeper says that he did stay there but just disappeared and after holding his room for a while, he was forced to sell his luggage. Chang goes around town and asks people if they have seen his brother with no luck but when he returns to the inn, the innkeeper introduces him to Mr. Wong, another Chinese man who had settled in the area, and Mr. Wong invites Chang to his restaurant the next day. Chang accepts, thinking Wong might be able to help him with his search but he finds out that Wong invited him there in the hopes that Chang would marry his daughter. As they are talking, Li shows up looking for Chang and Wong comments about Li becoming a new martial arts teacher in the area. As the two friends talk with Wong, Wong’s son shows up and Chang notices he has his brother’s necklace so he questions him about it, revealing his matching necklace that he owns. Wong’s son tells him that he and his sister found Chang’s brother near death on the path and he gave him the necklace before he died. Learning that his brother died, Chang asked to be taken to where they buried him and as he cries over the grave, Chang vows vengeance on whoever killed him. As Chang starts training, Wong’s daughter becomes attracted to him, showing him her own fighting skills as they briefly spar. One day, the two head into town and Chang notices a man gambling nearby who has his brother’s watch. Wong’s daughter lures the man away to where Chang is waiting and after a brief fight, the man tells Chang where he got the watch and takes him there. When Chang reaches the house, he questions the man inside, who turns out to be Chang Fan’s guide, Chang starts battling with the guide and as he gets the upper hand, the guide says his boss, Ming Pan-Tin ordered him to take Chang Fan on a dark path so Ming’s men could attack him but doesn’t tell him that he was the one to kill Chang Fan. As Chang swears to kill Ming, the guide attacks him but Wong’s daughter kicks the guide and knocks him off of a cliff. Meanwhile, Ming is told about Chang coming for him so he orders the guards around his house to be increased and his men leave, passing by Li, who had just been hired as a guard. Chang returns to Wong’s home, where Wong and his family agree to help him in his quest but Chang doesn’t want to get them involved so he sneaks out that night. Heading to Ming’s home, he takes out two of the guards and then sneaks into a bedroom, where he finds a man and woman having sex. Mistaking the man for Ming, Chang attacks and kills him, then leaves when the girl starts screaming for help. Chang starts fighting off the guards as he goes to escape but the real Ming, spotting Chang from his balcony, throws a knife into Chang’s leg then orders his men to take him alive. Chang continues to run but as he is cornered, Li knocks out the guard, then hides Chang until the rest of Ming’s men pass by. After the move on, Li and Chang are able to leave the property. Back at his home, Ming is upset that his men couldn’t find Chang but when he learns that Chang is staying at Wong’s place, he tells his men to go there the next day and deal with him. The next day, Wong’s daughter is tending to Chang’s injury when Li shows up and says he will help Chang get Ming but that they should make a plan and not rush in bull-headed like Chang did last night. That night, Ming’s men arrive at Wong’s house but when they find it empty, decide to burn it down. Chang and Wong’s daughter, hiding with Wong and his son in a nearby cave, see the fire and Wong stops Chang from rushing out to attack the men, saying they will deal with Ming later. Meanwhile, Li is keeping watch at Ming’s house and sees one of Ming’s men go into a secret room and bring back a rifle, revealing that Ming is smuggling guns into the area. Chang continues to mend and after his injuries are healed, he and the Wong family head to Ming’s place and take out his guards and then start attacking Ming. Meanwhile, one of Ming’s men heads into town and alerts the rest of Ming’s men and as they head to the house, Li sees them and goes to get the police. At Ming’s house, Ming fights with Chang and the Wong’s and manages to kill Wong before Chang kills him. As Ming’s daughter weeps over the death of her father, the rest of Ming’s men attack Chang and Wong’s daughter and son when Li and the police show up, taking Ming’s men into custody. As Li goes and finds the rest of the weapons while Chang grabs Wong’s body and leaves with Wong’s children.

