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The Weapons of Death (1981)

R | | Action, Drama | 24 July 1981 (USA)
In San Francisco's Chinatown, a band of thugs kidnaps a girl for a large Chinese gang. Her half-brother gathers a team of expert fighters to get her back.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Lee ...
Bob Ramos ...
Ralph Castellanos ...
Louis Bailey ...
Carter (as Louis Winfield Bailey)
Nancy Lee ...
Garrick Huey ...
Joshua Johnson ...
Leemoi ...
Sid Campbell
Gina Lau ...
Red Vest Ninja Girl (as Gini Lau)
Alan Gin ...
Steve LaBounty ...
Biker leader
Gerard Hurley


In San Francisco's Chinatown, Eric runs a martial arts school. His skills come in handy when a band of thugs kidnaps his half-sister for a large Chinese gang. The head thug took the job because he has a score to settle with the girl's father. The Chinese gang wants ransom money from the girl's mother, who, despite living modestly, has enough to pay it. Eric gathers a team of expert fighters from his school and goes off to get the girl back. But emotions run high when the team is joined by the father who had left his family years ago. Later, they'll be joined by a kidnapper with a conscience. In the hills, the girl escapes and gets recaptured several times. The hills are teeming not only with the members of the Chinese gang, but with female assassins and cruel bikers, too. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A New Decade...A New Legend! See more »


Action | Drama


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La mort rôde à San Francisco  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Carter: How's it going, man?
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User Reviews

Pleads for a remake by someone who know how to make films
9 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There is a surprisingly strong script here; sadly, it is buried by poor production values, generally amateurish performances, and a lack of any real direction that could turn these disadvantages into strengths (or at least nullify them).

However, the film is only comparatively bad - that is, if you size it up with better made American martial arts films, it will look pretty bad; if you rate it next to anything Hong Kong, it will look embarrassing when not laughable.

However, After this became obvious, I let decided I'd try to set these comparisons aside and just let the film be an cheap American action film of its era; and on its own terms, it proved watchable, and even entertaining.

The high point of the film is a sequence some reviewers complain about, that seems to drop a biker gang into the movie out of nowhere. The writing is crisp and the 'cinema verite' approach makes the violence seem brutal, despite lack of proper dramatic perspective. This actually emphasizes the almost Homeric theme of the scene, and I could help thinking that the writer had read a bit of Homer before writing the film, since similarly epic-influenced moments pop into the story throughout. It's too bad the script wasn't sold to someone or some group that could really put a package like this together.

Altyhough looking dumb at the surface, there are some interesting themes here expressed well in the dialog. And the pacing is pretty good for a cheap action movie.

One other remark - I suspect this sat on a shelf looking for a distributor for a number of years - the '80s release date is belied by the hokey '70s fashions and hairstyles.

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