Monday, January 13, 2014

RETURN OF THE KUNG FU DRAGON (1976)



Directed by Chick Lim Yu
Written by Lee Gee-Sun
Starring Sun Kuan, Rin Feng, Chang Li, Sing Chen, Lee Chung-Gian, Yu-chiao Szema and Tsai Hon

RETURN OF THE KUNG FU DRAGON is a classic tale of revenge. There is an evil man who goes to The Golden City on Phoenix Island to wrest control of the kingdom from the good emperor and rule The Golden City. The three generals that protect the island are defeated, but not before the princess is whisked away to the old man on the mountain who places an impenetrable fog around the base of the island for nineteen years.
Flash forward nineteen years and all the children of the generals have grown and are ready for the appearance of the princess to lead them to victory against the evil emperor.
This is a standard Kung-Fu epic. There is lots of posed fighting and it always sounds like someone is hitting a plastic couch with a broom handle. While there is nothing special about the film there were a few things I really did enjoy.
One of the daughters of the generals always stamped her feet when fighting. Some bizarre kind of Horse style of Kung-Fu.
The evil emperor has a magician with a long flowing white beard that he can actually use in a fight. The beard has a mind of its own and can punch people. I wish my beard knew how to fight. That would be cool.
Finally, the evil emperor. He had his go to move. whenever someone told him some important news he would give a hearty laugh and then slap the taste out of someone's mouth.
These things made it more of a fun flick, but still pretty standard fare after sitting through about a hundred of these things.
Now, for the weird part. The original name of the movie is Ju Ma Pao, it is a Taiwanese film and if you do a standard IMDB search you come up with the film as far as director and stars and all, but the synopsis is for Sonny Chiba's RETURN OF THE STREET FIGHTER. Weird
One last thing. I have always found people of Eastern descent in films to be quite attractive. Probably the whole exotic thing, but this movie has just some of the homeliest people to every grace a film frame. There is the good wizard's tiny henchman who looks like a troll and is wearing no makeup. A couple of the women are alright, but so many of them just have this horse face that makes you wince when they do the classic zoom in shot with the dramatic music that fills this genre of film. Just not attractive.
Blech.

Finally, if you're bored, go ahead and watch for yourself;

  

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