This was a pretty confusing movie to be honest. The acting was ok from what I could tell but the dubbing was about what I would expect. The story was kind of a confusing mess, primarily where Li is involved as you had no idea he was working for the police until the very end. The fight scenes were kind of a mix in how good they were, with some being pretty good but some looked pretty poorly coordinated. So yeh, this is about as average of a martial arts movie as you would expect and pretty much par for the course with this time frame.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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September 3rd, 2017 Movie – Snake Fist Dynamo

snake fist dynamo

Two martial arts movies in a row. It’s been a while since I have watched multiple martial arts movies. So once again I find myself annoyed over the fact that martial arts movies tend to have multiple titles and sometimes, those movies don’t match with the titles given. Now to find out what kind of movie I have on hand today as I watch Snake Fist Dynamo.

The plot: A teacher is doing some martial arts training while his students watch and cheer him on but he is more of a buffoon than an actual master. When they return to the classroom, they find a man there trashing the place who wants to kick them out of the building. The teacher tries to placate the man but when he tries to fight him, the teacher lures him outside and manages to embarrass the man, who quickly runs away. When the teacher is told that the man will be back with his brothers, he decides to leave so as to avoid causing more problems, and when the man returns with his brothers, they find the class being taught by the teacher’s oldest pupil. The teacher travels through the country and, after being attacked several times by snakes, stops at an inn to rest. While he is there, two ruffians come in and assault the owner and the wife begs the teacher help her. Another patron tells him that he will fight with him and the two end up chasing off the ruffians. The teacher continues on his way and meets another traveler and they begin traveling together, stopping to let a funeral procession go by. As they reach the next town and get something to eat, they realize they have no money so they stage a fake fight to get out of paying. When the townsfolk start chasing after them, they manage to escape but the teacher gets caught up in a fight among the funeral procession, who are fighting over some gold that was found on the hill. As the rumors of the gold on the hill persist, the mayor is asked to put an end to the rumors but things are still going crazy in town so he decides to hire a new security chief and the teacher is hired and he has his new friend help him. The teacher has a run in with some of the mayor’s aides, who are jealous that they were not chosen to be the security chief and they start a fight but the mayor quickly placates them. Later that night, the teacher attempts to break up an illegal casino but the two aides yell at him for doing so. The female workers begin attacking him, while the two aides attack his friend, but the fight is stopped when the mayor arrives and tells the teacher to let it slide. The next day, the teacher encounters the innkeepers wife, who was thrown out by her husband and had been at the casino until he shut it down. She attempts to seduce the teacher into telling her if there really is gold on the hill and he tells her no but there is a cave far off that supposedly contains treasure. The mayor and his assistant release two criminals that the teacher had captured and try to follow them to the treasure but they are killed by a mobster instead. The next day, the teacher and his friend are approached by his former student and the man who attacked them at the school, who begs the teacher to teach him martial arts. As they are talking, they are approached by the mobster and his boss and a fight breaks out between them. The two mobsters are being overwhelmed but the other patron at the inn that helped the teacher shows up with two more men and with their help, they are able to capture the two mobsters.

Ok, this was a short, confusing mess of a movie. The acting was ridiculous, made more so by the dubbing. The main character was an absolute goofball and the dubbing just made him seem completely incompetent. The story made no sense and just seemed like they threw a bunch of ideas out to see what stick. I’m serious, I had no idea what was going on in this movie. The fight sequences honestly looked poorly done and somewhat sloppy, which is saying something considering some of the movies I have seen. The only redeeming quality about this movie is that it was short, but that is about it.

Rating: 1 out of 5

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action, martial arts, movie, movie review

October 2nd, 2017 Movie – The Snake, The Crane, The Tiger

the snake the crane the tiger

If I might have a brief moment of your time, I would like to offer my condolences to the victims of the shooting in Las Vegas. I hate waking up in the morning and the first thing I see is another pointless mass shooting. Now as to today’s movie, I get to go back to watching a classic martial arts movie. It has been a while since I saw one of these and a nice change of pace as far as movies go. So let’s see what is in store for me with today’s movie, The Snake, The Crane, The Tiger.

