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中泰拳壇生死戰 (1974)
The Tournament

Reviewed by: cpardo
Date: 05/18/2006
Summary: Great martial arts drama with Mao

A martial arts master is behind business payments to thugs, so they take his daughter as ransom. He decides to take a risk and enter 2 of his students into boxing matches in Thailand for prize money. The students are soundly defeated, and as a result he brings shame upon the Martial Arts Chinese Association, his daughter's marriage is cancelled, and all his other students quit. This is too much for him so he commits suicide. In order to restore her father's name, the daughter Feng travels to Thailand to study Thai boxing with her brother, and enter the matches, and take victory with what they learned. Of course the Thai representatives are sore losers, and want to get even....

I'm glad I was able to get a hold of a Chinese version of this film--uncut and subtitled. Dubs take all the drama out of movies like this. The Tournament is more than just a chopsocky--there's plenty of drama that unfolds between the fighting sequences. It's most notably the drama involving Feng's father, and the martial arts association. Then there's the great scene where Feng (Mao) confronts the association along with some Japanese, and these are some of the best kung fu battles I've seen involving Angela Mao. Then we move to Thailand and these boxing matches are also well choreographed and photgraphed. Mao looks great in the ring (and looks good in shorts!) and Carter Wong isn't bad either. The ending is somewhat abrupt but does have a decent resolution. The rest of the cast is stellar including Feng's father Ko, plus Kwan San (Rosamund Kwan's dad) and a cast of GH regulars including Whang In Sik, Wilson Tong and Sammo Hung, an association member who challenges Mao. It looks like it was partially filmed in Thailand too--a great exotic locale. I also like the music score.

I think it's time Golden Harvest follow Shaw Brothers example and remaster and release their Mao Kung Fu films and others from the 70's on DVD with subs. Don't you? This one is some of the best from that period. Go Mao!

Reviewer Score: 7