Monday, September 8, 2014

Five Fingers of Death (1972)

Five Fingers of Death (1972)
Director: Chang Ho Cheng
Stars: Lieh Lo, Ping Wang, Hsiung Chao

If you've watched at least a hand full of old Kung Fu Theater style flicks, you know the story. Guy goes to train for tournament with new master. Rival school is made up of a bunch of dickweeds who fuck with the good school. When that backfires, they hire assholes to murder them. Good guy gets his hands broken by bad guys so he doesn't learn the Iron Fist technique, but he learns it anyways. Good guy wins the tournament, but at a cost of several people's lives...and eyeballs. Served with a nice dish of revenge.

This was the movie that kicked off the kung fu movie craze here in the United States. Before long, we were overwhelmed with both good and mainly awful martial arts flicks. Personally, I love martial arts films. I remember waking up as a kid on Saturday mornings and watching it. Cartoons, Memphis wrestling, then Kung-Fu Theater. Good times.

This one is definitely one of the films you need to see if you're new to the genre. It's got fun action, lots of blood, and bad dubbing. You don't have to have all three of those requirements, but at least two of them. Godfrey Ho movies only have the bad dubbing...and white guys named Ira wearing ninja headbands. You're just not ready for that yet, noob.

Things I've Learned/ Things to Watch Out For

- There's a female character in this film who is a singer. I thought "cool, I always wanted to hear what music was like there". I'm really hoping this is a bad example, because she sounded like a cat that got caught up in barb wire. Her backing band seemed cool though.

- If you look like a Chinese Alfred Molina, chances are you're going to be a bad guy.

-If you get jealous because your dad/Master likes this other guy better to teach him his super secret fighting technique, joining the bad guys to have them break his hands is probably a bad idea. Of course, that's made apparent when they proceeded to kick his ass later and rip out his eyeballs. Well at least he doesn't have to see that he looks like Elvis anymore.

- That crazy sound in Kill Bill when Kiddo sees one of her enemies and everything turns red? Yeah, came from this movie. "It's an HOMAGE, damn you!'

- So the beginning of the movie, the main guy is sent out to train for a tournament. Next thing you know, it's been a year and he still hasn't finished training. How far in advance were these tournaments? It would be like inviting someone on Facebook to my son's graduation, even though he's in the fifth grade. And the main guy is STILL LATE for the fucking thing.

- Chinese people think that Japanese folks are long nasty haired mute savages if this film is any indication.

- Having watched quite a few of these films, the one basic rule of thumb to live is when bad guys start fucking with the hero, and the hero humiliates them, you move as far the fuck away from there as possible. Because pal, you're gonna get yer guts spilled out in front of you while you're watching Growing Pains reruns.

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