The plot: The Ming Emperor’s kingdom is being overrun and the emperor decides to deny his enemies the pleasure of killing him by killing himself. His daughter, 3rd Princess Chang Ping, pleads with him not to kill himself but to escape so he can rebuild his kingdom but the Emperor cuts off her arm in an attempt to kill her. When the enemy forces enter the chamber, they find that everyone has committed suicide but Chang Ping has escaped so the leader, Li-Tzu Chang, places a bounty on her. Chang Ping gets word of this and makes plans to leave the city and meet up with her aide later so she can plan her revenge. As Li-Tzu Chang’s men search the city, three of them harass a girl as she is eating when Ping’s aide stops them and embarrasses them and they quickly return with more men but they find she has already left and taunts them with a basket of eggs and a note. Meanwhile, the princess hides from some more men but as she goes to leave, a stranger tells her that she is going to die. She makes her way out of the city and hides in a field but the stranger follows her and tells her to come out. When she doesn’t, the stranger leaps through the air and begins slashing the grass, killing several men that were hiding in the grass. Another man emerges from the grass and offers the stranger a job working for Li-Tzu Chang but the stranger refuses and after a brief fight, kills the man. The stranger then tells Chang Ping to come out and when she asks for his help, he says he will help if she sleeps with him but when he learns she is the princess, he agrees to help her. That night, they attack Li-Tzu Chang but they are outmatched and the stranger tells the princess to run and helps her escape before he is killed. Chang Ping makes her way to a small house in the mountains where she finds a man, Hai Yu-Sha, playing a flute and reciting poetry. Hai Yu-Sha has his servant help the princess but when the emperor’s men arrive and try to take her, he kills them. He then speaks with Chang Ping and has his servant hide her as more men arrive but when they find no sign of Chang Ping, they leave. Meanwhile, Chang Ping’s aide, Tsu Yu, searches for her but finds no sign of her. That night, Hai Yu-Sha tells Chang Ping of how he wants to kill Li-Tzu Chang and she tells him of a secret passage they can use to get into the palace and kill him, unaware that they are being watched by Hai Yu-Sha’s servant. As they reach the palace, they find themselves surrounded and see that Hai Yu-Sha’s servant had betrayed them. However, it is revealed that Hai Yu-Sha was actually the one who betrayed Chang Ping, while the servant is a patriot who kills Hai Yu-Sha and helps Chang Ping escape but is killed in the process. Chang Ping soon falls into a trap but as she fights, Tsu Yu shows up and helps her defeat the soldiers, then tells her where she has gathered some other patriots to help fight but they are unaware that one of the soldiers survived and heard them. Chang Ping and Tsu Yu arrive at the temple but learn that Li-Tzu Chang’s soldiers are coming and so they all hide. As the soldiers hunt for them, Tsu Yu cuts off her arm in order to pose as the princess and tells Chang Ping to hide. When the soldiers find Tsu Yu’s body, they believe it is the princess and take it back to Li-Tzu Chang, but one of the soldiers knows it is Tsu Yu but chooses not to say anything. Li-Tzu Chang decides to go ahead and hold a coronation ceremony to make him king and hangs Tsu Yu’s body in front of the palace. When Chang Ping sees this, it drives her mad and she ends up starting a food fight between two merchants but it is broken up by Butcher Tu. The next day, Chang Ping continues to cause problems in the merchant’s area but when the other store owners capture her, Butcher Tu tells them to leave her alone. That night, Butcher Tu is surprised to see Chang Ping had followed him home and he decides to help her out by giving her a job helping him. When his sick mother asks about Chang Ping, he tells her that she is the girl he will marry, in order to please his mother before she dies. Meanwhile, Li-Tzu Chang learns that a general of the former emperor is heading there with the intention of overthrowing Li-Tzu Chang so he decides to hid in the mountains. The wedding ceremony commences and Butcher Tu tries to explain it to Chang Ping, who seems subdued, but when he goes to tell his mother that he is going to help the other patriots kill Li-Tzu Chang, he finds that she has hung herself, leaving her a note about how she is happy he found someone. In the mountains, Li-Tzu Chang and his men are attacked by the patriots and after killing several of his men, Butcher Tu faces off against Li-Tzu Chang. Li-Tzu Chang is able to get the upper hand and is prepared to kill Butcher Tu but heis saved by Chang Ping. As the last of Li-Tzu Chang’s men appears, he sees the princess is still alive and fights with Li-Tzu Chang to spare their lives. Meanwhile, Chang Ping goes to check on Butcher Tu, who asks why she married him when he learns that she is the princess. Li-Tzu Chang goes to kill them but is eventually killed, though the soldier and Butcher Tu die from the injuries they suffer while Chang Ping goes on to become a nun.

