Five Fingers of Death (1972)

Directed by Jeong Chang-Hwa

Stars: Lo Lieh, Wang Ping, Chiao Hsiung, Chan Shen, Chin Chi Chu

"My only real interest is in fighting, I don't care about fame, honor, or fortune."

If Yul Brynner and a Klingon had a baby, it would look like Chen Lang, one of the villains in this flick. U-G-L-Y, he ain't got no alibi, he's ugly! Anyway, if that isn't enough to make you watch this movie, wait- there's more...

Chi-Hao is sent by his master to the school of Shen Chin-Pei, where he can learn superior fighting skills. Once there, Chi-Hao has to work as a temple lackey until he proves he is worthy enough to attend actual classes. This he accomplishes by having objects thrown at him unexpectedly and being able to dodge them without getting skewered in the process.

While training, Chi-Hao has a couple of run-ins with Yul Klingon and his cronies. When Chen Lang breaks into the school and disses the master, it's the straw that breaks the camel's back and Chi-Hao gives Klingon Brynner a proper beat down. (Much to everyone's surprise.) This leads to Master Shen giving Chi-Hao the Iron Fist manual, a lethal secret technique that only Shen knows. Our hero begins to train in order to compete in the big martial arts tournament. But then the Japanese thugs show up...

The first half of this chop-socky classic is slow going, but stick with it. A good portion of this movie could have been cut to keep the story moving, and the action scenes are spread too far apart. But there is no doubt that this is an entertaining movie, and it was one of the films that started the kung fu movie craze in the 1970's. The best reason to watch is to see how this film heavily influenced the Kill Bill series created by Quentin Tarantino. Don't miss this one.