'Kung Fu Killer' - The Review!
Already broadcast in the UK in February the story, which is rather obviously two movies thinly disguised as a mini-series (the second a barely plausible sequel to the first, if truth be told) 'Kung Fu Killer' is set in late 1920s in China, before Communist rule.
'Kung Fu Killer' tells the story of White Crane (Carradine), an orphaned son of Western missionaries who was raised as a Wudang monk to become a spiritual leader and master in martial arts, and his ultimate journey for revenge and justice. Beginning in the Shanghai underworld, Crane encounters Jane Marshall (Daryl Hannah) a lounge singer from Brooklyn, who is on a mission of her own to find her lost brother.
The first movie centers around White Crane (Carradine) who, after witnessing the destruction of the Wudang temple where he was rescued as a troubled orphan with a violent past, goes on a quest to avenge the death of his grandmaster (no, her name isn't Flash!), even though as she lay dying he promised her he wouldn’t.
Badly wounded, Crane is rescued by Lang Han (Osric Chau), Crane’s protege and the only other survivor from the massacre committed by the minions of the local crime lord, Khan Xin (Lim Kay Tong), for some vague reason that never really gets explained. After his convalescence Crane makes his way to Shanghai and into a smoky night club owned by wannabe tough guy Bingo (Jimmy Taenaka).
Crane uses his unbeatable Kung Fu to save Jane Marshall (Hannah), Bingo’s girlfriend and star act, who is (as mentioned) in Shanghai to look for her missing brother. Bingo challenges Crane to fight in a gambling bout, which he hosts in the same night club, and Crane comes face-to-face with Kahn’s Mongol henchman. The same man who lead Kahn’s army during the destruction of the Wudang temple. Crane crushes his skull and then gets offered a job!
The second movie brings back all of the heroic characters from the first film, which is a little confusing due to the fact that at the end of the first movie Daryl Hannah’s character leaves for Los Angeles! Crane has returned to the destroyed Wudang temple to rebuild and train a new batch of monks.
Bingo has decided to propose to Jane. Suddenly one of the women at Bingo’s club goes nuts and, after dispatching Bingo’s favorite bodyguard and Bingo himself, kidnaps Jane and one of the dancers for her boss.
'Kung Fu Killer' takes us back to Crane’s roots, to Crane the abused child, Crane the moderator, and most surprising of all, Crane the seeker of revenge. Spike TV has never been known for its restraint. And certainly they kept restraint in the box when making this movie. There is more blood and gore in the first 5 minutes of 'Kung Fu Killer,' than there was in the entire TV series.
But here is the strange part ... star David Carradine looks as fit today as he did 30 years ago!!