This was a decent movie but a bit confusing. The acting was ok as far as I could tell while the dubbing was the typical ridiculous terribleness that you would expect. The story was confusing as they didn’t seem to clearly explain what was going on half the time. The pacing was also pretty bad as the movie seemed to jump around all over the place and didn’t really give you time to focus on what was going on until the end. The fight scenes were definitely the best part of this movie but there were not a whole lot of them to keep you interested for long, while the story telling portions were just boring. Something to have on in the background but there are better 70’s martial arts movies to watch.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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July 31st, 2017 Movie – Shaolin Temple (1976)

shaolin temple (1976)

Man, talk about a let down. When I first looked up today’s movie, the first link was for a movie from 1982 that starred Jet Li, which got me pretty excited because I thought I would be getting a really good movie. Then I realized the dates were wrong so I had to do some more looking to try and find the correct movie. So let’s see if today’s movie is worth the hassle of looking up as I watch Shaolin Temple (1976).

The plot: In a Chinese palace, the emperor and his court are watching some girls dance but when the performance is over, an aide rushes into the room and says the Minister of War is coming with his army. As the soldiers begin attacking the city, the Minister of War enters the chamber with some of his top lieutenants, who begin fighting with the palace guards. The Minister says that he was never going to be satisfied with just being Minister of War and wanted to be emperor, prompting the emperor’s wife to kill herself, as she had recommended the general to that position. The prince and princess rush to her side to hold her but after her passing, the princess kills herself as well when she learns the minister plans on taking her as her wife. The minister kills the emperor and tries to kill the prince but the last of the emperor’s loyal guards manage to get him out of the palace. They manage to get out of the city but General Ho stays behind to buy his men time to get the prince to safety, telling the prince that he must get stronger so he can avenge his father. The prince and the other soldiers leave and General Ho manages to fend off the soldiers but when the new king’s general attacks him, he finds himself outmatched. The prince returns to sacrifice himself to save General Ho’s life and ends up being struck by a poisoned dart. General Ho is also struck by a poisoned dart but manages to temporarily blind the general and allow them to escape. They reach the river and have a ferryman take them to the other side but General Ho tells his men that the prince has been poisoned and needs medicine from the monastery, then instructing them to take the prince to his home and contact his two daughters to help. General Ho is killed guarding their escape and the general orders the ferryman to come back but the ferryman continues to head to the other side, then kills himself so he can’t be forced to betray the prince. The prince and the two soldiers stop to rest at a temple, with the prince becoming deranged from the poison, but they are forced to hide when some of the king’s soldiers show up for the night. Suffering from the effects of the poison, the prince scares them off when they think he is a ghost. The next day, they continue on their way and one of the soldiers goes ahead to get General Ho’s daughters but while he is gone, the prince runs off in a delusion and the remaining soldier manages to catch up to him but not before he is seen by an old woman and her son. The old woman tells her son not to say anything about what they saw but another man had seen them with the prince and reported it to the general, who kills them when they won’t tell him where the prince went. The soldier returns with General Ho’s daughters and they all start making their way back to their house. When they are attacked by some bandits, one of the daughters stays behind and kills them while the rest head to the house. With the prince’s condition getting worse, one of the daughters heads to the monastery to ask for the cure but the monks tell her she will have to pass several tests in order to receive the cure. Meanwhile, the other daughter and the soldiers go to an inn to get the prince some food but the king arrives. The daughter goes out to fight with the general, killing his guards, but the king gets past her and kills the guard and the prince. When he learns that the prince was merely the other guard acting as a decoy, the king kills the servers in the restaurant, then heads back outside to fight the daughter and learn where the prince is. Back at the monastery, the other daughter enters the temple and must make her way up to the top, battling one of the monks on each floor before reaching the top and managing to obtain the secret cure. Back at the restaurant, the daughter is wounded by the general but manages to injure him as well when he gets distracted by the prince. The daughter is struck by a poisoned dart as she tries to guard the prince but when the general’s attention is distracted by the return of the other daughter, the girl throws the dart into his back and the general is finally killed when the other sister throws her short sword into his back as well. The sisters briefly reunite before the one sister dies from her injuries and, after giving him the medicine, General Ho’s surviving daughter returns to the palace with the prince. At the city walls, they see a sign saying that the king is auditioning for courtesans and the prince decides to use that as a means to sneak into the palace, writing General Ho’s daughter a note thanking her for saving him and to live a good life. The prince disguises himself as a woman and manages to get close to the king, where he promptly stabs him and reveals himself to the court as the prince. The court accept the prince’s claim to the throne and celebrate him as the new king while Ho’s daughter returns to the monastery, to find that the monks she had fought with were actually statues left in their memory.

