It's sad that this obscure martial arts film from Thailand gets confused with a different film, from Shaw Brothers that shares the same name, "King Boxer." This movie, released a year before that more well-known title, is actually the better film. Unlike Shaw productions, we have a film that utilizes real location shooting, rather than fake sets with artificial landscapes. So we are treated to quite a tour of beautiful Thailand, with some unforgettable imagery. In this way, "The King Boxer" becomes a kind of 'love letter' to Thailand and it's fascinating culture.
A Chinese man is visiting Thailand, hoping to get a closer look, and possibly a lesson in Muay Thai, the sport of Thai kick boxing. a beautiful Thai girl introduces him to her brother, who is a professional fighter, and the two become fast friends. The man known as "the King boxer" within Thailand, and internationally, becomes teacher to the young Chinese visitor. Of course King Boxer is soon challenged by a rather nasty Japanese martial artist, who is determined to rob the king of his title. And then it becomes personal, when his sister rejects the Japanese thug's advances. Some great, well choreographed fighting follows, culminating into quite a bloody revenge epic.
This film is unique in that it is very well-made, with a decent budget. Also the Thai angle is something different for a martial arts film. There aren't nearly enough Muay Thai films out there to compete with the countless Kung Fu movies that were produced at this time. "The King Boxers" is a very hard film to track down, but it is worth the effort..
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