Released by: Severin Films
Released on: March 8th, 2016.
Year: Various Purchase From Amazon
Trailer compilations are fun. Kung-Fu movies are also fun. So when you put together a trailer compilation made up entirely of Kung-Fu movies, it stands to reason that it’ll be a lot of fun, right? Right! And that’s the best way to describe Severin’s new release, Kung-Fu Trailers Of Fury – a collection that runs over two hours in total and that brings together a pretty serious offering of hard hitting martial arts action.
The trailers included in the collection are:
The Ways Of Kung Fu / Fists Of Bruce Lee / Kung Fu Vs. Yoga / Death Blow / Two Champions Of Shaolin / Golden Dragon Silver Snake / Daggers 8 / Secret Of The Shaolin Poles / The Happenings / Snake In The Eagle's Shadow / The Story Of Drunken Master / Chinese Kung Fu Against Godfather / The Invisible Swordsman / Return Of Bruce / Bruce Le's Greatest Revenge / Shaolin Iron Claws / Fast Fingers / Enter The Fat Dragon / My Kung Fu 12 Kicks / The Brutal Boxer / Blacklist / The Damned / Bruce's Deadly Fingers / One-Arm Chivalry Fight Against One-Arm Chivalry / The Way Of The Dragon / Hong Kong Connection / Chinese Kung Fu / 18 Shaolin Disciples / The Blazing Temple / Shaolin Wooden Men / The Magnificent Boxer
As to some of the stands outs and highlights? Some of the Brucesploitation entries are pretty fun, not necessarily because they’re anywhere close to being as good as the legitimate Bruce Lee movies but because they’re so brazen in how they try to copy them and pass themselves off as the real deal. So anything with the words Bruce, Lee or Le in the title is pretty much guaranteed gold. The man himself shows up in the trailer for The Way Of The Dragon.
There’s weirder and more interesting stuff on here than that, however. Starting at the top, Kung Fu Vs. Yoga looks amazing not only because it’s got a seriously skewed take on what yoga is all about and what its practitioners do but also because it just looks off the wall nuts. The Happenings also stands out as different as it involves some he/she gender swapping weirdness, but be sure to check out the trailer for The Story Of Drunken Master in which the guy who took Chan under his wing and taught him drunken boxing in the original Drunken Master film introduces us to his foxy new protégé by directing addressing the audience. It’s a unique bit of ballyhoo and also legitimately funny.
Chinese Kung Fu Against Godfather hypes up the fact that it’s shot with a Chinese cast by a Chinese crew entirely on European shores. It looks like it takes place mostly in Holland, and as all good movies shot in Holland do, it features a fight scene on a windmill. Sammo Hung pops up here and there but his most memorable appearance here is in the early starring vehicle Enter The Fat Dragon. Here Sammo plays a pudgy Bruce Lee wannabe and while you’d think his size would put him at a disadvantage nothing could be farther from the truth – the guy can move. He’s also got great comedic timing. Check out the full length feature it you get the chance, it’s pretty nutty. The trailer for The Damned also stands out as it focuses less on the movie than on the fact that it was directed by, gasp, a woman! Will the insanity never stop? It’s also fun to see Jackie Chan himself pop up here and there with spots for Snake In The Eagle's Shadow and then again in Shaolin Wooden Men.
Severin Films presents Kung-Fu Trailers Of Fury on Blu-ray in AVC encoded 1080p high definition, each in its own aspect ratio, and generally speaking things look really good here (these were all transferred from original film elements). Expect scratches and print damage throughout but fans of trailer compilations wouldn’t have it any other way. The disc is well authored, there are no obvious compression issues to note despite the long running time of the disc, nor are there any traces of noise reduction or edge enhancement here. These trailers look like the marginally beaten up film sourced promo spots that they are, but you’ll still notice quite a bit more detail and texture here than you would on a standard definition offering. Quality varies from one spot to the next but overall, yeah, this stuff looks just fine on Blu-ray, very film like and appropriately gritty and grainy.
Audio chores are handled by a DTS-HD Mono track that is on par with the video – it’s not quite pristine, but it sounds very good for what it is. The music and effects bits also sound nice and strong and if there’s a bit of hiss here and there and the odd pop in the mix, that’s okay. Subtitles pop up when needed, sometimes burned into the trailers themselves.
Extras start off with an audio commentary from martial arts film expert Ric Meyers joins Michael Worth (author of The Brucesploitation Bible) Greg Schiller (a real world martial arts teacher) and Rick Stelow
(of Drunken Master Video) for a pretty rousing chat covering what they can over each and every one of the trailers included here. This is sometimes done with a sense of humor, other times played pretty much completely straight – it varies bit depending on the trailer in question but it’s a good track packed with a lot of information about the cast, the directors, the locations, the fight choreographers, theatrical information and quite a bit more. These guys really know their stuff.
The disc also contains a half hour featurette called A Brief History Of Kung-Fu Cinema in which Meyers and Tai Seng’s Frank Djeng give us what is essentially a crash course in Kung-Fu Movies 101. This is interesting stuff and a really nice primer that covers the origins of martial arts movies, their cultural significance in their native lands and their successful transplanting to North American shores. Additionally we get a second featurette called The Way Of The Cube that explains how this particular batch of trailers was found stored away at The Cube Theater in England.
The Final Word:
Kung-Fu Trailers Of Fury is two hours and fifteen minutes of martial arts bliss! We get a nice selection of legitimate classics and fairly serious films mixed in with some completely absurd titles, making for a pretty erratic but entirely enjoyable viewing experience. Add to that the fact that we get all of this in HD and with some choice extras? You can’t lose.
Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!