4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Sammo Hung early film!
(winner55) from United States
8 May 2006
Release date given probably off by 2-3 years, I would date this as 1976
at the latest. The producer-director's name on screen is "Hang Po
Chang", which would be an alternate transliteration of a known
pseudonym for Sammo Hung Kam Bo, well known Hong Kong filmmaker,
martial arts performer, and adoptive brother of Jackie Chan. A young
Sammo Hung appears playing the role of the Japanese commander, thus
introducing considerable humor into a subject that usually gets very
heavy handed in HK 'fu films of the period (Japanese oppression during
the '30s). In fact Hung is clearly using the film as an experiment, to
see how much comedy he can inject into such a serious topic. Certainly
more successful here than in Hung's first internationally admitted
directorial effort, Iron Fist Monk. Includes a brief parody of Hung's
even briefer appearance in Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon. Also pay
attention to a satire of the Japanese samurai films (which seemingly
pops up out of nowhere), since Hung would later draw on this for his
contribution to Tsui Hark's Zu: Warriors of Magic Mountain, in his
early scenes with Yuen Biao. Otherwise, the film has a pretty strong
narrative style to it, owing more to Hung's comic timing than to
classic 'chop-sock' film plot strategies.
Polly Shaun Kuan Ling Feng does very well in an atypical role for her.
A young Paul Tien Peng also shows up looking very believable as a rebel
organizer. Bruce Li - the best of the Bruce Lee imitators, and
believable as both actor and fight-performer - turns in his usual solid
The film has a a fairly professional gloss to it, but still feels
essentially like an 'old school' 'chop-sock' film.
A major rediscovery of an essential early film by one of the master
innovators of the genre.
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