Saturday, February 26, 2011


Original Title: Bai ma hei qi
Year: 1977
Director: Yang Sze (Bolo Yeung)
Writer: ?
Genre: Martial Arts / Comedy

Two convicts get freed from prison and become lawmen in a corrupt village.

I realize that a film such as this isn't going to be the best representation of the body of work Bolo Yeung has put out over the years, but I thought it might be kind of cool to start out with a rare and silly film that he not only choreographed and starred in... but FUCKING DIRECTED.

Hell yeah!

Well, not really.

But it's at the very least an intriguing (at least for me, but I've been known as an idiot in certain circles) look into this seemingly quiet, toughman's creativity (?) and maybe even personality.

For those of you that may have issues with overly corny, Hong Kong slapstick comedy in your martial arts film, this film will probably not be for you.

I am definitely one of those people.

What I found watching this was a test of patience. It's really not very good. The editing and writing makes the story almost incomprehensible, and that comedy with food slapped in faces, eyes crossing, etc. just gets to be too much at times. The acting on top of the comedy is also very broad (not helped at all by a god-awful english dub on this copy), but that is one of the things for me that is both good and bad here.

It's bad for everyone except Bolo.

Bear with me here.

Bolo Yeung for me is a classic badass villain.... but oddly I really have only ever known him from one single movie... Bloodsport. Sure he was in Enter the Dragon, the film that helped him don the Bolo name, but we all know that's really the Bruce Lee show. He was a rather nasty baddie in another JCVD film Double Impact, but I only saw that for the first time when I reviewed it here on my blog last year. Other than that, my entire image of him has really been from Bloodsport... the uber-serious, cocky monster that obliterates Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds. SPOILER ALERT~~!

So seeing him in this role was certainly a cool change of pace for me. He acts silly. He is amazingly agile for a dude his size. He has a ridiculous fucking beard and hairdo.

The film may suck ass, but seeing Bolo have fun like this was really cool for me.

Part of the reason I am writing about a few Bolo flicks is to honestly just see more of his catalog. I'm not sure I've ever been a fan of an actor when I've seen as little as I actually have. The other reason is I just finally needed to break my streak and start writing shit again, and what better way to do so than with the Beast from the East... MISTER Tough Tits himself????

You don't have to answer that.

As I said, the plot is a total mess here. Truthfully I got completely lost about halfway through and only halfway paid attention to half of what was going on. Something about Bolo being a sheriff and there's some dude that used to be sheriff that is pissed and Bolo loves this super tall skinny lady and there's some shit about gold in there. Dammit I don't know.

And what the fuck is this?

Pretty much, I just looked up when the fighting would start, which thankfully was often, but it's all not enough to save the film overall. There's some decent stuff going on from time to time action-wise; some creative fight scenes that didn't completely rely on comedy which is always good for me. The co-star alongside Bolo, and I apologize for having no clue what his name is, was a talented martial artist himself, doing some sweet things with props in his scenes.

(Keep an eye out for a can fight and a fuckin' human being as weapon fight!)

Plus, it's cool for me seeing Bolo in a full on martial arts role, and not just the immovable monster. Reference is made to his size a few times, but otherwise he is treated as any other fighter in the film. Maybe this has something to do with his actually directing and choreographing it, but who knows?

Spellcheck has informed me that I've now spelled choreograph wrong twice... a different way each time.

Make that three times.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, tits.

Wait, tits?

Oops, I meant TITS


For fans of kung fu films, there is, well, not a lot here. For fans of martial arts... there's not a ton, but some entertaining stuff nonetheless. I think Fists of Justice is worth checking out to see the softer, sexier side of the man we all know as Bolo, but for casual passers-by, you aren't missing much by skipping this.

Will this be the beginning of my path to becoming a Bolo apologist?

And Jesus Christ how many times can I say Bolo in the next couple weeks much less this one blog post?

Talent... some people are just born with it.

Bolo Bolo Bolo Bolo Bolo

Score: 3.75 / 10

No comments: