The Killer Meteors (1976) Poster

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Wang Yu vs. Jackie Chan
Shawn McKenna2 November 2005
Sometimes if an actor has not had a successful run as a lead then it behooves him or her to take a supporting role. After the box office failings of New Fist of Fury and Shaolin Wooden Men, Lo Wei decided to cast Jackie Chan as a villain in a secondary position to the lead of Jimmy Wang Yu (who starred in many popular pictures as a one-arm martial artist and many not-so-popular films as a two-arm martial artist.) Wang Yu's stardom was slowly fading at the time of this picture, but he had a much more recognizable name than Jackie's. Useless tidbit: according to Jackie, he made 12,000 HK dollars to Wang Yu's 50,000. The Killer Meteors was based on a Gu Long novel and it was the first of two films to be shot in Korea (To Kill with Intrigue was the second.) Jimmy stars as Mi Wei the Killer Meteor, a sarcastic master of Kung Fu who know no equal. He is so feared and admired that criminals will cut off there fingers in repentance rather than to face his possible wrath and master martial artists serve underneath him. I like Wang Yu's performance with his cocky panache (he even keeps track of his enemies all 491 of them) and glib humor though his character is a bit too "strong" for there to be any real conflict in this film. Also, his weakness at martial arts is very noticeable because of the direction and his slowness (Master of the Flying Guillotine is a good example of where he is choreographed well.) But who needs adroitness of movement when you carry a cool weapon like the Killer Meteor. Only three people have seen this weapon and two of them are dead. Most of the time he uses it as a club on the criminals who are undeserving to die by it's true form.

Wei is approached by Qing, the famous Blue-Robed Swordsman who must bring him to the Celestial House of Hua the Hearty (Wa Wu Bin in some translations/dubbings) before July 15 (according to subtitles) or he will die. Mi is intrigued by this, for he is always looking for a challenge worthy of him, and goes with Qing. When he meets Hua (Jackie Chan) he finds a sick man who needs the Killer Meteor's help. Hua was poisoned by his wife in his Ginseng soup (otherwise a normally healthy soup) and she gives him a yearly dose of antidote. Hua does not like this arrangement and wants his wife dead and the antidote all for himself. Wei accepts this challenge though he learns of the four feared bodyguards of his wife: Blazing Star whose weapons are the Plum Blossom Needles (always a favorite of mine, though for weapons so small they always seem to be caught), Killer Hands with fierce suction grip (like GI Joe's Kung Fu grip with vacuum power), Black Lama whose good at black magic and Taoist Ghost (Lee Man Tai) who is good at tricks. Now these characters sound good, but there use in the film is less than desirable.

Unfortunately the plot is weak. There are too many twists and turns that negate previous plot points and characters who are not whom they seem to be. Or are they? My notes on this film is huge but explaining even half of them would be tedious. Generally if plots become overburdened then you can fall back on the martial arts in the film. With Jimmy being the lead character and unless he was being doubled for flips the martial arts are too slow and the action too pedantic. Also there is not a lot of fighting. There are two main fight scenes between Jackie and Jimmy. The first fight scene is the best while the finale is a bit disappointing. It takes place on wooden poles with stakes on the ground – resembling an action scene from Jimmy's earlier film Master of the Flying Guillotine and a bit like Yuen Woo Ping's Iron Monkey, though both are much more interesting. Luckily for the viewers Mi Wei shows off his killer weapon.

The Killer Meteors was a failure at the box office and did not help either Jimmy's or Jackie's career. Along with the confusing story and mediocre action scenes there are too many problems with this film ranging from the overuse of the "lifted" King Kong score to really cheap costumes. Yet, I cannot say I wholly disliked the film. I liked Jimmy's performance, Jackie's "bad guy" performance, some of the story, the beautiful scenery and the titular weapon. Since there is a plethora of better Jimmy Wang Yu and Jackie movies there is no reason to recommend this film unless you are into watching all of Jackie's or Wang Yu's films – like me.

DVD Notes: the two editions of this film I own are the Columbia version and the Simitar Platinum Series version. There is very little difference between the two. Both versions are full-screen (with the credits running letterboxed), both have Mandarin dialogue (though for some reason the Simitar version says Cantonese which is wrong), both have the same dubbed version and both have the same running time (104m). The Columbia version does have English subtitles though.
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Cinematic Awesomeness
AwesomeWolf12 February 2005
Version: English dub

I always thought Wei Lo made bad movies. He has such a reputation, and having only ever seen some of his later movies, I had concluded that this reputation was justified. I shall admit now that I was wrong, so very wrong. Watch 'Killer Meteors' and choke on your words, as you discover Wei Lo's directorial brilliance.

