Saturday, January 10, 2009

Chinese Hercules (Ta Huang, 1973)

Bolo Yeung in Chinese Hercules (1973).

"Bone cracking! Head crushing! Back snapping! Body breaking!" Bolo Yeung delivers in Chinese Hercules (1973). He's not the main character though and doesn't really get anything to do until the end of the film and the road there is pretty excruciating. The story is simple, Chan gets provoked into fighting his girlfriend's brother and accidentaly kills him causing him to flee town. He takes a job unloading ships at a pier but the boss is in business with the mob and when they demand that all the workers leave the pier so that they can use it to unload their own "special" goods trouble starts brewing. Some of the workers are killed by a musclebound mob henchman (Bolo Yeung) fights are breaking out and the foreman tells the workers that Chan is the only one that can help them, but Chan's guilt over killing a man has rendered him unable to fight. What will it take to make him fight again? Bolo Yeung busting some skulls is what it takes.

The problem with Chinese Hercules is that there is too much downtime between the fights, there are beatings in the film where one person is getting the crap kicked out of him by a group of others but the actual fights are few and far between until the long showdown between Bolo and Chan in the end. But it still manages to be a fairly entertaining film and it is well shot and the western-like theme helps build some tension for the fights. Chinese Hercules may not be the greatest martial arts film ever made but for some crazy Bolo madman action, you can't go wrong with it. According to Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao and Corey Yuen also have small roles as thugs, I missed them though.