Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Wu Tang 8 Diagram Collection|
Actors: Jimmy Lee, Wilson Tong, Cliff Lok, Carter Wong, Bruce Liang
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
Studio: First Look Home Entertain Release Date: 02/26/2008 Run time: 600 minutes
5 good movies. Not a bad deal
morgoth | omaha, NE | 04/07/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"DAGGERS 8 (1980)- this is a pretty basic story, with awesome kung fu. The acrobatic Mung Yuen Men (from Hellz Windstaff) stars as a young man who wants to learn kung fu. He goes to learn from a cook played by Chan Lung, but soon after he starts learning, Chan Lung gets killed. His next teacher is played by Alan Hsu, and once again, right when he starts learning kung fu, his teacher gets killed. I would say that this movie is a bit of a mystery, but I don't want you to go into it expecting a great story. It's a decent story, but the fights are why it's worth watching. Wilson Tong, Chan Lung, Alan Hsu, Lily Li-Li-Li and Mung Yuen Men are all in top form. Rating- 4/5
8 MASTERS (1977)- Carter Wong's dad is killed by one of the 8 Masters when he is just a little kid. Who are the 8 Masters? They are a bunch of tough guys, I guess. This is a Joseph Kuo movie, so it doesn't have the greatest depth to it. Carter Wong trains his whole life to become a kung fu master, but he doesn't want to fight the 8 Masters once he is grown up. But the 8 Masters really want to fight him, and they end up forcing Carter to fight. This is where the movie gets good. The last 30 or 40 minutes is pretty much nonstop fights. I like Joseph Kuo's method of making Carter Wong look better by speeding the film up. I'm not a big fan of undercranking, but it helps Carter Wong. So if you can make it through the first half of the movie, you are in for a treat in the second half watching Carter Wong fight Judy Lee, Phillip Ko, and others. 3.5/5
4 HANDS OF DEATH aka THE WILY MATCH (1977)- Jimmy Lee gets a rare leading role in this wacky kung fu comedy. It's not a great movie or anything, but it's a lot of fun. Jimmy Lee is hired to help a wealthy old man with his son. What I mean by that is that his son is like a big kid and Jimmy lee is hired to help keep him under control. The son is played by Cheng Fu Hung, a huge Chinese guy who has been in a ton of kung fu movies. He has to be close to 6 and a half feet tall and over 300 pounds. So he gets into all kinds of trouble with Jimmy Lee, mainly stuff involving a girl that he likes, and the story ends up coming down to the villain of the movie (Sun Jung Chi) wanting to get a Buddha from Cheng Fu Hung's father (played by Chan Wai Lau). This leads to a big showdown at the end.
The fighting is good. This movie is obviously a low budget production, but they make the most out of it. The villain Sun Jung Chi is on fire (he played the crazy monk who drinks wine and eats meat in Shaolin vs Lama). This is one of the few movies where he had a big role. Why didn't he get more big roles like this? I wish I knew. Jimmy Lee gives a good acting and fighting performance, and shows that he could have been a lead actor in many more movies. He gets into tons of fights. At least 5 that I remember. The action is done by Peng Kong, the same guy who did the action for Shaolin vs Lama, The Leg Fighters, Woman Avenger and A Life of Ninja. I am always fascinated by his choreography because he is the best at doing wrestling moves, and there's a fun wrestling match in this movie. The big wrestler guy from A Life of Ninja (Wong Kin-Mi) faces Cheng Fu Hung, and it's a real battle of the heavyweights. I can't believe the falls that Cheng Fu Hung takes. You can see the Earth shaking! It's not as good of a wrestling match as the one in A Life of Ninja, but it's still pretty dang good. This wrestler guy that fights Cheng Fu Hung worked with Yuen Woo Ping on Drunken Tai Chi (in a very short scene), he worked with Robert Tai on Shaolin Chastity Kung Fu, and Jackie Chan on Fearless Hyena, but leave it to Peng Kong to get the best out of him. I'm rambling a bit, so now seems a good time to wrap up the review and mention that the final fight is 15 minutes long (no joke).
I went over pretty much all of the notable actors, but one more I should mention is Chan Gwan Biu, who played the rival prince to Norman Chu in Rebellious Reign. He plays Sun Jung Chi's main guy and definitely looks competent in his fights, but he doesn't get much time to show his stuff. Maybe 5 minutes.
So overall, it's a slightly above average movie. Maybe a little too much comedy, the story is worthless, and the movie drags quite a bit, but Jimmy Lee and Cheng Fu Hung are great together. If you don't like comedy with your kung, you may want to stay away from this. I liked it, and I laughed outloud a lot. Seeing Cheng Fu Hung trying to kiss Sun Jung Chi (to scare him) but instead smack his face on a tree is priceless. 3/5
RAIDERS OF WU TANG aka RAIDERS OF THE SHAOLIN TEMPLE (1983)- did anyone out there ever see chang Cheh's Shanghai 13, and say to themselves, "who the heck is this kicker guy with his shirt off in the final fight? He's one of the most amazing kickers I've ever seen!" His name is Sonny Yu, and he only appeared in a few movies, so take what you can get. In this movie, he plays a horse wrangler who lives right by the Shaolin Temple. He has 2 uncles who live at the temple, and because he is so good with horses, his 2 uncles want to teach him a special style of horse kung fu. But the thing is, this kind of kung fu was banned because it was too dangerous to learn. In fact, these 2 guys were crippled when trying to learn it (yes, they are the 2 real life cripples who starred in Crippled Masters. One has no legs, the other no arms.) In order to learn this style, you have to go into this room and fight these big bronze mechanical horses. It's pretty crazy. So this movie sounds good right? Well, it's not quite as good as it sounds, sorry. The directing is poor, and the movie is a bit of a mess. But the kung fu fighting is good, and that's what we care about, right? So basically the movie comes down to some evil guy (played by Pai Ying) trying to take over the Shaolin Temple, and Sonny Yu learns the horse style just in the nick of time to beat him.
Most of the running time has Chan Siu Pang (the movie's fight choreographer) going around fighting people. Sonny Yu finally gets to unleash at the end. Is it worth the wait? Just barely. 3/5
KUNG FU GENIUS (1979)- Not much of a story here. Cliff Lok is good at kung fu, so he opens a school. A nearby school wants to challenge Cliff Lok's school, so Lok has to fight them. Then both schools get in trouble with a brothel owner and Wilson Tong is sent in to kill everyone. It's a pretty bad movie, so luckily there are a lot of fights. The best part about this movie is the great cast. Taking on Cliff Lok is Lee Hoi san, Hsiao Ho and Wilson Tong. The movie is almost nonstop fights, and they get better as it goes along. Surprisingly, my favorite fight comes from Chan Lung. He does this crazy duck style and nobody can stop him. 3/5
8 DIAGRAM FIGHTER aka 8 DIAGRAM CUDGEL (1992)- Bruce Leung Siu Lung stars in this sorry movie that is based off the same story as Lau Kar Leung's 8 Diagram Pole Fighter. I will make this review very short. Some good kicking from Bruce Leung, but not many fights and the choreography is lacking. Decent movie at best. 2/5
All the movies are full screen with decent picture quality, except for 8 Diagram Fighter which is partly wide and has better pic quality than the rest. There are also 2 instuctional features which I haven't had a chance to view yet.