First off, the movie I watched was not the movie I thought it was going to be. That being said, this was a confusing but somewhat entertaining movie to watch. The acting was ok but the dubbing was pretty bad. The story was definitely unoriginal and has been done numerous times before. I did like the idea of the prince going delusional due to the poison, as those were some funny moments. The fight scenes in the movie were the best part and pretty well coordinated, though they were a little slower paced at times than I would have preferred. Not what I expected and unfortunately, not the best movie I have seen.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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July 30th, 2017 Movie – Shaolin Deadly Kicks (a.k.a. The Flash Legs)

shaolin deadly kicks

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

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action, drama, martial arts, movie, movie review

July 26th, 2017 Movie – Shadow Ninja

shadow ninja

So this should be interesting. When I first attempted to look up today’s movie, I could not find it online. Now that is not an unusual occurrence with some of the movies from the Martial Arts box set so I had to add a little more information to my initial search. I eventually was able to find some information  on the movie, enough to get some idea of what I was getting into. So let’s see how good, or bad, of a movie I have here in today’s movie, Shadow Ninja.

The plot: A veteran police officer named Kern is returning to his post with a grave robber when some men try and trick him and free his prisoner but the prisoner returns, allowing Kern to save face. Meanwhile, Kern’s wife is trying to get some lucky numbers to place some bets but is forced to stop when Kern comes home, and the two end up arguing about her gambling problem. Elsewhere, a young man is walking through the woods when he is attacked by two men demanding his money but he manages to use his martial arts skills to defeat them. The young man stops at a gambling den to rest when Kern shows up and has everyone line up so he can frisk them. When he finds a knife on one of the men, he takes him behind a wall, where he attempts to beat him up. When the man escapes, the young man chases after him and starts fighting him but the man says he is a police informant, which is corroborated by Kern when he catches up to them. The young man asks Kern about becoming a police man and Kern laughs him off but when he returns to the station, he finds the young man, Ah Keung, has signed up and the chief has decided to partner him with Kern. Kern decides to try and show Keung around town and has him frisk a known criminal but the criminal tricks Hun into paying him to avoid it looking like Keung is beating an innocent person. After the criminal leaves, Kern catches him and gets Keung’s money back, then treats him to lunch. As they are eating, a man steals a steamed bun but when the owner hits him in the head for stealing, the man becomes deranged with pain and begins slashing at everyone with a cleaver. At the same time, a man is robbing a bank but when he tries to leave, he encounters the madman and they both end up hiding from the crowd inside the bank. Kern and Keung show up and they come up with an idea to get Keung inside but the crooks lock the doors as the sounds of fighting commence but when Keung is tossed through the doors, it is shown that he had managed to tie the crooks hands together. Kern’s wife manages to earn some money selling costumes and immediately spends it gambling but she looses it, which upsets Kern. Kern attempts to get her money back from the gambling den but ends up getting beat up by 4 criminals and Keung is forced to chase them away. Keung then vows to get revenge for him and proceeds to ruin the gambling den before beating up the men that try to stop him. Master Wang, the leader of the gang that runs the gambling den, orders Keung to be killed and he ends up being stabbed by a woman pretending to be in distress, but he manages to fight off some other attackers before collapsing to the ground, where Kern finds him. Kern takes him back to his house so his wife can treat Keung’s injuries and she tells Keung that he doesn’t have to do this but Keung insists on continuing and goes back to destroy the gambling den. Wang sends one of his top assassins after Keung but Keung manages to defeat him. Meanwhile, Wang discovers that his wife was having an affair and goes to kick her out of his home but comes up with a different plan on getting rid of her. Wang disguises himself all in white, then kills his wife and when Keung arrives at the scene, having heard her screams, Wang throws a knife at Keung before disappearing. When other people arrive, they think Keung killed the woman at first but Kern arrives and says he is innocent and that they will look for the killer. When Kern’s informant is found dead, Keung goes to investigate and sees the killer in white again but he disappears and once again, Keung is blamed for the death. Kern fakes attacking him in order to help Keung escape the mob and later, they figure that he is being framed. Meanwhile, Wang is talking with his henchman and says that he intends to have Keung take out his rival, the real white killer, but then kills his henchman for knowing too much. Kern is talking with the chief about the situation and the chief tells him that the man known as the white killer is arriving in town today. Kern realizes that Wang is setting it up so that Keung will fight him and rushes to his house to try and warn him. At Kern’s house, Kern’s wife is killed by Wang and Keung chases after him while Kern, who just arrives, holds his dying wife in his arms before following. Wang leads Keung towards the real white killer and when Keung sees him, he starts attacking him. The white killer manages to get the upper hand on Keung by trapping one of his hands in a manacle attached to his leg, but Wang uses the distraction to kill white killer himself. As Wang taunts Keung, Keung tries to fight him but he is held back due to still being restrained by the manacle. Kern shows up and Keung tells him to run but when Kern tries to help him, Wang kills him. Keung manages to get free and attacks Wang but Wang is able to get the upper hand. When Keung manages to hide underneath a platform, Wang tries to find him but he gets distracted by Kern’s body and Keung is able to use the distraction to grab Wang’s sword and kill him.

