HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Marjorie Prime
Hotel Salvation
Mangler, The
Shiraz
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
Flesh Feast
Gerald's Game
Crocodile Dundee II
Baaghi
Bat People, The
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
   
 
Newest Articles
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
   
 
  One Armed Against Nine Killers Won't someone lend Jimmy a handBuy this film here.
Year: 1976
Director: Hsu Cheng-hung
Stars: Jimmy Wang Yu, Chung Wa, Cheng Hung Lieh, Lo Lieh, Cho Kin, Lung Fei, Maan Saan, Hsieh Hsing, Ko Jan-Pang, Wong Wing-Sang, Hau Pak-Wai, Chin Lung, Sit Hon, Wong Chi-Sang, Yue Hang, Wong Gwok-Chue, Ng Ho, Miu Tak-San
Genre: Martial Arts, Adventure
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In the dead of night a notorious killer named Mung Sing Hung (Chung Wa) meets a grisly end at the hand of a one-armed stranger (Jimmy Wang Yu). “One down, eight to go”, the stranger growls. Years ago the Chu clan of assassins slew eighty members of his family. Now the stranger seeks revenge and fights his way through the remaining super-skilled killers hoping to find their master Chu. The mysterious chieftain, who remains unseen while his voice booms out of a megaphone throughout his castle, lays a series of fiendish traps along the stranger’s path but our handicapped hero soldiers on.

This is not a sequel to Jimmy Wang Yu’s breakthrough Shaw Brothers classic One-Armed Swordsman (1967) nor among the official follow-ups to his smash hit One-Armed Boxer (1971). One Armed Against Nine Killers marks yet another trip for Jimmy along the well-trodden path to lone limbed vengeance, a road he clearly hadn’t tired of yet since he made both One-Armed Swordsmen (1976) and his masterpiece Master of the Flying Guillotine (1976) that same year - and followed through with One Armed Chivalry Fights Against One Armed Chivalry (1977)!! Jimmy never met a unidexter he didn’t like.

Having quit Shaw Brothers, Jimmy was blacklisted from working in Hong Kong and henceforth made most of his movies in Taiwan. Here he is reunited with another former Shaw Brothers alumni: Hsu Cheng-hung, the man who gave him his first taste of stardom in Temple of the Red Lotus (1964). Oddly unheralded in the West, Cheng-hung is ranked among the most important figures in Mandarin cinema but this late effort is a lot shoddier than his Shaw Brothers movies. Nevertheless the zoom-happy camerawork and inexplicable plot twists are offset by moments of visual flair. Notably Jimmy’s showdown with an old martial arts master who plays life-sized chess with human pieces. Shot from overhead the sequence is staged with a neat combination of kung fu, wirework and stop-frame trickery.

Another cleverly staged sequence opens with a two-shot that seems at first to be a tête-à-tête between two lovers before the camera pulls back to reveal the girl, Lan Lan strapped to a torture rack. Jimmy naturally saves the girl and kills her tormentor who conveniently happens to be the next man on his hit-list. And what a wacky bunch of pranksters they are: a man who thinks he is a turtle (Hau Pak-Wai), twins who share the same name and repeat each others sentences, a dude armed with a six foot sword (“Size of sword doesn’t matter”, Jimmy sagely observes), a beautiful lute-playing femme fatale (“I hear the sound of death when you play”, says Jimmy) and a transsexual monk dubbed with a woman’s voice (“You disgusting creature”, snaps Jimmy in decidedly un-P.C. fashion).

Each of these killers pop out of nowhere - as do a pair of enigmatic allies including elderly spearman Chow Yi To (Cho Kin) and smiling killer Tang Han who is obviously more than he seems - in a manner that imparts a make-it-up-as-we-go feel to proceedings. Jimmy despatches most with minimum fuss although the great Lo Lieh gives him more of a workout in a brief cameo. While undoubtedly episodic, these are at least suspenseful episodes especially when an injured Jimmy suddenly realises the physician treating him is one of the nine killers. Lousy dubbing undermines the poetically-inclined dialogue which strives to make some sort of point about the futility of vengeance. Cheng-hung hammers his message home with a mind-boggling finale that packs an absurd array of shock twists including one revelation that was recycled by the French historical drama/horror/martial arts oddity: Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001). It’s all very amusing but likely to appeal more to seasoned kung fu fans than casual viewers.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1475 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: