Released by: Severin Films
Release Date: March 1st, 2016
Region Code: Region Free
Run Time: 2h
Audio: English: LPCM 2.0
Video: 1080p (1.85:1 & 2.35:1 Aspect Ratios)
A Brief History of Kung Fu Cinema (28m 9s, HD)
Kung Fu Cinema Historian Ric Myers and Tai Seng’s Frank Djeng give us a Kung Fu Films 101 lesson taking us all the way back to the early 1900s. They then take us through the Wong Fei-hung films before talking about the Shaw Brothers and Bruce Lee and making their final landing on Jackie Chan.
If one does not know about martial arts films, then this crash course will serve those well, but for fans this featurette will be pointless as the information contained is told better elsewhere. I wish that the featurette had focused on a particular time period and then on a Vol 2 they could have focused on another time frame. Rushing through everything defeats the purpose of teaching anything.
This featurette focuses on The Cube, theater in England shows all different types of film. One day they found a box of film reels that contained a bunch of old kung fu trailers. The theater then put the trailers together and ran two separate trailer marathons.
I always love stories about lost or forgotten films being found. They are always found in a place no one else would look. This featurette is nice to have but not worth more than one watch.
Commentary with Ric Myers, Greg Schiller (a martial arts teacher), Michael Worth (author of the Bruceploitation Bible), and Rick Stelow (Drunken Master Video)
This is a nice commentary track. The guys all know each other which gives the commentary track an easy listening feel. The guys talk about the different films that we see as well as focus on some of the actors, stuntmen, and directors. There are a lot of laughs to be found here and sometimes the guys talk very straight about a film. There is even one trailer for a film that none of them had heard of before, they don’t recognize any of the actors in the film, and are at a loss for words before they begin to lightly riff on the trailer itself. Definitely worth a listen.
The blu-ray comes housed in a single disc blu-ray case. The artwork is nice, but a little showy. The disc itself is region free.
Here is a list of the trailers featured on this disc:
The Way of Kung Fu/Fists of Bruce Lee/Kung Fu vs Yoga/Death Blow/Golden Dragon Silver Snake/Daggers 8/Secret of the Shaolin Poles/The Happenings/Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow/The Story of Drunken Master/Chinese Kung Fu Against Godfather/The Invincible Swordswoman/Return of Bruce/Bruce Le’s Greatest Revenge/Shaolin Iron Claws/Fast Fingers/Enter the Fat Dragon/My Kung Fu 12 Kicks/The Brutal Boxer/Blacklist/The Damned/Bruce’s Deadly Fingers/One-Arm Chivalry Fight Against One Arm Chivalry/The Way of the Dragon/Hong Kong Connection/Chinese Kung Fu/18 Shaolin Disciples/The Blazing Temple/Shaolin Wooden Men/the Magnificent Boxer
Severin and The Cube have put together a really nice selection of trailers here. There are some true classics here, like Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow (Jackie Chan), The Way of the Dragon (Bruce Lee), and Enter the Fat Dragon (Sammo Hung). There are also some really weird films, like Chinese Kung Fu Against Godfather and Chinese Kung Fu. Kung Fu vs Yoga looks really good and I will be seeking this film out.
I love these trailer compilations that the different companies are putting together. We have the 42nd Street series, Trailer Wars, and The Trailer Trauma series. Each of these compilations are worth the money as they all have something different to bring to the table, but this one is unique as it focuses on kung fu trailers, whereas the others have kung fu trailers but focus more on horror and sci-fi.
This is a definite pick-up even if you are not a kung fu fan yet. We get some of the best trailers and some of the worse. The presentation from Severin is really good and the special features are good as well. Hopefully this sells well so that Severin can do more.