Return of Kung Fu Trailers of Fury (Blu-ray)

Two more hours of the greatest martial arts mayhem in motion picture history!


I love trailer compilations. They’re like the party mixes of home video — something fun to have on in the background while hanging out and eating pizza with friends. In many cases, they have turned me on to a number of offbeat exploitation and horror movies I might have otherwise missed (because it’s often easier to track down the trailer than it is the full movie). In other instances, seeing the trailer is quite enough. The grindhouse trailers of the ‘70s and ‘80s were cut together in such a way so as to feature everything you’d probably want to see in the movie itself; all that’s missing are the long, clunky scenes of dialogue included to pad out the runtime.

Kung Fu Trailers of Fury, Severin Films’ all-martial arts trailer compilation from last year, offered more than just a chance to dig into some more obscure titles from the Golden Age of kung fu movies; it also offered a crash course in the history of the genre thanks to some excellent bonus features in which kung fu scholars provided an education on kung fu movies. The disc was such a success that now Severin has released a follow-up, Return of Kung Fu Trailers of Fury, containing over two hours of more chop socky action. Here are the trailers included on Return of Kung Fu Trailers of Fury:

Thunderbolt
Yellow-Faced Tiger
Kung Fu Master Named Drunk Cat
The Invincible Super Guy
The Invisible Terrorist
Shaolin Invincible Sticks
Bruce and the Iron Finger
Snuff-Bottle Connection
The Story of Chinese Gods
Along Come a Tiger
The Owl
Two in Black Belt
The Young Avenger
White-Haired Devil Lady
The Super Kung Fu Fighter
Killer From Above
Two Assassins of the Darkness
The Guy with Secret Kung Fu
Bloody Mission
Revenge of the Shaolin Kid
The Thundering Mantis
Shaolin Hong Chang San Feng
The Bomb-Shell
Black Guide
One Way Only
The Old Master
Bg Leap Forward
Gambling for Head
Silent Romance
Itchy Fingers
Crazy Horse and Intelligent Monkey
The Legendary Strike
The Instant Kung Fu Man
Hell’s Windstaff
The Avenging Boxer

There’s a ton to enjoy here, and it really gives one an appreciation for just how insanely prolific the filmmakers, actors and stunt performers were during the 1970s and early ‘80s when these kinds of kung fu movies were literally being churned out by the hundreds. There are a couple of titles included on Return of Kung Fu Trailers of Fury that hint at some entries that existed outside the usual formula, whether it’s the broad comedy of Kung Fu Master Named Drunk Cat or The Story of Chinese Gods, billed as China’s first feature-length animated production. Most of the features previewed here, though, are fairly traditional kung fu and wuxia films, light on story but heavy on speed, energy and incredible fight choreography.

Where a title like Return of Kung Fu Trailers of Fury comes up short in comparison to other trailer compilations of recent years is that it lacks the variety of something like Drafthouse Films’ Trailer War or the 42nd Street Forever releases from Synapse. This is by design, of course; this is meant to be a mix of only kung fu trailers. But it does feel repetitive after a while in a way that others do not. There are a few trailers that stray from the formula, but not many. The end result is that the movies all begin to blend together. Again, if your intention is to get just a sampling of these titles or to have it on in the background, that’s great. If you plan to sit down and watch it from beginning to end, it gets a little tougher to do.

Severin has done the best they can with the elements available to them, meaning many of the trailers — all presented in 1080p HD, many for the first time ever — are scratched and faded and generally have been run through the wringer. For me, it’s part of the aesthetic and has its own specific charm, but if you’re thinking the release offers pristine restorations of all of these trailers you may be disappointed. I don’t think there’s anything disappointing about it. The only audio option is a lossy stereo track that switches back and forth between Chinese dialogue and English narration; subtitles have been included in the original elements where applicable, but as was so often the case with these movies, there are misspellings and typos galore in the subtitles. To be clear, these were the subtitles included on the actual 35mm trailers and not a mistake made by Severin.

There aren’t as many bonus features included this time out, either. The only extra is a commentary featuring a returning Ric Meyers, kung fu expert and writer director of Films of Fury, joined by Frank Djeng of the New York Asian Film Festival, Drunken Master Video’s Rick Stelow and martial arts instructor Greg Schiller. Whereas the commentary on Severin’s first release felt like taking a class on kung fu films (in a good way), this has a more deliberately loose, anecdotal vibe. It’s less researched and more reactionary, but as a fan of the genre there’s a whole lot to enjoy in spending two hours with a group of people who so clearly love and understand these movies.

I love trailer mixes and I love kung fu movies so naturally I love this disc. Besides opening my eyes to a bunch of new titles and stars, it has sent me down the rabbit hole of tracking down the ones that look the most interesting or fun. Kung fu can be a daunting genre, with hundreds of hundreds of movies produced in a relatively short period and many of which seem the same on the surface. Having a resource like this one — even if it does begin to repeat after a while — is invaluable for fans of kung fu fight films.

 

THE VERDICT
Bone crunching, neck chopping, face kicking fun.

Tech Specs

Return of Kung Fu Trailers of Fury (Blu-ray)
Severin, 134 minutes, NR (1973)
VIDEO: 2.35:1 (1080p)  AUDIO:  Dolby Digital 2.0 (Chinese/English) SUBTITLES: English (SDH)
EXTRAS: Commentary ACCOMPLICES: IMDB

buynowamz

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!