If you are a Kung Fu/Martial Arts cinema enthusiast, a fan of action films or want more rare, vintage trailers for these films, then RETURN OF KUNG FU TRAILERS OF FURY will be a must-have. As with Severin's previous KUNG FU TRAILERS OF FURY, this HD release includes dozens of rare, vintage, over-the-top 35mm trailers for classic, sometimes hard-to-find Kung Fu epics starring the likes of Jimmy Wang Yu, Angela Mao, Lo Lieh, Don Wong, Bruce Li and Chuck Norris. A running commentary track, delivered with rapid fire expertise, by the always high spirited Ric Meyers (FILMS OF FURY), Frank De Djeng, Martial Arts instructor Greg Schiller and Rick Stelow of DRUNKEN MASTER VIDEO, deconstruct the films, the era, the actors, the directors, the filming locations and the personnel with concise comments, wit and a trainloads of relevant, sometimes arcane information.
Covering 1973-1984 releases this edition kicks off with a nearly four minute promo for Angela Mao's THUNDERBOLT, termed "insidious" by the always amusing onscreen English and Chinese text, English subtitles are also available. One film is "Directed with creativity and style" according to a typically enthusiastic tag-line, another is "Directed with confidence by Sun Yung", another necessary attribute for a Kung Fu director. An rare trailer for the even rare feature TWO IN BLACK BELT is particularly frenzied and colorful as the word "disaster" is flashed onscreen. SHAOLIN INVINCIBLE STICKS is another particularly surreal trailer. All the films can be described as featuring "suspense, excitement, power" and those frequently used words never seem hyperbolic in this context. My absolute favorite of the set may be the delirious WHITE HAIRED DEVIL LADY promo, which the director of the KILL BILL films seems to have studied. Whatever the limitations of the actors or scripts it's the wildly stylized movements, sets, colors, costumes and adrenaline pacing that make it difficult to look away.
There's over 2 hours of nonstop fun to be had here. As Meyers points out, theses films offer the emotional intensity of opera with the graceful movements of ballet, a combination few other film genres can provide. The key differences between Kung Fu and Martial Arts films are also discussed, each being a sub-genre with its own stylistics. Watching the trailers first with the original soundtrack as the audio selection before watching them with the commentary track is also recommended for optimal viewings. It's a fast paced, visually intoxicating 134 minutes featuring stunning cinematography of exotic Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China locales rendered in blazing primary colors which now pop out of the classic Grindhouse prints in 1080p Full HD Resolution and 2.0 Audio, which can be accessed for the commentary or the original soundtracks.
Even if you're not a fan of Kung Fu/Martial Arts cinema this collection make compulsive, entertaining viewing which clear the mind of mundane thoughts of everyday reality and just may convert you. Either way, repeat viewings are guaranteed. It's also makes a great companion to bring to a party.
(C) Robert Monell, 2017