Dual Flying Kicks
World Video // Unrated // $14.99 // September 16, 2002
Review by J. Doyle Wallis | posted October 26, 2002
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Wan Tai (Lung Fei) is a mayor dealing in a little minor crime on the side. Commissioner Fung (Chen Sing), his cohort in dirty business, arrives to warn him that the government has sent two agents, the Double Kicks (Dorian Tan Tao Liang & Tan Tao-Chien), to infiltrate the town and expose the crime and smuggling operations. With various crime gangs arriving for his birthday, Wan Tai offers his daughters hand in marriage to the person that can expose and defeat the Double Kicks.

Now here is an odd one. It is fair to say that 98% of all kung fu movie plots are pretty predictable. From the early moments of the film we are usually introduced to the good guy and the bad guy, the actors might as well be wearing shirts with big red letters saying this, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out how the plot will play out. However, Dual Flying Kicks(1978) is a movie where it remains just as predictable as you'd expect but the roles are not as clearly defined. For the first third of the film there is almost no action whatsoever, and the Double Kicks only show up a bit after that. Really, only the last half of the movie has any action, and even then it is hard to route for anyone since they all mostly fall into a gray zone. Wan Tai is not some patriarchal evil crime family head, but a good man dealing with a little corruption on the side, so you don't really want the Double Kicks to bust him. Yeah, he offers his daughter's hand in marriage to the person who defeats/kills the Double Kicks, but he does it all with an air of benevolence. The clans going after the Double Kicks are not especially evil in their motives either, doing it for the daughters hand. The Double Kicks state they really want the man Wan Tai is doing business with, well, to kung fu fans, its obviously Chen Sing since if he is in a film in a minor/co-star capacity, he's usually the bad guy. And, all this occurs in the films final moments, Chen Sing shows up to be the bad guy for the finale, but for the bulk of the film we don't have a clear baddie we wish would get pummeled or a hero to pummel him.

Frankly, despite some moments, this cheapie is not a well-rounded affair. The story is pretty cumbersome, with one of the Double Kicks not very surprisingly being undercover in Wan Tai's family, masquerading as the clownish son of one of his men. As I said, with Wan Tai, Lung Fei (Kung Fu 8 Drunkards, Master of the Flying Guillotine, Return of the Chinese Boxer) isn't drawn as a menacing adversary, so near the end when the Double Kicks are double teaming him, there is no sense of elation of a bad guy, like Pai Mei, is going down. Sure, Chen Sing (Bloody Fists, Rage of the Wind, Revenge of the Dragon) shows up, but you'll just be groaning that he basically briefly appears early and in the middle of the film only to return at the end to be revealed as the "secret bad guy", which is no big secret if you know squat about kung fu casting. There are two oddball kung fu sequences, attempting and failing at some flair, when the Double Kicks confront two gangs- one gang of several men with ladders and chain weapons with a claw at one end and a curved blade at the other, and a gang employing a sorcerer, who animates his kite... I mean, his cape to attack them, before he oddly goes insane and begins to go cannibal on the gangs leader- trust me, it is ten times weirder than it sounds. Mostly though, the skills of the performers are not utilized, particularly Dorian Tan (Boxer's Adventure, Leg Fighters, Hot, the Cool, and the Vicious), who despite being in a film where its title and his character leads you to believe he will be showing off his big kicking skills, sadly, doesn't get to do very much.

The DVD: World Video

Picture: Full-screen, cropped. Typical tape source, spotty, muted color, softness, brightness fluctuations, grayed contrast, but kung fu fans are pretty used to these prints being the only thing that surface. In this case the cropping really hurts the fight choreography, and the choreography needs all the help it can get.

Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, English dub. Well, the sound source, for an older kung fu film, is darn good, very clear, free of the pops and hiss that plague these releases. The dub has the typical muffle and bad voice acting.

Extras: 8 Chapters--- World Video trailers (10mins) for various films, including Shaolin Temple, 8 Escorts, Hero Among Heroes, Kids from Shaolin, Green Dragon Inn and more.

Conclusion: Say what you will about companies like Brentwood and Ground Zero, they have at least offered some cheap transfers at cheap prices, offering double/multiple features at rock bottom MSRPs. That makes some of these solo releases, although still pretty cheaply priced, less of a bargain. With the source material being so (expectedly) shoddy and the film so lackluster, I say kung fu nuts give this a rental if they are curious, but it is just not a film or transfer I can recommend people breaking open their wallets for.

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