The Film (4/5)
Kung fu is a genre that I kind of thought I knew something about. This 2 hour compilation of trailers made me realize that no, I actually don’t know shit about kung fu. I recognized only a handful of titles in the entire running time of Kung Fu Trailers of Fury and it made me want to see more. Mission accomplished, Severin Films! This disc is loaded with all that the golden age of martial arts action cinema has to offer such as impossibly choreographed violence, bonkers storylines, insanely trashy moments, and embarrassing racial stereotypes. If titles like Enter the Fat Dragon, Chinese Kung Fu Against Godfather, Fast Fingers, and Fists of Bruce Lee sound intriguing then Kung Fu Trailers of Fury is for you!
If you’ve seen a trailer compilation before then you should know what you’re getting into here. All of the trailers on this disc look pretty beat up but everything is watchable. There’s tons of scratches and other print damage but you really won’t care about picture quality once you get this party started. As for audio, this is probably the loudest Blu-ray in my collection. Kung Fu Trailers of Fury had me springing to my feet the second it started to turn the volume way, way down. Despite the loudness, the audio is clear and only a little warbly and distorted but that’s from the age of some of these trailers.
The audio commentary is easily the crown jewel on this disc. This track features Ric Meyers (author of Films of Fury), Michael Worth (The Bruceploitation Bible), Greg Schiller (martial arts teacher), and Rick Stelow (Drunken Master Video). These guys know their stuff and the info dump contained in their conversation is interesting and extremely informative. That being said, there’s some ridiculousness in these guys’ banter (especially from Meyers) that made my eyes hurt from all the eye-rolling I had to do. But all in all, a great track. There’s a short documentary called “A Brief History of Kung Fu Cinema” that is decent. It covers the beginnings of martial arts cinema up through the 1980s but definitely left me wanting more. There’s also a short doc called “The Way of the Cube” about the theater where these trailers were found. The only thing of note in this is the reenactment of when the cans of film that made up this compilation were discovered in a trunk in a dark basement. It’s something akin to “America’s Most Wanted”. I don’t know. I laughed.
I had a great time with Kung Fu Trailers of Fury and my only complaints about the disc are pretty minimal. Even at two hours long, I still wish this was way longer (which is actually a compliment). My other complaint is that there is one trailer that simply didn’t fit the tone at all. It’s a crime drama called The Happenings (1980) that contains no discernable kung-fu in the trailer that I could see. It was produced by the prolific kung fu film king Raymond Chow but other than that, I don’t understand why it’s on the disc. Nitpicking aside, this trailer compilation is a lot of fun and very entertaining. If you’re a kung fu newb like myself, you’ll have a blast.