DVD review: “Martial Arts Movie Marathon” Is Perfect For Kung-Fu Enthusiasts

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Review by James McDonald

Shout! Factory has collected four of the most sought-after martial arts action classics into one DVD package with the “Martial Arts Movie Marathon”.

I grew up in Ireland watching any movie with martial arts in it: Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Chuck Norris, Jim Kelly, Bob Wall and Dan Inosanto, to name but a few. And after watching these movies, my friends and I would continue to pummel each other into the ground because we all thought we were better than each other (Don’t tell anybody but I was the best. I was, I really was). With “Martial Arts Movie Marathon”, we have a four-movie compilation of hard-to-find classics that should appease any die-hard martial artists out there. Of course, these movies wouldn’t be complete without their absolutely horrendous lip sync voice-overs and positively terrible sound effects but that was part of the charm back then. We have advanced somewhat, technically that is, so today, when someone receives a punch in the stomach, it sounds real, compared to back then when a punch in the stomach sounded more like a cow’s ass being smacked with a wet towel.

Also, after Bruce Lee made his first international hit with “The Big Boss” in 1971, every other Asian martial artist tried to fight, look and sound just like him and for the most part, failed. That’s not to say that they weren’t good fighters, on the contrary, many would argue that some of them were even better than Mr. Lee but the fact remained that once he, his fighting techniques and familiar caterwauling sunk into the public’s consciousness, everyone else paled in comparison. The overall quality of each movie on display here is sufficient. None of them were remastered and each film is presented in its original 2.35.1 aspect ratio. Legendary Hong Kong producer Raymond Chow, the man responsible for making a star out of Bruce Lee, produces each movie here and John Woo, famed director of such films as “Hard Boiled”, “The Killer”, “Face-Off” and “Hard Target”, directs his second
feature film with “The Dragon Tamers”.

In “The Skyhawk“, Wong Fei Hung fights the local crime boss. Also starring Sammo Hung, Carter Wong (“Big Trouble In Little China”) and Nora Miao (“Fist Of Fury”).

The Manchu Boxer” finds a roaming fighter who gets into the ring to win a boxing tournament to thwart an evil warlord. Starring Anthony Lau Wing (“The Big Boss”), Sammo Hung and Wilson Tong Wai Shing (“Lady Whirlwind”).

In “The Dragon Tamers“, we find two fighters who must come together to fight a pair of evil brothers. Starring Carter Wong, James Tien (“The Big Boss”) and Ji Han Jae (“Hapkido”), “The Dragon Tamers” is director John Woo’s (“Hard Boiled”, “The Killer”) second film.

In “The Association“, a detective must thwart an evil organization who is running an international prostitution ring. Starring Byong Yu, Tien Nei (“The Young Dragons”), Angela Mao Ying (“Hapkido”) and Carter Wong.

In stores now

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James McDonald

Film/Theater Critic & Interviewer at Red Carpet Crash
Originally from Dublin, Ireland, James is a Movie Critic and Celebrity Interviewer with over 30 years of experience in the film industry as an Award-Winning Filmmaker.
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