Sure, this just another cheap release by Siren, keen on taking any movies that feature an early Jackie Chan (before he was even famous in Hong Kong) and cashing in on his now famous name. Before I would have called Siren "greedy bastards", but I just had a thought: Maybe someone at Siren realized that if they released and advertised it as starring Jimmy Wang Yu, few people would be bothered to view this fine piece of cinema. But! If they made it seem as if Jackie Chan was the star, then more people would have the pleasure of seeing the greatness that is 'Killer Meteors'.

Jimmy Wang Yu stars in this as the Killer Meteor, a fighter whose secret weapon - the killer meteor, obviously - makes him invincible. I don't recall his character ever having a real name, so I can only assume that his parents actually named him Killer Meteor, and he worked on it from there. Anyway, Killer Meteor generally spends most of his time sleeping on a rock, accepting gifts from various people for reasons that aren't explained very well. Or at all. Killer Meteor finds himself employed by the villainous Jackie Chan, who is dubbed as the "Immortal" Wa Wu Bin. Ironically, Wa Wu Bin is very sick and close to death, thanks to his wife, Lady Tempest. Wa Wu Bin needs Killer Meteor to retrieve the antidote from Lady Tempest's cave, but first, Killer Meteor needs to defeat her bodyguards: a man who throws needles with deadly accuracy; a dude with hands so magnetic, that he can use them to attract objects that aren't even magnetic; a human microwave; and a fighter so cunning, that we never actually see him being cunning.

I must say that 'Killer Meteors' is one of the most confusing movies I've ever seen. Be prepared for levels of confusion that 'The Matrix' and 'House of Flying Daggers' could only dream about. There are about a billion double-crosses, a few billion more 'twists' in the story, and many characters who seem important yet seem to disappear for most of the movie. Throw in the most hilarious dub ever, and 'Killer Meteors' shapes up to be one of the awesomest movies ever.

But where would it be without the kung-fu awesomeness? Granted, there is not as much kung-fu awesomeness as I expected there would be. It is pretty hard to find time to have characters beat each other up when they're all so busy explaining to each other why they are being double crossed. Something like that. The fights pretty much define 70s kung-fu movies: very bad dialog during the fight, some rather poor fight editing, and most importantly - THE KUNG FU SUPER POWERS! Oh yes, 'Killer Meteors' is filled with kung fu super powers, and is another of those movies where *everybody* knows kung fu. Awesome.

So when you watch 'Killer Meteors' - and I must insist that you do - I hope you come to the same conclusion I did, and apologize to Wei Lo for ever doubting him. 'Killer Meteors' is a cinematic masterpiece. Well, maybe not a technical masterpiece, but it is a fine example of cinematic awesomeness, and in the end, awesomeness is all that really matters. 'Killer Meteors' transcends a numbered rating system, for a number cannot describe the awesomeness and the entertainment value of this movie, and so it is awarded this simple rating: pure awesomeness.
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You you don't like this, then you don't like ice cream and kittens!!! (SPOILERS!!!)
Marc Ferriere15 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I'll be completely honest and get right to the point - 90% of the people who give this movie terrible reviews are being harsh for one obvious and inexcusable reason: they are Johnny-come-lately Jackie Chan fans who got into him through Rumble in the Bronx and have absolutely no exposure or familiarity with classic kung fu, it's staple elements or it's classic stars. This entire situation is compounded by the fact that several "autobiographies" by Jackie dismiss this film as a "favor to Lo Wei". If you are a Jackie-lubber, then this film is sure to wrinkle your feathers. I don't think it's much of a spoiler to reveal that Jacky is the bad guy, but he's also a complete loser who gets bitch-slapped for all time. Jimmy Wang Yu is the star of this movie. Jimmy Wang Yu doesn't do crazy choreography. Jimmy Wang Yu doesn't doesn't give Laurence Olivier acting performances. But I'll tell you what Jimmy Wang Yu does: Jimmy Wang Yu kicks the crap out of people, wisecracks and smirks while he does it, and likes girls. The story is based on a novel by Taiwanese wuxia writer Gu Long. All you have to do is read two pages of a Gu Long novel to realize that this movie captures all of his setpieces and dialogue to a fault. And this is Gu Long the novelist, not be be confused with Ku Lung the ACTOR. Morons in the kung fu movie media (and this means YOU, Ric Meyers!!) are constantly making this mistake. Another notable standout for this film is that the dubbing is by the usual Ocean Shores/ Vaughan Savidge actors . . . but there is clearly something special about their delivery - almost as if a more deliberate approach was taken to put the project together. It should also be noted that the film is no where near as confusing as everyone is making it sound. The Scimitar and Columbia DVD releases contain about 15 minutes of crucial plot scenes that were omitted from the old VHS releases which I suspect some of these folks have been basing their reviews on. The plot is riddled with intrigue and implausible backstabbing, but the movie as a whole has a very well delineated beginning, middle, and end. Using this as a criteria for a film of this genre is suspect anyway, given that most of them end abruptly at the 90 minute mark with a freeze frame and a "THE END" overlay. One has to imagine Jimmy's character of Mi Wei as a Clint Eastwood type. He's already got the skills. You're not going to see him carrying water, strapping iron to his feet, attacking wooden men - fans of the ubiquitous training scenes need not apply. You're also not going to see Mi Wei backing down from a fight. He actively goads people into fighting with him and he usually takes them down in 30 seconds with a brilliantly violent ending . . . and smiles while he does it. You know - the same kind of smile that guys like John Liu and Hwang Jang Lee give when they take someone out in a flick. This doesn't sit well with folks who's rather watch Jackie monkey around with glass jars and do fart jokes. You know who you are. The Killer Meteors is an excellent film that is criticized for unwarranted reasons. Anyone seeking a unique and interesting 1970s kung fu experience should check it out with a completely open mind. Free your mind from the rank-n-file kung fu hacks who've slammed this movie.
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So bad it's good!
tek_goa3 August 2004
This is not an award-winning classic kung-fu movie. Yes, it takes itself somewhat seriously, but that's half the fun. It's a great movie to keep you entertained with ridiculous and pointless absurd plot twists that are not explained, scenes involving characters jumping out of nowhere, terrible cutting between scenes, and poor dialog.

