A perfectly ridiculous chopsocky with a little bit of everything: nudity, laughable dialogue, stolen spaghetti-western music, dogfighting, wall-to-wall brawling, and a catchy title. Everything, that is, but a plot.
Leaving behind his fiancee and mom, Wong Shao Ying (Chan Wai Man) heads for the city to make his fortune. Along the way, he meets a female innkeeper (Hu Chin) who happens to mention nasty local boss Lin Piao (Pai Ying), so Wong fights his way through dozens of combatants to trounce Lin at a
dogfight, thereafter discovering himself to be the new boss.
Heading home to visit mom (who isn't there), Wong is absent when a pair of thugs pummel everyone at the inn and kill the innkeeper in revenge for Lin's death. Wong tracks the thugs to Lin's grave and flattens one but the other tosses him in a lake and leaves him for dead. Wong is very much alive
however, and immerses himself in the local brothel to prove it. A young teen spots him and brings Wong's mom and fiancee to the brothel, where they find him in bed with a pair of nubiles, and they leave in disgust. The teen then challenges Wong to a fight and the pair beat each other senseless
before mom and the fiancee come running with the discovery that Wong and the teen are long-lost brothers.
It's a truism that you don't watch kung-fu films for the acting. Chan Wai Man has never been mistaken for Brando, and he's less than an exceptional fighter, but he does bring a certain compelling presence to his roles. An unapologetic criminal triad (his gangland tattoos are prominently displayed
herein), he's at his best in his many roles as outlaw, from THE CLUB (1981) through TRIADS THE INSIDE STORY (1989), straight on up to the wildly popular YOUNG AND DANGEROUS series.
THE CHINESE MACK, divided neatly in half by the vicious dogfight, does manage some entertaining martial action in the last act, although the haphazard plotting doesn't even offer the obligatory rematch with the thug who tosses Wong in the lake. Adding to the shoddy charm is the miserable dubbing,
with confused character names (e.g., when the innkeeper dies, Wong hugs her crying his fiancee's name) and Ed Wood-like dialogue (over the final fight, Wong keeps hearing his teacher calling, "Avoid the sins of the flesh! Avoid the sins of the flesh!"). Released to theaters as THE CHINESE MACK and
on video alternately as MARTIAL ARTS, the current title is video-generated and all original credits excised, including the information that producer-fight choreographer (not director, as the box would have it) David Chen Jr. was "N.U.B.C. boxing champion 1958 England." (Violence, nudity.)
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- Released: 1974
- Review: A perfectly ridiculous chopsocky with a little bit of everything: nudity, laughable dialogue, stolen spaghetti-western music, dogfighting, wall-to-wall brawling, and a catchy title. Everything, that is, but a plot. Leaving behind his fiancee and mom, Wong… (more)