Monday, 11 June 2012

Martial Arts Monday: Secret Ninja, Roaring Tiger (1982)


The ninjas are not particularly secretive and the Tiger (bad guy for the film) barely breaks into a growl let alone a roar. Other than that this is a reasonable kung-fu flick.

Comical highlights for me include two men not realising that the person they are travelling with is a girl, an obvious transvestite fighter and a man tickled into submission. This is a Godfrey Ho production but this one is blatantly played for laughs.

Fights are slow paced, robotic affairs but that adds a level of charm for me. Dubbing is at times atrocious.

Worth a watch I suppose.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Entangled (1993)


There’s something enthrallingly confusing about Entangled, it’s a thriller without any clear-cut baddies. Everybody blunders through the 90 minutes, making a few mistakes on the way, and then it ends.

Watchable without ever excelling, it’s a thriller-by-numbers. Secrecy, surveillance and a bit of sex are all present and correct along with the obligatory car chases and double-crossing that you would expect from a film of its ilk.

Technically the movie is sound, with no glaring errors left in for IMDb users to spot.

Not what I would call essential viewing but not unbearable either, the whole thing is simply mediocre.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Martial Arts Monday: Blood Of Dragon Peril (1980)


Blood Of Dragon Peril is actually all right for one of the old chop-socky films. Granted, the story is sketchy at best but the action scenes are of high quality.

The plot deals with revenge, so nothing new, but this time there is a man in a mask causing chaos in Japanese ruled China, the mask is new to me.

There are some different moves in the fights which kept me watching, although I never turn a film off until the end credits finish anyway.

A better entry in the martial arts genre, and without the spliced in American sections.

Nightmare County (1975)


A socio-political story with random acts of violence makes Nightmare County a disjointed affair.

A group of “hippies” takes on the establishment politically but get thrown in prison for their troubles. I guess there’s a point being made about suppression of the will of the majority but it isn’t particularly entertaining.

Sufficient technically, this film to me was boring. Barely any action and when it did come it was over before I noticed. Special mention however for the soundtrack which fits the “hippy” feel perfectly.

Maybe one for the old flower-power generation more than young people in the 21st century.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Martial Arts Monday: Fearless Tiger (1992)


Fearless Tiger is a Canadian take on the old Hong Kong fighting and drug dealing story, although here it is one whole production rather than a cut and splice.

The action is fast and I love the colonial British police chief out in Hong Kong, it’s a shame he wasn’t in it more.

The fight sequences are good and varied with one even taking place inside a dustcart, they probably found the script in there as this is the only bit that lets it down a little.

Probably just about worth watching for the majority, but essential for b-movie fans.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Knights Of The City (1986)


Knights Of The City is a strange one, mixing The Warriors with something like Fame. Two gangs fight over territory but also compete in a talent contest, plus there is a romantic sub-plot. It certainly tries to insert a bit of something for everybody, and in a way it works.

I don’t really know why I enjoyed this, I suppose the pace was quick and the characters were well realised. Maybe the whole crazy story kept me interested. Then it just ended, all the loose ends still untied.

Far from a classic Knights Of The City is just good enough.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Martial Arts Monday: Ninja, The Kung Fu Emperor (1981)


There are only two ninjas in this, and they occupy only the first couple of minutes of this film. Other than that it is straight martial arts all the way with plenty of fights and plenty… of stunted… dubbing.

As with all these films the story is an afterthought to string together the action and the plot behind this is suitably baffling. It’s an ascension story with secrecy and betrayal, you probably know the rest already.

I didn’t particularly enjoy this film but I don’t hate it either, I found it mediocre. At least the DVD worked properly this time.