Jackie Chan's debut film as star-writer-director broke Hong Kong box office records upon its release and forever changed the face of martial arts movies, as you'll find out from this suitably special DVD.
Picture We're used to seeing good transfers from Hong Kong Legends, but it's still surprising how good old films like this polish up with a bit of TLC. Colours are remarkably strong and the image fresh-looking.
Sound The 5.1 mix takes the old mono track and mixes it nicely between the front speakers. A nice touch is the bird twitter in the rear speakers although the effect is perhaps used a touch too much.
Audio Commentary Bey Logan once again admits to a phenomenal amount of information via this typically entertaining commentary. This was an important film for Chan as it marked his return to the Golden Harvest studios. When he'd last been there he was just another stunt guy, but now he was suddenly a star with big budgets and Bruce Lee's old dressing room. It was a good move for all concerned, as the film broke the HK$10m box office barrier.
Bey also explains the reason for the different cuts that exist of the film, and indeed many other Hong Kong movies. Over in the East the power of the distributors is so strong that they can dictate the final cut of a film and amend the content so that it fits their target audience. Artistic merit is not their first concern.
Wang In-Sik Lead bad guy in the film is played by veteran Hapkido Grandmaster Wang In-Sik. Despite his advancing years he's still able to dust the floor with his students, as he demonstrates for this near half-hour interview.
He relates his upbringing, which saw him put in a kung-fu school so he could keep off the streets where kids spent their time fighting. He also chats candidly about martial arts and the movies, describing himself as a lousy actor. He has plenty of respect for Jackie Chan though and rates his films for having a far wider scope in action and technique than the Bruce Lee classics.
Director's Workshop Jackie Chan talks us through a key scene of the film while sat at his trusty editing machine. Groundbreaking for its cutting, Jackie demonstrates the fast cuts that were a major departure from the previous style of observing a fight from start to finish. What Jackie did was to cut between a succession of endless 'money shots' to keep the audience interested.
The Cutting Room Here's an extra fight scene cut from the film and dubbed over with extraordinary cockney accents!
Trailer Gallery A new UK trailer and original trailer.
Hong Kong Legends Showcase Trailer gallery for upcoming and existing titles, including "Project A: Part II".
Ratio: 2.35:1 (anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Audio Tracks: Cantonese and English dub
Menus: Animated, with music.
Special Features Subtitles: None of the special features come with subtitles.