Ten Tiger of Kwangtung (1980) and Magnificent Ruffians (1979)
The first film on this disc is Ten Tigers of Kwangtung with an all-star cast but a mish-mash of stories and confusing execution.
The Ten Tigers of Kwantung provide a safe haven for an anti-Ching revolutionary (Ku Feng), Years later, their deed results in deadly consequences for their descendants who must now fend for their lives and for their forefathers’ cause.
The film was a problematic one from the start. One of the main stars Fu Sheng had a bad accident on the set of another film he was making and another star Wei Pai suddenly left the Shaw studio to go and work for Golden Harvest. The film was put on hold and a lot of sequences had to be scrapped and the remaining footage was salvaged by creating an entirely new storyline which is told in flashback. Filming had begun in 1978 and was finally completed in 1980 after director Chang Cheh went to Taiwan to find new performers with the intention of turning some of them into bigger stars.
In the finished product so many characters are involved that it just becomes confusing. The great cast is mostly wasted apart from a few fight scenes but it was great to see Fu Sheng, Ti Lung, and the Venoms on-screen together. The choreography is slick and well done, and watch out for the way one of the bad guys is killed off in the finale!
The next film is another lesser-known movie starring the Venom’s called Magnificent Ruffians.
Yuan Ying Fei (Lu Feng) is the descendant of the one known as Golden Sword and he is a master of the technique as well as being the boss of the small town, he is known for being brutal when fighting opponents. Guan (Lo Mang) is the owner of Wu Wei security bureau but will not sell it to Yuan under any circumstances. Yuan then tricks 4 kung fu experts who are passing through the town to help him secure the security bureau and make Guan sell. When the deception is discovered all the men must band together to try and survive the onslaught of the Golden Sword.
This is a simple story told very well with as expected superb fight scenes. Lu Feng shows amazing skill using his gold Kwan Do sword and all the other venoms get to show their martial arts and acrobatic expertise. Lo Mang stands out, especially as a cocky but skilled fighter who is just trying to protect his sister and mother during hard times. Definitely one of the Venom’s better films and well worth a watch.
Both films on this disc are from new 2K remasters done by Arrow Films. Both look excellent with clean sharp images and bold colours. Audio gives you Mandarin language (Cantonese also for Ten Tigers of Kwangtung) with newly translated English subtitles. You also get the choice of the classic English dub track.
Extras are as follows –
- Brand new audio commentary on Ten Tigers of Kwangtung by filmmaker Brandon Bentley
- Interview with star Chin Siu-ho, filmed in 2003 – In this, he discusses his career and working with many stars such as Jet Li and director Chang Cheh.
- Rivers and Lakes, a brand new video essay on Shaw Brothers’ depiction of Chinese myth and history, written and narrated by Jonathan Clements, author of A Brief History of China
- Hong Kong (audio only) and German theatrical trailers for Magnificent Ruffians
- Hong Kong trailers (Mandarin and Cantonese audio options) and US TV spot for Ten Tigers of Kwangtung
- Image galleries for both films
Another great disc in the set and another reason for fans to purchase it.
FILMS TT 6 / MR 8 PICTURE – 8 AUDIO – 7.5 EXTRAS – 7