Deadly Hands of Kung Fu
Reviewed by Chris Edwards
Rating: 7 Beans
adies and gentlemen, the worst movie you will never see. I know you'll never see it, or very likely never will, because "Deadly Hands of Kung Fu" looks just like any one of the untold hundreds of generic, bottom-of-the-underside-of-the barrel kung fu movies that turn up in the bargain video bin. But "Deadly Hands of Kung Fu" is not your average Hong Kong slugfest. It dwells in a realm of its own making, the most ludicrous, hallucinatory chopsocky movie ever.
John Woo? Tsui Hark? Forget 'em. Imaginative as they are, those boys never hatched a plot like this. Bruce Lee (played here by one Bruce Leong) awakens in the afterlife, and winds up defending the Emperor of Hell from a coup attempt. On the side of evil; Dracula, the Exorcist, Clint Eastwood, James Bond and Emannuelle! Joining up with Bruce on the good side; Kwai Chang Caine (from the "Kung Fu" TV series), the One Armed Swordsman (from a long-running series of HK action flicks) and of course, when you think of Bruce Lee you think of...Popeye!
Popeye? What the hell? Why is Popeye a dead Chinese guy? But it doesn't stop there-"Deadly Hands of Kung Fu" spirals further and further out of control, leaving the viewer disoriented and confused. See! Bruce Lee dress as Kato to fight Dracula! See! Bruce fight toilet-paper-wrapped zombies on a beach! See! Zatoichi, the Blind Swordsman, perform a move called (I swear) "Blind Dog Pisses." See! The Emperor of Hell shake his pillar! See! Guys in department store skeleton costumes leap around and go "boogie boogie boogie" a lot.
"Deadly Hands of Kung Fu" was originally called "The Dragon Lives Again." The video version was released as part of a series called "Facing All Death," "Deadly Hands" being Vol. 11. The bottom of the video box says "This Film is dedicated to the millions who loved Bruce Lee." How nice. A cheap, exploitive fantasy-comedy with dumb jokes and awful fighting. How very Bruce.
Seven beans, and a side of steamed rice. Points deducted for ripping off the title of Marvel Comics' mid-70's black and white kung-fu comic/magazine. As far as I know, I have the only copy of this in the world. It is NOT for sale.
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