Import Corner: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon (Eureka Entertainment) Blu-ray Review

Sammo Hung and Karl Maka make for an entertaining in Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon, brand new on blu-ray from Eureka Entertainment.

Studio: Eureka Entertainment
Release Date: June 28th, 1990 (theatrical)
                            February 21st, 2022 (blu-ray)
Run Time: 1 hour 44 minutes 48 seconds
Region Code: B (locked)
Picture: 1080p (1.85:1 aspect ratio)
Sound: Cantonese LPCM 1.0
               English LCPM 1.0
               English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English for the Cantonese track
                   English for the Enlish dubbed track
Slipcover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Sammo Hung, Karl Maka, Carrie Ng, and Wanda Yung
Written by Chang Kwok-tse
Directed by Lau Kar-wing
Rating: BBFC: 15 (Contains moderate violence, sex and drug references)




What's It About?

Teaming up with the infamous “Skinny Tiger” (Karl Maka – the ACE GO PLACES series), Sammo becomes the larger ‘half’ of a luck-starved, crime fighting duo forced to fight a running battle against a crime syndicate of triad gangsters.

Film Review

Whenever people bring up Sammo Hung, they talk about the classics: MAGNIFICENT BUTCHER, MILLIONAIRES' EXPRESS, and WHEELS ON MEALS are usually the go-tos. No one talks about SKINNY TIGER AND FATTY DRAGON.

The film stars Sammo Hung and Karl Maka as two detectives who are trying to bring down a crime boss. It's a simple story and the film is pretty simple too. This is a film that puts comedy over fight scenes, but the comedy doesn't work most of the time. Through most of the film, I found myself getting kind of bored because the comedic scenes just weren't doing anything for me. There is a scene where Sammo and Maka steal the crime boss' car and as he is following them in another car, they destroy his car by crashing into things and driving it down a few flights of stairs. This scene made me laugh really hard and you can see that everyone is involved is having a really fun time. I mean, wouldn't you if you got to destroy a car without any reparations?

When the film decides to give us some fight scenes, they are really good. There is a scene where Sammo fights a group of the crime boss' men in a constructions site. This scene should be looked at more as it is so exciting and entertaining. Even though Sammo didn't choreograph it, it still feels like a Sammo fight scene. The rest of the fight scenes are really good, but this one takes the cake. 

SKINNG TIGER AND FATTY DRAGON is a lesser Sammo Hung film. The comedy doesn't work most of the time and the characters are kind of dull. The fight scenes are worth watching the film for and I wish they had focused more on them. It's an alright film. 


SKINNY TIGER AND FATTY DRAGON arrives on blu-ray in it's original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and looks good. Eureka doesn't make any mention on the blu-ray case or their website on what kind of transfer it is, so I am going to assume that it is an older transfer. It doesn't matter as it looks really good. Film grain in present and detail is nice. Colors are nice too. The big thing for me was that this film look right. In the 80s and the early 90s, films had a "smokey" feel to them. Many times, when a film comes to home media, that feel is gone. I have noticed with newer transfers, they have brought that feel back and this film has it. 

Audio comes in three forms: the original Cantonese mono, and the English dub both in mono and 5.1 forms. Audio sounds great no matter what track you pick. There are two English subtitle tracks: one for the Cantonese track and the other for the English dub track. The menu claims that one of the tracks is for both the Cantonese track as well as the commentary tracks but I think that is because the commentators were watching the Cantonese track and not that their commentary tracks are subtitled.


Disc 1: The Film + Special Features

Audio Commentary with Frank Djeng and Bobby Samuels
Audio Commentary with Mike Leeder and Arne Venema To read my views on talking about the commentaries that these guys put out read this.
Interview with Mark Houghton (6m 35s, HD, 1.78:1) Audio Interview recorded in 2021. Plays over the final fight of the film. He talks about working with Sammo and Lau Kar-wing with Sammo telling him that it is ok to hit him as it looks better on film.  Talks about Sammo generosity as Sammo loves to make others look good. He also tells a story about when Sammo kicked him in the face. 
Interview with Lau Kar-Wing (25m 47s, SD, 1.78:1) Archival interview with the film's director. He starts out by giving us a history of his martial arts as well as his family history. He set up a production company with Sammo and they made DIRTY TIGER, CRAZY FROG and THE ODD COUPLE. He would then show up in smaller parts in films Sammo was making which is something Sammo did for a lot of his friends. He talks about how filmmaking has gotten easier over the years and how the director doesn't have to do everything anymore. 
Interview with Ridley Tsui (19m 18s, SD, 1.78:1) Archival interview with the film's action director. The music that is supposed to play underneath the recorded audio is mixed too high and it makes this interview hard to listen to. It gets better as the interview goes on, but it doesn't start out good. He talks about doing stunts. He would volunteer to do a stunt without knowing how to do the stunt properly.
Extended Taiwanese Fight Scene (8m 24s, SD, 1.66:1) Longer version of the film's climactic fight scene. This is taken from a Taiwanese VHS and is subtitled in English.
International Trailer (5m 32s, HD, 1.85:1)

Disc 2

I am the White Tiger (1 hour 19 minutes 47 seconds, HD, 1.78:1) This 2nd disc is a bonus disc for the first edition of this release. It focuses on Mark Houghton who played the crime boss' lead henchman in SKINNY TIGER AND FATTY DRAGON. The doc gets right into things with Houghton first traveling to Taiwan within the first 10 minutes or so.  From there, we get a look at his career in martial arts in Hong Kong. He tells a story about how he was chased by a group of gangsters who he fended off before finding help. He almost died. He then talks about his relationship with Lau Kar-leung. The stories he tells of what happened when Lau Kar-leung died in 2013 is truly heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. The rest of the doc focuses on his life now. He works as a fight and stunt choreography on movies while teaching kung fu to anyone who wants to learn. This is a great doc that is really an emotion rollercoaster at times. 

SKINNY TIGER AND FATTY DRAGON arrives on blu-ray with a nice Limited Edtion. The slipcover features new artwork from Darren Wheeling who has done artwork like DUEL TO THE DEATH, ONE ARMED BOXER, and MR. VAMPIRE. The artwork captures the essence of the film and is gorgeous to look at. The double wide blu-ray case features reversible artwork with the film's Thai poster art on the front and the classic English versions of the Hong Kong poster on the other side. Inside the case, we find two blu-rays with artwork taken from the Darren Wheeling artwork on each disc. There is also 24-page booklet with a James Oliver essay on the film, various poster art from around the world, and a few BTS photos.


SKINNY TIGER AND FATTY DRAGON is a decent film when the fight scenes are around, but it dips in quality during many of the prolonged slapstick comedy scenes. You may like it, but I didn't. Eureka Entertainment has another winner on their hands with this release. Top marks across the board with the special features being just awesome. There's another film included here which is always a plus. If you are a Sammo fan then you're going to want to pick this release up.




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