King Boxer (1972)

aka Five Fingers of Death / Tian xia di yi quan

2016 #12
Cheng Chang Ho | 98 mins | TV (HD) | 2.35:1 | Hong Kong / Mandarin | 15 / R

Released in the US as Five Fingers of Death, this popularised kung fu Stateside… before Enter the Dragon came along just a few months later and completely overshadowed it.

Viewed today, it’s a bit cheesy (which is par for the course, really), and does occasionally drag with the back and forth machinations of the rival schools. But there’s a good level of action (the primary reason to watch any kung fu movie worth its salt, surely), and a particularly stunning, casually inventive, multi-fight climax.

Also look out for “the Kill Bill sound effect” (actually from Ironside) and Evil Michael McIntyre.

4 out of 5

Film4’s Revenge of Martial Arts Gold season concludes tonight at 1:35am with The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter.

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