Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Death Duel of the Mantis|
Actors: Hua Chung Ting, Ching Suen Mao, You Min Ho, Ching Cheng, Yen-fei Chin
Director: Ching Chiang Kuo
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Comedy
Classic martial Arts films for a classic Price! Featuring the finest stars of Hong Kong cinema including Casanova Wong (Drunken Master, Master Killer), Philip Ko (Invincible Pole Fighter, Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star), and... more »
5 For Movie - Minus 1 For Image Quality.
Scifihorrorfan | Parts Unknown | 09/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very engaging movie. The story itself is alright. It's about an orphan named Xiao Hai, played by Ting Wa-Chung, who is raised by a crime boss played by Lung Fei, and begins to learn the Chicken fist when he falls for a girl who is a mantis fist expert, played by Kam Yin-Fei. The reason to get this film is the fight coreography. While it kind of looks undercranked, it's not obvious, unlike some of those Alexander Lo Rei 'Ninja' films during the 80's. And the treat is watching Kam Yin-Fei. She is AWESOME. Not only does she have a lot of power, reminiscent of Michelle Yeoh's on-screen fighting, but she's also very acrobatic. She does as many flips and leg sweeps as the lead character Xiao. Xiao is not a very sympathetic character, but he is a great on-screen fighter and verry acrobatic. He does multiple flips in one spot, not unlike Li Yi Min in some of his films. Lung Fei is also great, but there is some body doubling when his character does some flips.
The downside of this DVD is the picture quality. It is full screen and looks like it was taken from a VHS source. I also had a problem with the sound effects during the fight scenes, but I think that was more a fault of the original makers of the films. Some of the body blows, for instance, had the same sound effect as the 'slap' sound made when one guy blocks a hit with his arms. You realize how important proper sound effects are to making a fight work in a kung fu film.
The special features are interesting, but nothing special. Gordon Liu's interview isn't very enlightening. It's rather distracting that the voice doing the translating only picks out every other sentence (it's like he only had one shot at translating), he translates for both the interviewer AND Liu, and in his British accent, he sometimes throws in British terms, like 'bloke'. The demonstration of Hung Gar is interesting, but is more for show than actual learning value.
Overall, the film deserves a 5. The fight coreography is well paced and top notch. And watch for the girl. It's a wonder why she didn't do any other kung fu films of note. She could have been another Moon Lee or Michelle Yeoh if she was doing her thing in the late 80's. 'Death Duel Of Mantis' - a film you shouldn't pass up on."
One of Lung Fei's best performances, but nothing else stands
morgoth | omaha, NE | 04/06/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is just another ordinary kung fu flick. It starts out interesting with a young orphan who has been raised by gangsters. The leader of the gang is Lung Fei and after the kid learns his chicken style, he is now the gang's top henchman. After meeting a mantis master who has a score to settle with Lung Fei, the young man has to decide whether or not to remain a gangster. He loves the mantis teacher's daughter, but he also loves Lung Fei as a father figure.
The story itself is pretty boring, but Lung Fei shows to be a good actor. The main star's love interest is not a good actress, but she has some very good fighting skills. The plot definitely had potential, and while the movie is not too cheesy, the story just isn't done very well.
The reason to get this movie is for Lung Fei. This is definitely one of his best performances and while the chicken style is usually used comically, Lung Fei doesn't play around!
The star of the movie is not bad. His acting is beyond awful but he is not a bad fighter and his acrobatics are the only reason he is worth watching.
Not a good movie, but not bad for die hard fans of the genre.
DVD from Videoasia has very bad picture quality, but it's still watchable, for me at least. The DVD works, at least Videoasia got that part right on this release. If you are new to Videoasia movies, then always expect the worst."