The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

TEN FINGERS OF DEATH (1981) ***

As a boy, Jackie Chan’s father forbids him to fight so he has to take lessons from an old homeless man in the woods.  He grows up to be a waiter in his uncle’s tea house and keeps his martial arts skills a secret.  One day, he helps a lowly thief who is getting beaten up by his partners in crime by kicking the snot out of them.  Jackie’s dad finds out and gets pissed so he makes his son stick his fist in a bucket of broken glass.  When Jackie’s uncle gets targeted by the local crime boss, his father finally lets him go toe to toe with the no-good syndicate.

 

IMDB says this flick was cobbled together from two unfinished movies but it seemed pretty fluid to me.  It’s got Jackie playing a more serious role and partaking in some damn fine Kung Fuing.  He does some incredible flips and has some pretty wicked maneuvers in this one.  Chan lets his homeless master do most of the comic relief stuff and he does a fairly good job of it.  (At one point he farts in the face of his enemy!)

 

Ten Fingers of Death is a solid meat and potatoes Kung Fu flick; nothing more nothing less.  The way that Jackie was torn between his pacifist father and his short-tempered master is nicely done and gives the movie a dramatic center most of these things lack.  The short running time (78 minutes) certainly helps and the flick moves along at an acceptable pace.  The WTF quotient is pretty high too as there is an unbelievable scene in which a bad guy eats spinach to gain strength and the theme from Popeye plays on the soundtrack. 

 

There’s nothing spectacular or groundbreaking about Ten Fingers of Death; but there’s nothing really bad about it either.  It contains plenty of fight scenes, so any Chan fan should be pleasantly entertained.  Jackie gets the best line of the flick after he kicks a guy in the balls, he says:  “That’s called getting your kicks!”

 

AKA:  Last Tiger from Canton.  AKA:  Little Tiger from Canton.  AKA:  Master with Cracked Fingers.  AKA:  Snake Fist Fighter.  AKA:  Snake Fist Ninja.  AKA:  Stranger from Hong Kong.

Tags: action, jackie chan, kung fu, t
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