Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
Iron Fisted Monk DVD (1977)

Any fan of the legendary Sammo Hung will be very keen to get their hands on his 1977 directorial debut, "Iron Fisted Monk". Never before available on UK video, and hard to get hold of anywhere in the world, it's now released on DVD. Thanks to the efforts of Hong Kong Legends, it's been worth the wait.

Compared to "The Magnificent Butcher", the picture quality is a little more grainy, but that doesn't stop the transfer being impressive - the film is 25-years-old after all. Colours are bright and the detail is good, and care has clearly been taken with this disc.

Don't expect too much from the 5.1 sound mix. The dialogue sounds a little boxy on the Cantonese version, but otherwise the track splits music and effects between the front speakers quite well.

Bey Logan sits in for another one of his typically carefully prepared commentaries. Fresh from working with Sammo on Jackie Chan's new film "Highbinders", he's got plenty of anecdotes to share, and tempers his comments with a healthy helping of the cultural background to the movie.

There's also an interview with Sammo on the DVD, where he looks back on his directorial debut and discusses his friendship with the fantastic Korean martial artist Casanova Wong (do names come any better than that?).

Hong Kong Legends has added an 18-minute look at the work involved in putting together a DVD. It's a welcome addition, as it's almost becoming embarrassing to keep complimenting its discs.

Region: 2
Chapters: 20
Ratio: 2.35:1 (anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono)
Extra Features: Scene selection, audio commentary with Bey Logan, interview with Sammo Hung, Hong Kong Legends restoration featurette, Sammo Hung animated biography, trailer gallery, photo gallery, Hong Kong Legends trailer showcase, animated menus, multiple language options, and subtitles.

End Credits

Director: Sammo Hung

Stars: Sammo Hung, James Tien, Casanova Wong, Mars

Length: 90 minutes

Cinema: 1977

DVD: 29 October 2001

Country: UK