China is under the rule of the Ching dynasty, who send out assassins to kill anyone whochallenges the regime. Greatest of these assassins is the blind master of the flying guillotine. Hesets out to kill the One-Armed Boxer (don’t ask me why all these guys have disabilities). Thecharacters come together at a huge martial arts tournament (this is where Mortal Kombat comesfrom, kiddies). The plot is no more developed than that of a typical porno. The film’s reason forbeing is …he fight scenes, and these are fun (if extremely silly).
The soundtrack is mono, and comes in a dubbed English version (put together from varioussources, and subtitles where no English sound exists, since the film was butchered for NorthAmerican release), and Mandarin (and it is a relief to see the actors lip movements match theirdialogue). The soundtrack too is partly made up of music from a later, North American release(which would explain the presence of Tangerine Dream).
Assembling a complete print of these exploitation films is rather difficult, so the fact that thiswas done at all is great, and so some allowance should be made for print damage. Damage thereis: flicker, spliciness, some dirty frames and scratches. The colour varies in quality, but at its bestis very good.
The commentary is provided by film critics Wade Major (Box Office Magazine) and AndyKlein (New York Times). Their discussion not only covers the restoration and much that isscene-specific about the film at hand, but also serves as a mini-history of the Kung Fu film –invaluable. The other extras are bios of star/director Jimmy Wang Yu and fight choreographerLau Kar Leung, a still gallery, and three trailers: the Chinese export version, the US theatricalrelease, and the US restoration. The menu has a scored and animated intro and main page, andscored secondary pages. The one problem is that you have to wade through the intro every timeyou go back to the main page.
Non-stop chop socky, and good campy fun, all the better to be seen in a complete, subtitledversion.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Theatrical Trailers
- Still Gallery