1978 Directed by Juang Lung (as Huang Lung)
Written by Tsai Yung
Deadly Strike is a pretty good kung fu film. It follows a pretty average plot, but takes it and runs with it, making the entire film be a whole lot of fun. There is rarely a dull moment, and they only occur when setting up the next cool fight sequence. The basic plot involves a new sheriff taking on a gang of bandits, recruiting some prisoners to help him as the bandit thugs get tougher and tougher. It all plays out like a video game, and Bruce Li does a good new Sheriff who is eager to kick some bandit butt and save the people. And many people die. The plot sounds familiar, and the style is similar to films about the Old West. I am sure there are probably research appears on how old film Westerns influence films from all over the globe, but I am hardly an expert in the matter enough to give more than an outline. Taking basic stories and transplanting them to new settings is not a new event, and it continues to happen to this day in multiple directions.
The plot of the film necessitates that there is a great number of actors and memorable bit parts, so we will have one of the rather large Roll Calls that stretch throughout the film review. We have tried to identify many of the actors, but there is scant information and many are either best guesses or left blank for later. Some of the faces are familiar to fans of the 1970s kung fu film genre, so it is only a matter of time before everyone is properly credited. So we will start out with our main characters:
Captain Chen (Bruce Li) – Chen as his name is a guess based on what one guy said quickly that could be misunderstood as some other name. So we will call him Captain, as that is what everyone else does. Put a little captain in you? This guy is the best fighter in China, it seems, and the only hope to save the village from the bandits. Bruce Li previous fought on TarsTarkas.NET in New Guinea, so he is used to exotic locales.
Wu Tung (Tsang Chiu) – The lazy assistant to Captain, he soon grows into a good fighter and loyal companion, but he dies. That always happens. Stupid dyers, stop dying!
The Cook (Chiang Han) – The Cook has a black scar/mole/something that makes him stand out, but still ends up dead. That is what happens when you run off in the middle of a long quest!
Chow Quay Ah (Choi Wang) – Chow Quay Ah killed three men, but a flashback shows they were three men who killed two women. Chow Quay Ah was just enraged at how horrible of people they were. Has a son and a mother, but his wife has passed on. Choi Wang has been in dozens of films but hasn’t appeared on TarsTarkas.NET before.
Ni Gi (Lung Fei) – One eye – A knife expert who killed a corrupt magistrate for being corrupt. Makes sense. Doesn’t like to kill people who don’t deserve it. Lung Fei might show up again if I ever get around to watching my copy of Bruce Lee Against Supermen.
Wang Chow (Su Chen-Ping) – Wang Chow was arrested for stealing a magistrate’s mistress – he is hilarious! Does several gags throughout the film. Not the best fighter, but does what he can do to help. Su Chen-Ping has also been in a bunch of films, including Way Ching Killed the Dragon which I must track down.
Wei Gun (Li Min-Lang) – Wei Gun had three wifes, beat them all and one died. Whip user. Takes a shine to Yi Lin because that is the kind of guy he is. Ends up dead before the rest due to it. Li Min-Lang is somewhere in Island Warriors.
Yi Lin (Chu Lai) – The girl who is out for revenge for reasons not explained well. She will use her body to destroy the enemy. No, not by STDs, you pervs! Chu Lai was only in a few films.
Thug leader Fan Ta Hu (Sing Chen) – The deadliest villain of them all, Fan Ta Hu controls a vast network of bandits that raid villages at will, cause all sorts of problems, and have the local police too scared to fight them. Fan Ta Hu fights cobras to keep himself fast, and spends his fights high on drugs so he will feel not pain. Will soon learn you can’t mess with the Captain! See Sing Chen here in Bruce Li in New Guinea and Lady Iron Monkey.