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神拳大戰快鎗手 (1977)
Return of the Chinese Boxer

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 07/29/2006
Summary: Wang Yu plays Rapid Fist.....

This DVD finally arrived this week [9-26-2000]. It's from Crash Cinema. That should give you an idea of what we are up against. The source is a ragged 35MM print with scratches galore at the beginning and end of each reel. No extras on this DVD, with 11 chapter stops. Dubbed poorly in English, soundtrack is noisy and on the low end. Look closely and you can see the projectionists' prompts pass by the gate.

Martial arts superstar Jimmy Wang Yu [whose name is spelled Wong in the film credits] plays Rapid Fist, a mysterious Chinese martial artist who is on a mission to protect a princess while she journeys to meet a Japanese general and his pretty henchwoman. Along the way Rapid Fist meets Flying Dagger, with his exploding knives, and Black Crane, who uses four pistols. The Japanese use 3 zombie warriors against Rapid Fist in a very funny sequence. The final fight between Rapid Fist and Black Crane is quite odd. Black Crane's special weapon is a giant 8-barrelled shotgun.

Watching this film gave me the sense that this was pieced together with footage from another project. Some scenes seem like 'filler'. The main sequences with Wang Yu are really great. The opening title sequence has Jimmy training against mechanical bows firing arrows, some of which he catches in his mouth, and then kicking and punching "heavy bag" dummies through walls, all the while maintaining that stoic Wang Yu glare. It's a fun movie. When the invincible zombies are introduced the film makes a huge leap from being just an ordinary 'chopsocky' to being 90 minutes well spent.

Worth a rental. Get your local video rental store to stock it. Save your cash for something else.

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copyright 2000 J. Crawford

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 08/02/2005
Summary: Purity of heart and good kung fu top guns and knives

Somewhere along the line—perhaps between the fight when Jimmy Wang Yu stands on the point of his enemy’s spear and the appearance of the Thai boxing zombies—“Return of the Chinese Boxer” abandons it’s already sketch plot. Which is fine—the movie is more a string of excellent action scenes, each more fantastic and outlandish than the last, propelled by the necessity for a final battle between the Chinese boxer and the champion of the evil Japanese empire.

Along the way the movie reveals a number of things. For example, the Japanese army was resourceful, courageous and disciplined in the face of the enemy. They also had guns that fire bullets that cause the person hit by them to leap into the air before he falls down dead—even if that person is already lying on the ground. Also, the type of tournament in which masters of various martial arts and weapons fight each other until only one is left alive was quite popular in much of Eastern Asia—exactly the same tournament was held in “Master of the Flying Guillotine”, in what appears to be the same arena and possibly even the same gong to signal the beginning each fight. MOTFG was also directed by, produced by and starred Jimmy Wang Yu—no point in wasting a good idea by using it only once.

Only the Japanese had guns—which put the Chinese army, armed with spears and swords, at a disadvantage. The Japanese were on their way to meet with a traitorous Chinese general as part of their plan for an early version of the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere. In trying unsuccessfully to stop them, a lot of Chinese soldiers died under their guns and without much effect.

But the Chinese boxer, with superhuman strength, incredible balance, the ability to absorb enough punishment to kill ten men and the knowledge that he had righteousness on his side, was able to stop them. There were a few lame attempts by the Japanese early on to kill him but nothing very serious. For example, the Chinese boxer was cornered in a shack by a squad of soldiers armed with rifles. Other soldiers used grappling hooks to pull the shack down so they could shoot him, but they found that escaped out the back door—apparently the invaders where not the sharpest tacticians.

Jimmy Wang Yu essentially reprises his One Armed Boxer role from MOTFG—in both movies he is slow to speak and sometime almost Delphic in his words. He works alone, is fanatically devoted to keeping China free from foreign invaders—here the Japanese, in MOTFG half of Asia—or at least their representatives.

As both reviews before this one have mentioned, this is a fun movie to watch with just about everything a fan of 1970’s Hong Kong martial arts movies could want. I had the Crash Cinema DVD. It is dubbed into English and sounds as if the actors doing the voices had watched a lot of American westerns. Letterbox format, although info is cut off from both the right and left sides—the top and bottom seem fine.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Ryoga
Date: 12/25/2001

This is a very fun film to watch! Jimmy Wang Yu take on many fighters including Thai Boxers, Japanese Ninjas, and even zombies! Get the Crash Cinema DVD. The bass may be too loud but the DVD is nice overall.

Reviewed by: muppet1962
Date: 06/11/2001
Summary: Evil Japanese, Guns and Kung Fu Zombies

This movie encompasses many of the themes I like in Kung Fu films: the always dispicable Imperial Japanese, insane weapons (muzzle loading, multi-barrelled gun, exploding daggers, etc.), and kung fu zombies/hopping vampires.

The movie begins as the Japanese are trying to, more or less, invade China. Early Chinese attempts to halt the advance are thwarted by Japanese rifles and a crazy, multi-barelled gun (early machine gun, I guess). Soon the plot gets really confusing, at least for someone as slow as me; but, follows a Chinese patriot fighting Japanese armed with guns, henchmen wearing vests of daggers, Thai Boxers and eventually undead villians as well!

The various fighting styles (Japanese Judo, Chinese Kung Fu and Thai Kickboxing) are displayed well in the film and the fights are very entertaining.

In my opinion, this is a great kung fu movie, check it out!