Review: Kung Fu Gold (1975)
Starring Tien Hsiang Lung, Wong Kuan Hsiung, Tza Lan, Wong Fei Lung, Cheung Ping, Chow Ming Ching
Fight Choreography by ?
Directed by Shin Sheng En
The film opens as we meet a ground of long time miners, some decent in kung fu, just as they are bickering among themselves about their lack of success finding gold. So of course they suddenly find themselves striking gold after a really long fight scene between two of them that essentially goes nowhere but does introduce us to the main character Yun Lung, who breaks up the fight. In deciding what do to with the gold, of course the first important matter to attend to—of course not exactly mining it all first—is to go find wives for all of the miners. Priorities, folks. So, given what is basically a grocery list of female attributes, Yun Lung is chosen to leave the mine and round up the women the other miners want and return with them. I assume an orgy of Spartacus-level shenanigans would have ensued. Right after Yun Lung leaves the one douchebag among them, named Blackie, betrays them to a greedy kung fu master Lung Woo, who wants the mine for himself. After what has to be the most nonsensical end to a duel ever, which leads to what has to be the most successful version of the old “look over there!” distraction in the history of ever, Yun Lung returns to his hometown to get the girl he’s always pined for and bring her back, but he finds out she had been raped by the captain of the army and then committed suicide. Yun Lung rounds up the women first (once again, priorities) and teams up with a local rebel to get his revenge on the captain…
If there is a stupid thing that can occur in this film, they manage to find a way to make it happen. For instance, two characters duel with the fate of the mine in the balance, and bad guy wins said duel, but then runs away vowing he’ll return with more men?! That and the end, which literally leaves ten characters story arcs actually hanging in the air. It was like the writer said, “ Okay, we’ve exceeded our running time. Let’s just end this shit. Naw, I don’t give a damn about the miners.” It doesn’t help that the miners are kind of dicks themselves, but after Yun Lung leaves we never really see them again and forget about them, just like the director did. The final battle isn’t bad but shoddy editing and production values really derail it, as it does for most of the picture.
The kung fu fights are okay, but just that. Okay. Nothing great of any note, mostly just displays that show that the fight choreographer can put together really looooonnng fights.
Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 4
Actually a pretty good film to watch on a Friday night when you are wanting to go to sleep watching some kung fu. You won’t give a damn about the story or characters. Just let the long fights lull you to sleep…