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A Mafia buy out of Papa Byrd's karate school downtown ends in his death. Byrd's daughter, Sydney, refuses to sell, and wants revenge. Byrd's students call the Black Belt Jones for help. Jones reluctantly teams with Sydney in many battles.
A young martial artist, Cord the Seeker, competes for and loses the right to go on a quest for the Book of All Knowlege held by a wizard named Zetan, but he goes along the path to seek Zetan anyway. Along the way, he meets strange tests and challenges by enemies and allies - often having difficulty determining which is which. Written by
Sam L. <email@example.com>
According to a recent biography of Bruce Lee the film was intended to be shot in 1969 with Lee playing the 4 roles of The Blind Man, Monkeyman, Death and Changsha, and the lead role of Cord was offered to Steve McQueen. McQueen however turned down the role after remarking that he wasn't prepared to make Lee a star, and instead it was offered to James Coburn. Disagreements over location shooting (Lee preferred India) led the film to be abandoned until after his death when the rights were acquired by David Carradine. Originally karate champion Joe Lewis was offered the role of Cord but declined as he was unwilling to work with Carradine. Jeff Cooper, a friend of Carradine's, finally took the part and Lewis ended up supervising the re-shooting of some of the fight scenes. See more »
During the fight between Changsha and the Black Giant David Carradine's wig falls off after a high kick. See more »
How long have you been blind?
How long have you been blind?
I'm not blind.
Do you answer every question with a question?
Do you question every answer?
Aww, talking to you is like talking to a wall.
Buddha once sat before a wall, and when he arose he was enlightened.
Do you compare yourself with Buddha?
(chuckles) No. Only to the wall.
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This is a silly movie and not for those who want credibility, realism, SFX, CGI, or The Rock. But, it is about some of the more exalted aspects of what it means to seek the limits of what you can do with a combination of your spirit and your self. Karate, kung-fu, la savate... they're all just ways to fight. This film is for those who know that ways to fight are stepping stones to something greater. It follows a man who does not know, but who is learning, that punching and kicking merely create freedom to explore and to learn; the benefits of his quest will come from something more than his physical self can achieve.
It's not a great movie, but it addresses great questions and, if you look at it through the lens of metaphor, it can point you towards an answer or two. As well as that, it's a punctuation mark--if not a prose passage--from the '80s era of movies that asked us to keep believing things we knew were probably not true, but would be oh-so-cool if they were.
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