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Return of the Chinese Boxer (1977)

This has all of the hallmarks of a filmmaker throwing shit on the wall to see what sticks. It isn’t too stunning, then, that this is able to show to be Wang Yu‘s last movie as director, producer and star. His Seventies output – in addition to being principally insane – was susceptible to repetition, that includes variations of his hottest characters, and sequences which appear interchangeable along with his different films. For example, this movie options an prolonged match sequence plonked within the center for no good cause, centring on Kam Kong as one other mad monk, which feels eerily much like the primary competitors sequence in 1975’s Grasp of the Flying Guillotine. The succession of overseas fighters exhibiting completely different martial arts kinds – together with even Blacky Ko reprising his position as a part of Muay Thai double act, this time with Ricky Cheng – was a trait firmly established in 1971’s One-Armed Boxer (but in addition hinted at in 1969’s Return of the One-Armed Swordsman). And simply if you assume Wang Yu has exhausted all his zany concepts, he throws in a sequence involving kung fu zombies; a spooky encounter which is totally baffling, if not wholly unwelcome. He additionally offers his common punching bag, Lung Fei, one other wacky villain position; this time, he clothes him up like a retro-futuristic gunslinger from a very completely different style who offloads a multi-barrelled rifle into his adversaries. In his last confrontation with Wang Yu’s indestructible hero, Lung Fei is distracted by Wang Yu’s secret strategy of filling a whole room with creepy life-sized dummies of himself in a bid to distract his opponent. It’s the type of bonkers sequence that should have been cooked up after a fever dream. Shaw Brothers motion director Hsieh Hsing offers the movie a carry, though Wang Yu’s extra aromatic use of a physique double is telling. By no means a completely convincing onscreen fighter, he’s left wanting when trying to satisfy the skillset required for the more and more advanced calls for of mid-Seventies Hong Kong struggle choreography. That is likely to be why the movie as an alternative will get a lot of its thrills from gimmicks, particularly Wang Yu’s skill to run up partitions, dodge bullets, and steadiness on prime of an upright spear. The title is considerably deceptive. Regardless of his penchant for spinoffs based mostly on his personal creations, there is no such thing as a connection to 1970’s The Chinese language Boxer apart from the movie’s anti-Japanese sentiment. Its alternate title, Revenge of the Samurai, makes extra sense, specializing in a Japanese clan chief who sends his hardest warrior to China on a reconnaissance mission to befriend a Qing dynasty normal as a ploy to launch an invasion. Wang Yu performs a fearless fighter serving to a royal mission to escort the overall’s daughter and a few Chinese language treasure throughout no man’s land with the intention to lure out any potential crooks or invaders. The story is especially onerous to observe should you’re watching the butchered English dubbed model, which renders the story fully inconsequential (not that it resembles a murals to start with). Like lots of the most ridiculous kung fu movies, there’s something fairly admirable – and endearing – about its fully abject silliness.

AKA: Revenge of the Samurai.


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