Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Man From Hong Kong (1975)

The Man From Hong Kong aka Dragon Flies was a film that was never going to trouble the Oscars or win the favour of the critics, but damn it if it isn't one of the most enjoyable and dumbest action movies of the 1970s.

Jimmy Wang Yu plays a Hong Kong Dirty Harry who has to travel to Australia to interview and extradite a drug mule back to their native country. There he is met by two funny and typically ocker coppers played by Ozploitation favourites Roger Ward (with hair!) of Turkey Shoot and Hugh Keays-Byrne (with too much hair!) the gang leader of the original Mad Max. Before he can complete his mission however, the drug mule is assasinated by his own side, which sends Wang Yu off on a personal vendetta to bring down Sydney's Mr Big, a suave, moustachioed martial arts expert played by the Australian actor and one shot James Bond star George Lazenby.

Jimmy Wang Yu

George Lazenby

Roger Ward and Hugh Keays-Byrne

As you can tell by the film poster at the top of this post, this movie has everything; car chases, car smashes, crossbow shooting, hang gliding, rock climbing, shoot outs, one long cheesy romantic montage and lots and lots of kung fu. I'm not normally a huge fan of kung fu movies but I was very impressed by the mixture of pulp action and balletic grace on display here. Wang Yu is certainly a very talented physical actor/fighter and is quite a stony faced likeable lead, radically different to the complete cretin he is alleged to have been during the shoot which saw a lot of friction between him and Brian Trenchard-Smith, the director, and some ugly beliefs he had concerning his female co-stars for he claimed all white actresses were essentially whores, and was disgusted to have to play romantic scenes with them. Quite the charmer huh?

The film is famous for setting light to George Lazenby for real during the final climactic battle and has one of the catchiest soundtracks ever thanks to British band Jigsaw's number one hit 'Sky High' (see below, after the trailer)

In short it's an absurd mash up of Kung Fu and Ozploitation. It shouldn't work, but it really does! It's immense fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment