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Sunday, March 12, 2017

RETURN OF KUNG FU TRAILERS OF FURY -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle



"My first two kung fu movies consisted of a double feature of super-cheap, super-obscure flicks at my local cinema one night back in the early 70s.  The titles have long receded into the sodden recesses of my memory but I wouldn't be surprised if their trailers appear somewhere on this disc."

My review of the previous kung fu trailer collection from Severin Films, KUNG FU TRAILERS OF FURY, began with this poignant moment of wistful nostalgia, and the same goes double for this new follow-up disc.

RETURN OF KUNG FU TRAILERS OF FURY, or "The Night the Kung Fu Trailers of Fury Came Home--Again", is more and more, and yet still more (35, to be exact)  gloriously goofy previews of all those cheapo kung fu flicks that were being churned out by the rickshaw-load in Hong Kong back in the 70s. 


Rest assured, this bursting-at-the-seams batch of fists 'n' feet potboilers contains no CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON-level epics.  It's all gloriously grade Z, as though Ed Wood himself had opened up a school for action directors in Hong Kong.

Often these condensed versions are better than the actual feature films, because they cut out all the boring exposition and lame character interplay and get right down to the pure, unadulterated chop-socky action. 

And that's what this non-stop parade of trailers is--just one furious clash after another, accompanied by some deathless dialogue and hilarious text exclamations such as "Intriguing story!" and "Good Actors From Many Nations Makes This Film Outstanding!"


The collection features about an equal ratio of contemporary urban dramas and historical tales with lots of flowing white hair and bushy eyebrows. Regardless of the technical quality of each individual film, the stuntwork and choreography are rarely short of amazing.

First up is THUNDERBOLT, and right off the bat there's some of that incredibly fake-looking wirework that we all love. YELLOW-FACED TIGER is yet another "new Bruce Lee" flick, this time offering Don Wong as the hero and none other than a young Chuck Norris as a formidable bad guy with an equally formidable moustache.

THE STORY OF CHINESE GODS, described as "China's first full-length color animation feature!" boasts a 3-eyed Bruce Lee character and some not-so-hot animated action.


Other titles include BRUCE AND THE IRON FINGER, SHAOLIN INVINCIBLE STICKS, INVISIBLE TERRORIST, REVENGE OF THE SHAOLIN KID, HELL’S WINDSTAFF, THUNDERING MANTIS, THE LEGENDARY STRIKE, KUNG FU KILLERS, CRAZY HORSE & INTELLIGENT MONKEY, THE AVENGING BOXER, and SNUFF-BOTTLE CONNECTION.  They add up to a full 134 minutes.

My favorite moment comes during the preview for a wacky comedy called KUNG FU MASTER NAMED DRUNKEN CAT, which, in addition to its distinct Benny Hill influence, makes this bold promise to potential viewers: "It's John Cheung vs. The Midget! Funny!"

It's interesting to see these trailers in Blu-ray since they're so wonderfully battered and scratched-up in the great grindhouse style.  Are we supposed to be happy that all the scratches and imperfections that make these old trailers so distinctive are now in high-def? 


Having grown up watching old movie prints in theaters and on late-night TV, I love that old beat-up look. These trailers have it in abundance, and it suits me just fine to see it so well-preserved here.  

The Blu-ray from Severin Films is widescreen with Dolby 2.0 sound and English subtitles.  The wall-to-wall commentary track is highly informative thanks to a panel of kung fu cinema experts including writer Ric Meyers ("Films of Fury"), Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival), Ric Stelow (Drunken Master Video), and martial arts instructor Greg Schiller. 

If you got a kick out of Severin's first volume of kung fu trailers, then RETURN OF KUNG FU TRAILERS OF FURY should strike your fancy as well.  It's solid entertainment for lovers of no-frills kung fu cinema. 

Buy it from Severin Films


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