Tuesday, March 4, 2008

36 Crazy Fists

The Action Mutant…
wonders if there’s a porno called 36 Crazy Fists. Hmmmmm….

36 Crazy Fists

review by Joe Burrows

An addendum to my “Starring Jackie Chan” rant in my Eagle Shadow Fist review: a good guide to follow is that any movie Jackie was in before 1985 is subject to be looked at with some sort of scrutiny as to what his role was in it. A good guide to follow is “The Essential Jackie Chan Sourcebook” by Jeff Rovin and Kathy Tracy. It’s actually pretty comprehensive in describing just how involved Jackie was in each film in his filmography. It was released in 1997, so it doesn’t include his recent films but it’s very helpful with the earlier efforts. You can find it new on www.amazon.com for about $21 and used for as low as 29 cents! And besides, not all of the films I mentioned are that bad. For example…

The Plot, as it was:
For starters, Jackie isn’t officially in the film, per se. There is a short feature at the start with behind the scenes footage of Jackie choreographing fight scenes (his actual role here). It’s kind of odd to see Jackie smoking a cig at one point, considering how careful he usually is with his image. The actual film has Hsiung Kuang starring as a man out to avenge his father’s death by local thugs. With the help of some monks, a strict karate master and (wait for it) a delightful drunk that knows kung fu, the young man defeats his foes one by one.

Don’t shoot me…I’m only the reviewer!:
The story is nothing new but this is in the mold of Chan’s Half a Loaf of Kung Fu, which had many weird touches added to the traditional mix. Some may find the goofy music, sound effects and hideously bad line dubbing a bit too much but it’s amusing if you go for that. The fight scenes are very intricate and well done (it’s Chan, after all), as pretty much the second half is all fights. Trust me, you’ve seen it all before but it should be to your liking if you’re in to old school kung fu comedy.

Body Count/Violence: 4. The only blood is in the flashback scene of the father dying and the final fight with the main villain. There are some sword & knife slashes along with the usual kung fu fighting but its pretty much PG-13 fare.

Sexuality/Nudity: There was some gratuitous nudity in a woman showing her breasts in an attempt to blackmail the master of the fighting school. However, in the Parade Video version, the nudity was badly cropped out and was only showing the master’s bugged-eyed reaction. Some versions differ, however.

Language/Dialogue: Pretty mild but noticeable.

How bad was it?:
The feedback on IMDB is surprisingly negative. My thinking is that many were disappointed in only seeing Chan in the “behind the scenes” feature.

Did it make the studio’s day?:
N/A for the box office. HK Film & Video Association released this in Hong Kong in 1977 and it was released on video in the U.S. in 1989.

Film: **1/2/*****
Entertainment value: ***/*****

Copyright 2007 The Action Mutant.

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