This is about what I expected I would get; a fairly generic and rather unremarkable martial arts movie at a time where they were being produced about by the dozen. The acting was ok but the dubbing was truly atrocious, which made it incredibly funny to watch. The story was pretty confusing to be honest and seemed to go in a completely different direction from when it started. The fight scenes were pretty well choreographed and had all of the “whooshing” sound effects that you would expect from one of these movies. If you want some mindless martial arts action, than this movie can fill that role, but don’t expect it to be much more than that.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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action, horror, martial arts, movie, movie review, sci-fi

June 4th, 2017 Movie – Robo Vampire

robo vampire

Ahh, my favorite bit of false advertising when it comes to movies. Take a look at the poster for this movie. Pretty awesome, right. I mean, you have Robocop holding some guy in a headlock while firing a machine gun. What’s not to like about that. Well, when I finally got a chance to watch it, man was I in for a disappointment. See for yourself.robo vampire suit
See, this is what you wind up getting in the movie. Definitely a bit of a disappointment, but let’s see if the rest of today’ movie is just as disappointing as I watch Robo Vampire.

The plot: Two soldiers are leading their prisoner through am old graveyard when one of them trips and accidentally knock open a casket covered in holy seals. As the soldier starts to get up, a hand reaches up out of the crypt and a vampire attacks and kills him, then kills the second soldier as he is struggling with the prisoner. Elsewhere, some drug smugglers are bringing in some drugs when they are confronted by an anti drug unit and forced to flee. At his headquarters, Cole, the boss of the drug operation, is yelling at his henchmen about Agent Tom Wilde and his Anti-Drug force. He tells them that he has hired someone to train vampires to kill Tom, and find a new way to smuggle their heroin. At a temple, two men, Tony and Ken, are stuffing packets of drugs into coffins when the vampires inside the coffins wake up and start attacking them. The doctor that is training the vampires manages to rescue Tony and Ken, using wards to subdue the vampires, and afterwards, examines the drugs and finds that they are actually rice powder and says that Boss Cole will punish them. As Cole informs his workers about the new way they will be smuggling their drugs, a woman is shown cutting open a cow’s stomach and placing drugs inside before sealing it closed. As the doctor is creating another vampire beast for two of Cole’s men, he is attacked by a ghost, who is seeking vengeance on him for turning her love into a vampire beast. As the ghost gets the upper hand over the doctor, the doctor wakes the vampire beast and has him fight the ghost but he stops when the ghost is able to get him to recognize her. As the doctor grows upset, one of Cole’s men suggests giving them the wedding that the two lovers were denied in life and the doctor agrees to do this provided that both the ghost and vampire agree to do his bidding and the ghost accepts. The next day, Tom gets a tip from a double agent named Sophie about a drug run and he heads out with a team to stop them. Two of Tom’s agents are killed, as are the two bodyguards but the doctor is able to summon two vampires to kill Tom and the remaining agent, then drives away. Tom’s body is recovered and a scientist is given permission to use his body to create an android to continue the drug task force’s operation. Meanwhile, the doctor and Richard, one of Cole’s lieutenants, discuss the fact that they have a traitor in their midst and the doctor suggests killing every drug task force officer the encounter. Cole’s men capture Sophie, who was undercover posing as an assistant to a priest that was a front for the drug smuggling. Worried about Sophie possible