When a diamond is stolen in Hong Kong, the company insuring the diamond sends a former CIA agent to Hong Kong to retrieve it. Meanwhile, one of the thieves begins to have a change of heart because his girlfriend wants him to leave his criminal organization.Written by
Tattoo Connection is a cheap exploitation film featuring several veterans of kung fu cinema's glory days. Overall the film is horrible, filled with gratuitous nudity and bad acting, but there are a few nice fight sequences from the veteran cast.
The bright spot of the film is Dorian Tan (Tao-liang Tan). Tan stared in such films as "The Hot, the Cool and the Vicious" and John Woo's "Hand of Death," and also tutored kung fu star John Liu (Secret Rivals, Incredible Kung Fu Mission)in the martial arts. Tan gives an excellent physical performance in the film, featuring his trademark Taekwondo high kicks.Tan plays a very unbelievable villain because there is something about him that always looks honorable and righteous. Jim Kelly (Enter the Dragon, Black Belt Jones) the international middleweight karate champ, proves again that he is a terrible actor but a decent martial artist. He gives perhaps one of the strongest martial arts performances of his career in this film.
Sing Chen veteran of such films as Sammo Hung's "Iron Fisted Monk" and "New Fist of Fury" plays the villain. Sing Chen is famous for his muscular build and impressive martial arts skills. At the film's climax he faces down with both Dorian Tan and Jim Kelly in a nicely choreographed fight sequence before he meets his demise. Bolo Yeung plays a henchman and has a few funny scenes. Also making appearances in the film are Lee Hoi Sang (Magnificent Butcher, Shaolin Master Killer), Sham Chin-bo (Master of the Flying Guillotine, Secret Rivals 2), and a young Wong Yat-fei (Shaolin Soccer).
Dorian Tan would go on to make more films with director Lee Tso Nam including "Challenge of Death" and "The Leg Fighters." Kelly would go on to pursue a career in pro tennis. This film features many veterans of the kung fu movie world but unfortunately they put together a film that is average at best. The weak plot, ridiculous nude scenes and politically incorrect statements weaken this film quite a bit but the above average fight scenes (especially the ones featuring Tan) make Tattoo Connection one of the best of the blaxsploitation/martial arts films.
Martial Arts Rating: 7/10
Over All Rating: 5/10
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