Return of Red Tiger (1977)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2012-06-17
Summary: About as bad as it gets...
Bruce Le stars in this South Korean action film that revolves around some stolen microfilm and a mute beggar with questionable fighting and social skills. Bruce’s character, who seems to go unnamed throughout the film, has turned mute as a result of a traumatic childhood and an abusive boyfriend of his mother. He also has taken on the persona of a cat, communicating only in yowls, growls and caterwauling. He is quite taken with a woman whose boyfriend is a secret agent in possession of important microfilm and is on the run from the mafia. Woven into the mix is a sub-plot involving James Nam as a suave and tough cop who is also in search of the film. Bruce wittingly leads the mob to the agent in hopes of taking the woman for himself, but after realizing his mistake, takes out the remaining thugs using mostly mysterious scratching techniques. Meanwhile, to no one’s surprise, James Nam completes his side-mission.

Return of Red Tiger is a truly horrible movie. You could check off a list of characteristics of a bad kung fu film and Red Tiger pretty much hits them all. 1) The plot makes absolutely no sense: you can never figure out who is who and why they are doing what they are doing. 2) The acting is bad: Bruce Le acts like a drunk, feral cat for the entire film. Granted, this may not be easy to do an an actor, but after 30 seconds of Bruce meowing and spilling milk all over himself I’d already had enough. 3) The fights are ridiculous: there is no fighting style here to speak of. I would call it a basher but Bruce only scratches people’s faces and does weak looking kicks to defeat thugs. It’s impossible to take anything he does seriously, but it’s like a car wreck that you can’t take your eyes off of. 4) There is spliced footage: in this case James Nam appears courtesy of his basher “The Fierce One,” aka “Jaws of the Dragon.” Nam’s side plot adds nothing to the film, making it a complete waste of celluloid.The final shot of Bruce literally howling at the moon while his love interest runs into the distance is as absurd as anything you’ll see in a kung fu film. The Korean name of the movie is Return of Bul-bom. Rest assured I won’t be looking for the first “Bul-bom” movie if it exists. Avoid at all costs.

1/10
Reviewer Score: 1