But that's what is so great about it! Yeah, Jackie Chan plays the bad guy that only appears three times in the movie, and briefly at that, but that's okay. This movie is a great watch at 2am after a fun night of partying, or with a few friends to help make fun of it.

And some of the characters are so ridiculous and absolutely bad-ass, that you can't help but smile and admire the comic book nature of it all.

Picked it up for $3 at my local Blockbuster, and it was totally worth the purchase. I'll be watching this one quite a few times while inebriated. :0)
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An amazing heirarchy of martial-arts experts makes this film interesting.
rubber31 October 1999
It's not the best movie ever made, but I recommend this one for martial arts fans who watch their kung-fu for the fighting, and the characters, as I like to sometimes. There is this incredible heirarchy of experts, which gets more compelling as the movie goes on. From the three fighters in the beginning who are good enough to break rocks, to the best fighters in the world, we get a look at the whole gamut. Half of them seem to be better than any fighter from most other movies, and the other half amaze you with how much better than the rest of the people they are!

Most kung-fu movies have one or two really great fighters, and they end up fighting in the end. But this one has a dozen or so, and I really get excited when I think about just how bad these guys are.
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not a jackie chan movie
Zargo20 June 2003
I actually found this movie a lot of fun, although if you go in expecting a Jackie Chan movie you'll be disapointed, as he's in only a few scenes and a couple of fights, though his role is important. At the time this film was made, Jackie was struggling to make any impact on the box-office, and was delegated to villian to make way for Jimmy Wang Yu who was a much bigger star at the time (Kimmy Wang who? you may ask) and it's he that is clearly the star of Killer Meteors. As other reviewers have mentioned, it's the story and characters are the reason to watch this, as in that respect it's a good watch. The sets/props/costumes are actually pretty good too for the Lo Wei Motion Picture Co. The fighting coreography is only average, however.

However, most people who see this movie will be expecting a Jackie-filled stunt spectacular, and they will be disapointed.
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the movie that killed one career and severely wounded another
ckormos121 November 2015
Director Lo Wei should have spent more time asleep in his director chair or at the race track instead of actually directing this movie. I tried to watch this for the third time and still can't keep my finger off the fast forward button. I had to wait at least 20 minutes for the first fight and it was between Jackie Chan and Jimmy Wang Yu. It was craptacular. By about an hour I totally gave up on fight expectations and slowed down for some eye candy but even the lovely ladies failed to hold my attention. Jimmy's career as an action lead had not totally crashed and burned, he had a few moments in films in 1977, but this movie was certainly where it ended for him. Jackie, once he totally escaped from Lo Wei's clutches, managed to recover. I cannot recommend this for even the most hard core fan as I myself am a hard core fan and I still have not watched the movie to completion after three attempts.
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Nearly quite a good kung fu movie.
JoeyCunninghamLennox23 December 2014
I loved the set of of this movie. Only a slightly more complex premise than is typical of the genre and probably only one or two too many characters as well. However, there is a lack of action for the first hour or so of the movie. In part this helps to build a sense of mysticism are the "killer meteor" itself, which is a weapon held by Yu Wangs character which hear a lot of but never actually see until the second from last scene. Also there is the same sense of excitement built up from a lack of kung fu demonstrated by the lead character whose kung fu is so infamous and again I liked this. But when we actually seen Yu Wang in action, his skills are not only very inconsistent but they are also underwhelming at times.

