Reviewed by Joel Mathis
Rating: 9 Beans
discovered something interesting when I tried to research where Thunderfist came from. Apparently the vast majority of my negetive reaction to the film was the fault of the distributor, Front Row Entertainment. As a martial-arts film Thunderfist is at least entertaining with the required number of fights and some very creative action choreographing that, while not on the level of Jackie Chan, is interesting to watch. It makes for an entertainingly bad film much as many over the top martial arts films do.
The plot revolves around Korean resistance fighters battling the Japanese. Their leader, Master Lee, has been hiding out at a Catholic church and the Japanese find him and take the priest prisoner. The priest's neice, Master Lee, Ms. Wang the Chinese freedom fighter, and one of the resistance members then go and beat up a lot of people.
There's a lot of silly things that happen in the film that reveal its roots as a comedy. At the beginning of the film, one of the Japanese grabs Master Lee by the shirt and tries to pick him up, but the shirt rips COMPLETELY off revealing that the old guy is better built than most athletes and Master Lee beats up the Japanese for his insolence.
The budget of the film is very obvious when watching it. A set for a street in Korea is reused without too much in the way of redressing as a street in China. Three seperate fight scenes take place in the church alone apparently to save on sets again.
When watching the film I was amazed how incompetant these rebels are. They lead the Japanese from one cell of the resistance to the next. Their army seems more like street thugs than people ready to topple an occupational goverment.
Overall, its your standard bad kung fu movie, but what really gets to me is how it was distributed. First, on the box, the pictures are not from Thunderfist! The reason for this is that they have a horrible print that is tinted yellow. Also on the box it says that Thunderfist "is set among the dangerous world of forced prostitution and international smuggling" but neither of those are in the film except for one passing remark. "If beatiful women and priceless treasure turn you on, Thunderfist is the film for you!" except that there is no treasure in the movie. Finally, in the video itself, about halfway through the film the screen blurs and the movie jumps back ten minutes!
Thunderfist in and of itself is an entertainingly bad martial-arts film. However, the actions of the distributor, in my opinion, add a solid two beans to its score.
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