being tortured and giving up classified information, the task force hires someone to head to the Golden Triangle and rescue her from Mr. Young, Cole’s partner. Meanwhile, the doctor and Richard continue their operations and when they are stopped by some of the task force, the doctor summons a vampire to deal with them. Suddenly, the android Tom shows up and the doctor and Richard make a run for it as Tom begins fighting the vampire. Meanwhile, the team to rescue Sophie is ambushed by Young’s men but they find themselves rescued by a mercenary named Andy, whom Ray, the team leader, had contacted about joining the mission due to his knowledge of the region and his own reason to take down Cole. Ray, finds one of the men that was holding Sophie hostage and manages to capture him. As he starts to interrogate him, the man’s mocking causes Ray to almost kill him but Andy stops him at the last second. Meanwhile, Tom is continuing to track down Cole and his men when he is attacked by 4 vampires. Tom manages to fight them off only for Cole’s men to blow him up with a bazooka so the scientist is forced to rebuild him. Ray and the team continue searching for Sophie and after an encounter with some of Cole’s men, they find the people of a nearby village had been completely killed off. Elsewhere, the doctor is performing the marriage ceremony for the ghost and vampire and as they are consummating the marriage, Tom shows up. The ghost begs him not to kill them and Tom, spurred on by memories of his own love, chooses to let them live. As he leaves, the ghost and vampire attack him but he is able to fend them off and trap them inside a coffin. Meanwhile, Ray and Andy’s sister, May, had snuck off to be alone and find themselves chased by Young and some of his men. They try to get away but end up being captured and tortured just like Sophie was but one of the worker girls chooses to help them escape. At the same time, Andy leads the rest of the team to rescue them and two members are killed but they are able to free Ray and the others, rescue Sophie, and blow up Young’s base. Cole is complaining about Young’s defeat and asks the doctor to help him re-establish his empire but before they get started, Tom shows up. The doctor summons his vampires and Tom ends up fighting them throughout the city. Meanwhile, the doctor is attacked by the ghost but he manages to kill her. Seeing Tom finishing off the last of his vampires, the doctor summons some more and as Tom fights them, he plans to use his magic to make them stronger but the ghost returns and kills the doctor, allowing Tom to kill the last of the vampires and leave the city.

This is the most confusing, ridiculous movie I have seen in quite a while, and it is absolutely hilarious because of it. The acting was ok but the dubbing was pretty atrocious at times, which really added to the humor of the movie. The funniest part though was how the vampires moved, because they would hold their arms straight out and just hop around to move. I almost literally was rolling on the floor laughing at that. The story was a confusing mess, as it kept switching back and forth between the robo-warrior Tom and Ray’s mission to rescue Sophie. It honestly felt like two separate movies were being smashed together to try an make one full movie but they left out half of the important plot elements. The special effects were about as low budget as you would expect, from the cheap looking robot suit to the fact that you could see some wires for the vampires in some scenes, like when Tom uses his flamethrower to kill a vampire and you see the flames catch the wire holding the dummy on fire. There were also several times where you can blatantly see the dummies being blown up or thrown around which was really funny. Not a great movie by any standards but definitely funny in a bad way and worth watching if you want to laugh at something completely ridiculous.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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