The Man from Hong Kong, aka, The Dragon Files

1975, Australia

Starring: Jimmy Wang Yu (Inspector Fang Sing Leng), George Lazenby (Jack Wilton), Hugh Keays-Byrne (Morrie Grosse), Roger Ward (Bob Taylor), Sammo Kam-Bo Hung (Win Chan)

Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith

Viewed: Streaming

Transfer Quality: Excellent transfer!

Don’t worry about what he might have said.

Don’t worry about gathering evidence..

Aww, no man…just POW!

I was all geared up to review the killer soundtrack for this, but then my damn amplifier conked out. Can’t do a proper review listening to a YouTube rip, so I decided it was a good excuse for a re-watch and review of the actual film.

Ozploitation meets Golden Harvest in this perfect marriage of unbridled action and absurdity from Dir. Brian Trenchard-Smith of Turkeyshoot and BMX Bandits fame. You certainly know you’re in for a wild ride when a two-pronged chase scene breaks out before the opening credits even roll. On the one side, drug smuggler Win Chan’s (Sammo Hung) bellbottoms are flying in hi-karate action as a narc pursues him to the top of Australia’s Uluru. On the other, a motorized chase between a helicopter and car ending in a massive explosion and the untimely demise of bad guy #2.

Enter kung fu legend Jimmy Wang Yu (One Armed Swordsman, Master of the Flying Guillotine) as inspector Fang Sing Leng—imagine Henry Silva, but Asian and with other-level martial arts skills—to extradite Win Chan to Hong Kong for justice. However, Chan is soon taken out by a sniper, and the Aussie narcs (who you’ll recognize as Mad Max’s Fifi, Roger Ward, and the Toecutter, Hugh Keays-Byrne) can’t keep a leash on the titular man from Hong Kong. It’s no slow, all go for the inspector as he mows down countless henchmen to get to the man behind it all, Jack Wilton, who kind of looks a bit like Dennis Parker in his prime.  The inspector is not just a fighter, though, he’s a lover too, with an array of uncomfortable gettin’ it on scenes to prove it.

To say this is an action movie is an understatement as it’s almost impossible to stay on top of all the car chases, kung fu battles, deep tongue lashes, and explosion after explosion after explosion. Although Sammo Hung’s character is offed pretty early in the film, he makes his indelible mark behind the scenes as the martial arts choreographer here. His top-shelf action really has an impact, as most Western movies tend to go a little soft in the kung fu department.

Legend has it that producers dropped 20% of the film’s budget on the rights to use Jigsaw’s Sky High as the theme song, but that’s a story I’ll save for when I get my amp up and running again.

In the meantime, don’t shy away from this classic…even if you have to drop $1.99 to watch it streaming.


THE ROVER (2014)

THE ROVER (2014)

Directed By David Michôd

Starring: Guy Pearce, and Robert Pattinson


Transfer: Great

The Rover_1

As Matt Average recently said to me, “You are the only one who will review any new films for the site, they must be at least 30 years old for me to watch them”.  Well Mr. Average, I too love most things old (music, cars, film, comics, art, etc), but I watch a lot of movies, and every once in a while I watch something that is current, and it actually excites me.  That was the case with 2014’s The Rover.  The film stars the awesome Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson (you know the dude from those shitty Twilight vampire films).   I do enjoy both these actors in many other roles, so I was super stoked on watching them team up together for this.  The apocalyptic film starts off with the following on a black screen  “Australia, ten years after the collapse”.   Yes, this bares some resemblance to the original Mad Max in its story, landscape, and violence.  Guy Pearce plays a loner who like the rest of Australia is dealing with a dog eat dog world after the financial collapse of the country (and maybe the world).  Guy is angry and never smiles (though it is the end of the world, so nobody is really smiling) and seems to be drifting around the outback.  That is until his car is stolen by three men who are up to no good. He then follows them through out the outback trying to get his car back while much crudeness and violence occurs.  Pearce runs into the mentally challenged brother of one of the thieves who is played by Robert Pattinson.  They develop a strange bond that starts off with a lot of tension.  At any rate, the story is really cool, and yes, this is another revenge buddy flick.  I won’t go into too much more detail because I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.  I loved everything about this film.  The soundtrack is that of mega tension… like John Zorn playing a violin with a crowbar or something.  (NW)


Nate Wilson: NW  Devon Cahill: DC  Matt Average: MA