The movie is also rather wordy for a movie of this sort and the dialog can be bland at times. This is especially noticeable towards the finally when several of the main characters spend a lot of time explaining their role in the plot. It's strange, many people are put off of Kung Fu and Wuxia films because they feel that the comedy elements are either inappropriate and spoil the vibe or simply immature, but when you have seen as many of these films as I have, there is no doubt that without the dash of comedy many of these films feel empty.

Mainly the thing which lets this movie down is the mistake of there being so many twists that after the third or forth, the viewer has lost interest. I certainly lost interest myself and feel confident that if I had any emotional energy left after this movie with which to assess these twists, I would find that things do not quite add up.

There are a lot of negatives in this review but I maintain my love of the enough to give it a moderate rating in spite of these. Although some of the sword play is slower ad more obviously staged than others, the fight sequences on the whole are still admirable. One of the things which keeps me coming back to these films is the setting. I am happy to watch a bad movie is I enjoy the setting and the general feel of the movie. I think this movie had a good amount of mythology which doesn't require too bog of a leap of imagination to accept.

If you are kung fu junkie like myself, then by all means watch it because it is so much better than the rating suggests, but do not expect anything too special.

I would suggest NOT to watch this movie if you have looked this movie up because you want to watch a Jackie Chan movie or if you are the type to pick holes in a movie's story-line.
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sal-2922 February 1999
This is typical garbage made by Lo-Wei in 70's. Keep Away from this!! This one was made for (Jimmy) Wang Wu, and Jackie played the bad guy - and he appeared on few scenes only.(and he's weak because of his illness).
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Jimmy Wang and Jacky Chan
ebiros230 October 2011
Jimmy Wang's movie always seems to have interesting theme to it. This one features a new kind of weapon called killer meteor.

Killer Meteor (Jimmy Wang) is hired by Tiger (Jacky Chan) to steal an antidote for a poison, and kill Tiger's wife who put the poison in his soup. She has four expert kung fu men as body guards, and Meteor has the defeat them to get to her.

The movie is made by Lowe Wei's company. Lowe Wei is the director who directed Bruce Lee's "Chinese Connection", but reportedly didn't get along with Lee, because he was listening in to horse races during production. After the sensation of "Enter the Dragon", Hong Kong cinema had hard time living up to its own legacy of kung fu movie. New actors were working for Shaw Brothers, and they were producing good kung fu movies such as the "Flying Guillotines" and "Executioner from Shaolin". Lowe Wei's production was too derivative, and didn't have the freshness that Shaw Brothers movies had. But this movie is pretty good. There's surprise at each turn of the story. Meteor is set up to be the fall guy, but Tiger, and his wife doesn't know how good Meteor really is.

Solid old school kung fu movie that deserves a viewing.
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Time travelling Concept Art
alistairrolls23 December 2001
OK, there is only one explanation for this flick. Contemporary artists from the 5th dimensions open some kind of temporal rift twixt their world and Taiwan in 1976. They proceeded to use some form of hypno beam to assemble a cast and proceeded to make the movie "The Killer Meteors".

They then promptly left leaving a legacy of confusion that would last for decades to come.
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Not what I expected.....
chrisjan24 January 2006
I bought a 12 DVD box set with all these old Jackie Chan movies and this is one of them.

I watched this movie in it's original (also dubbed?) Chinese dialogue because that was an option!

But I didn't really like this movie that much.

First, the story too complex, just towards the end is becomes clear what is going on and were the story is going. That's OK,nothing wrong with a good story, but watching the movie sometimes I had no idea what was going on. In stead of enjoying the kungfu, I was trying to follow the story!

Second: Thye movie lacks good kungfu and the martial arts are very, very poor and very slow. And that's why I watch a kungfu movie! To see exciting kungfu fights, especially when the movie stars Jackie Chan.

Third: This is NOT a Jacky Chan (Jackie Chan) movie as it is advertised. He has a small (but important) part, but he's not the main character. And the main actor doesn't have his charisma, fighting skills or humor.

So nice to see once, but nothing special.
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Only average fight scenes, but suprisingly good story.
n1l21 January 2001
While the final battle was OK, the rest of the fight scenes didn't impress me too much. I found then rather mundane and unoriginal. What this movie did have that distinguishes it from other movies of this type, is an intact, interesting story line. Easily better than any other kung-fu movie I have ever seen (including the garbage that has been made in the 90's). If you enjoy old kung-fu movies, this one is definitely worth checking out just for the odd combination of story and kung-fu.
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