Dressed to Fight (1980)
Dragon of the Lost Ark
Legend of the Broken Sword
Zhe Jian Chuan Ji
Nomination Year: 2012
SYNOPSIS: This was not the transvestite kung-fu movie I'd been expecting (that one is called Mask of Vengeance). This is an entirely different movie with hardly any cross dressing in it.
From the moment Tieh Hua Hu arrives in this movie, people are trying to kill him. Fortunately, he's a master fighter, in a style that we have dubbed "Casual Fu." I've never seen a more relaxed method of kicking ass. Seriously, he looks like he's about to fall asleep at any moment during any fight.
At any rate, mere moments after sailing into this movie, Tieh Hua Hu is ambushed by hands sticking up out of a forest floor. After that, things start to get really strange.
The gist of it is that the hero needs to rescue the princess from the secret stronghold of White Cloud City (which sounds like a combination Star Wars and toilet tissue reference). The trouble is, the hero doesn't know about this until 3/4ths of the way through the movie. Also, the princess isn't actually a captive. She's in charge of White Cloud City, and the person who wants the princess to be rescued is one of the kung fu masters whose job it is to defend the city, so they have to manipulate the whole affair from behind the scenes.
It takes an hour and a half, several maimings, and at least two deathbed confessions to untangle the plot of this kung fu movie, and there's still a whole bunch of stuff which makes no sense at all. Like the cute assassin girl who has a pair of those shoes with the nifty poisoned switchblades in the toes. Is there some villain supply store that provides those, or is she just good buddies with Rosa Klebb?
- "Wanna Run That By Me Again?"
I've watched this movie ever since I started it.
A couple of characters are discussing a couple of other characters who look a lot alike. "What is your relationship to Cici?" one asks. "I'm the father of Cici," says the other. "Ever since she was born." Then they start to talk about White Cloud City. "No one has ever escaped from White Cloud City," says Cici's father -- immediately after lamenting his departure from White Cloud City.
A little too handy.
Our hero is walking along, and suddenly a hand reaches up out of the ground and beckons to him. He demurs: "I used to look at a girl's ankles first, but with you, it's just your hands." He starts to walk away, but sees multiple hands beckoning him from the ground. Then they start to grab for his ankles, and he leaps away. Then he wanders off, as though nothing had just happened.
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