The Kid with the Golden Arm (1979)
Directed by Chang Cheh
Stars: Lo Mang, Lu Feng, Kuo Chui, Sun Chien, Chiang Sheng, Philip Kwok
"When this mission's finished, maybe we'll all be dead."
Another superb Shaw Brothers martial arts film! This flick is filled to overflowing with awesome characters, cool costumes, fierce weaponry, tough guy humor, and an engaging mystery involving the transport of a cache of gold through hostile territory. Your eyes will never leave the screen as the story advances from one bloody melee to the next.
The Chi Sah gang are a group of young martial arts masters who wish to intercept the gold being escorted through their domain. Golden Arm is #1 and even though he is the youngest of the group, he is the toughest motherfucker out there. He doesn't need weapons and can disembowel a man with his FIST. Silver Spear is #2, a slimy bastard who whups on his opponents using an extendable spear and throwing darts that he carries on his belt. Iron Robe is #3, and the name says it all- the dude wears an iron robe that makes him practically invincible. Finally, we have Brass Head, who is #4. He wears a brass helmet which he uses to cause the ultimate headache that no amount of aspirin can cure.
With villains like this prowling the route, we need some worthy matches for the Chi Sah. The Shaw Brothers don't disappoint. Mr. Yang, who is in charge of moving the shipment, hires some extra security in order to reach his destination safely. There is master swordsman Li and his girlfriend, Miss Leng (who also uses a sword.) Also on hand are Short Axe and Long Axe, two wisecracking pals who like to keep track of the number of men they kill. (These two are my favorite characters of the film and they are a joy to watch as they calmly joke with each other and destroy all comers.) Rounding out the group is the sardonic and crafty drunken master Hai To, who kicks much ass under the influence.
This movie is off the charts when it comes to action and pure mayhem. Favorite fight scene- Short and Long Axe walk into an ambush led by Silver Spear. Though outnumbered, the Axe boys slice and dice their way through most of the competition and Silver Spear resorts to some treacherous moves to manipulate the odds in his favor. The resulting battle between Silver Spear and Short Axe is AMAZING. If you are a fan of this genre, this movie is a must for your collection.