Mantis Under Falcon Claws (1983)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2006-09-08
Summary: Total piece of garbage...
A lord's daughter and her procession of servents are ambushed by Falcon Ma's bandits and she is kidnapped. Wang, a silk dealer, manages to escape but only after his silk is stolen. He takes refuge at the Shaolin temple and is taught martial arts by the cook (Ga Hoi). Meanwhile, a roving fighter befriends Wang's sister but they are also captured by Falcon Ma (Hyeon Kil-Su). Later, Wang and the fighter (who has escaped), team up to take down the thugs and rescue the women.
A truly horrible film, Mantis Under Falcon Claws is a total waste of 80 minutes. I almost feel that the way these films are marketed should be a crime punishable by severe maiming or such. According to the distribution studio, Mantis Under Falcon Claws has this summary:

"Has the Mantis style met its match? He might rule on land, but the deadly Falcon dominates the air! See the maddest styles go head to claw. Up, down, and sideways!! The action never stops. Look for the famous "vertical tree walk"!! It's fists, kicks, leaps and claws!! Don't miss this one!!"
- Ground Zero's "Brooklyn Zu" DVD synopsis

Now granted, I didn't go into this film expecting much, but nothing of what is described here takes place in the film. No one in the movie has any discernible style, let alone either Falcon (Eagle?) Claw or Mantis. (I'm assuming now that the "Falcon" part is referring to Hyeon Kil-Su's character "Falcon Ma.") And the "famous 'vertical tree walk'?" Nowhere to be found, unless you call it stringing someone up in a tree by their feet. What happened to false advertising laws!?! Mitch Wong (the supposed director) is the one that should be strung up by his feet as punishment. And no big surprise that Godfrey Ho was connected to this movie with a plot in shambles. As with any kung fu movie, a bit can be salvaged if the fight scenes are decent. Unfortunately, the choreography is amateur and the filming undercranked. In addition, the editing is horrendous to the point where there are obvious cuts in the middle of fights to allow the actors breaks and the ability to get into more favorable filming positions. Ga Hoi and Hyeon Kil-Su have an admirable (but too brief) battle, but again it is not enough to redeem the movie. Avoid at all costs!

Reviewer Score: 2