Like a rare and obscure borja wine, the history of Yoshihiko Matsui’s film making is sporadic but filled with really unusual gems, with themes of suicide, the understanding of love blended with cannibalism and genuine strange behavior you’ll always know who you”re watching and often question why you’re still watching. For me this unreal expression is one of the blessings of cinema, seeing something genuinely new that is al altered, heightened sense of the world around you. At times you’ll almost be able to feel Matsui’s message through the combination of imagery, a feeling of an idea that doesn’t need language for expression, or you might be left scratching your head wondering what the hell is going on.
AKA Mortal Kombat, The Return of the Five Deadly Venoms
Director: Chang Cheh Starring: Philip Kwok, Chen Kuan Tai, Chiang Sheng, Kuo Chui, Lo Mang, Lu Feng, Wang Lung Wei .Hong Kong. 1h 40m
Just when I was positive that the Five Deadly Venoms was the best 70’s martial arts film, it turns out that the (lose) sequel actually outdoes the cult classic. In a similar vein the film runs through a deadly storyline featuring a diabolical jaded kung fu master and a group of unlikely heroes.
When a brilliant wealthy fighter’s family is brutally attacked, his wife left slaine and his son now armless, the Tiger expert finds a way to restore his son’s arms with mechanical extensions but now with a blackened heart he bullies and terrifies his hometown. Finding pleasure in crippling those to cross his pat, Four of his latest victis form a bond and seek revenge, A hawer, who has been blinded, a blacksmith, made mude and deaf and a drifter whose legs are cut off all attempt to band together with a fighter who is known as tier “idiot friend”. While finding ingenious ways to overcome their disabilities they conjure a cunning plan to take on the evil gang and the four are tested time and time again and demonstrate strengths and abilities.
Director: Sam Firstenberg Starring:Mark Dacascos, David Bradley, Valerie TRapp, Rex Ryon, John Fujioka. USA. 1h 34m
This movie arrived during the height of the American cinematic takeover of the eastern martial arts. For many years Hong Kong cinema had released a number of powerful Kung Fu movies, winning over the hearts of millions if not billions of die-hard fans, with such prestigious names as the Shaw Brothers, Wu-Tang, and the Iconic labels such as Golden Harvest, a non-stop line of some of the best and most questionable martial arts movies have been released reaching cult classic limits.
Somehow during the late 80s early 90s the American market started the whole new basket of shenanigans, attempting to suggest that some of the the top of the range martial artists were in fact American born, initially this kicked off with a number of American ninja movies, and this delightful side step into the world of the Samurai features a number of faces that were normally seen as ninjas.