Thursday, February 27, 2014

Killer Of Snake, Fox Of Shaolin (1978)

A kung fu written and directed by Wah Man.
The demi-god daughter of a fox clan martial arts master is fought over by a suitor from the snake clan and a mortal traveler.
There was wire, magic and slow-motion fight scenes with echo on the sound effects. If you know my tastes in kung fuvies, all these things are good. The film was shot pretty well with good camera angles and high visibility (if you know what I mean?). There were also some majestic shots of mountainsides with traditional Chinese music. The snake clan characters actually used the snake animal style of Shaolin kung fu, which I thought was pretty cool. All this comes together to make a very pretty fuvie, although the plot left much to be desired. This plot that I refer to was murky with long names and developed only in the few seconds between each fight scene. There was no training scene (one of my favorite elements of classic kung fu flicks) and no barroom brawl. Oh well, you can't expect miracles from a low-budget '70s fuvie. I rate it adequate.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Heroes Of Shaolin (1977)

A kung-fu directed by William Chang.
A father and his son are flying a kite on a beach when another man appears to fight the father. Defeated, the father takes his own life and the son follows the other man on conditions of training and revenge.
This is a stereotypical fuvie: light on plot and heavy on choreographed fight scenes. Taking place in a traditional Chinese setting as well, it sets the basic standard for kung-fuvies. There were minimal (if any) training scenes and the fights looked Mighty Morphin Power Rangers style fake. The camera-work was nothing special and they didn't use enough wire or flying. When I say "sets the standard", I really mean it. This is a very middle of the road, mediocre kung-fu film that gets a very standard, O.K. rating.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (1964)

A science fiction directed by Nicholas Webster.
Martian children are acting strangely after viewing Earth television so the Martian leaders go to Earth in order to bring back Santa Claus.
I don't know whether it's funny or scary, but it's definitely stupid. The most disturbing scene involved Santa and the Earth children pretending to laugh in an unconvincing manner. This definitely hearkens back to the laughing scene in Final Fantasy X above Luca. Another disturbing scene *spoiler* involved Santa and all the children (of Earth and Mars) "attacking" one of the martian leaders with their toys. The insincerity is what predominates the film in a matter similar to that of an old and low-budget kung-fu flick. Like an old fuvie, this film features a comic relief character who gets more deeply involved in the plot than he means to. The antagonist definitely reminds me of Richard Pryor with his thick handlebar mustache. I'm rating this poor.