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Eastern Heroes: The Video Magazine (1995)

A video magazine containing clips from many old and new martial arts films, plus interviews with Sammo Hung and many more. There is also a full-length early Jackie Chan film included on the... See full summary »




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Credited cast:
Rick Baker ...
Himself (as Samo Hung)
Ken Miller ...
Film Reviewer


A video magazine containing clips from many old and new martial arts films, plus interviews with Sammo Hung and many more. There is also a full-length early Jackie Chan film included on the tape, called Young Tiger. Eastern Heroes owner Rick Baker presents the video magazine, at one point going to Hong Kong to interview kung fu stars, visit video stores there, and check out Hong Kong's Planet Hollywood restaurant. Some of the interviews are in Cantonese, with English subtitles. Ken Miller, co-creator of Stop! Kung Fu!, appears as a film reviewer on this tape. Written by Kendo

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Plenty here, although not all of it great quality...
20 September 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I picked up this video cassette at a car boot sale in Quorn after falling in love with the excellent sleeve design and the copious amounts of liner notes on the inside cover. You could tell right away that a lot of love and effort had gone into producing the feature and with the bonus of a Jackie Chan film I hadn't previously seen, I spent the four quid and eagerly took the tape home.

My first reactions were those of disappointment, as I found out just how low budget the seventy-minute documentary on this tape really was, but gradually I got into the feature and found myself enjoying it despite the rough edges. The brainchild of Rick Baker (who narrates), this video essentially combines interview footage, film clips, trailers and documentary narrative into one easy-watching bundle that becomes increasingly entertaining as it progresses.

Things start off badly with two of the biggest features on the tape, namely interviews with Samo Hung and Yuen Biao. Why so bad? Well, for a start Biao barely has anything to say about his movies, whilst Hung's accent is so strong that most of what he says is impossible to decipher. The reason for this is that the audio quality of the video is really poor, with the sound repeatedly cutting out for long periods and muffled voices. Another reason that my enjoyment value was lessened.

After more interviews with Chinese and Japanese film folk I wasn't yet familiar with, the film gets interesting with some amateur movie reviews conducted by various friends and customers - these camcorder features are absolutely hilarious and a delight to watch.

Then comes the highlight, which is an audience with Chow Yun Fat at London's Scala cinema, in which the high-esteemed Chinese actor is whistled and applauded for about ten minutes before even speaking. He comes across as the coolest guy on the planet and worthy of his reputation. After the feature, there are some amusing trailers for a tape called STOP! KUNG FU, which I just HAVE to get my hands on, including a hilarious-looking home movie effort called I'LLKILLYA.

Finally, the tape rounds off with an obscure Jackie Chan movie from 1974 called, alternatively, YOUNG TIGER, POLICE WOMAN or RUMBLE IN HONG KONG, depending on where you live.

Final comments, this is an enjoyable if rough package with enough different ingredients including graphic bloodshed and high-kicking kung fu to please the average fan, although seasoned genre veterans may find it a little lacking in content.

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