Cinema of Vengeance
This compilation of HK action clips from Eastern
Heroes has a few pluses and a few minuses. It makes a real effort to bring
a historical perspective to the HK action film genre. It has clips from
some of the earliest HK films through the Wong Fei Hung films of the 1950’s,
the Shaw Brothers, Jackie Chan and finally to the Heroic Bloodshed genre
of the 1980’s. Interviews with people like Jimmy Wang Yu and Lau Kar Leung
add to this considerably. A wonderful clip of Bruce Lee’s screen test is
fascinating. There are other such little gems spread throughout.
The main problem with the film though is an apparent
lack of availability of many of the classic films. Clearly, Golden Harvest
did not participate in this project because none of their films are here.
For example with the large segment on Jackie Chan the viewer is stuck with
clips from Fantasy Mission Force and Island on Fire – two of his worst
films. For the Heroic Bloodshed clips from Chow Yun Fat’s Tragic Hero and
Simon Yam’s Cypress Tigers are shown. Not by any stretch the best examples
of this genre.
On the other hand this limitation forces them
to sometimes use some interesting films that likely would not have been
used as The Club, My Heart is the Eternal Rose and Tiger Cage 2. One other
weak point is a reliance on western points of views from people who are
in no way qualified to use up time. Golan Globus – who wants to hear
what he has to say about HK films?
Still some interesting historical information
and along with some of the other compilation films helps paint a picture
of HK action films.