Friday, December 12, 2003

Eight Diagram Pole Fighter (1983)

The DVD I saw this kung-fu flick on is a real cheap thing -- one step above bootleg. Visual quality is akin to a late-'80s cable access broadcast, with pan-n-scan visuals ruining many compositions. Plus, it's sporting an awful dub job, the kind where the speaker will actually break off in the middle of a sentence because the person onscreen has stopped talking briefly. Despite all this, the movie still managed to kick serious ass, which only makes me wonder how transcendent it might be under proper viewing conditions. The film itself is a savage and pessimistic number about revenge and how the need for it can cause endless cycles of violence and hatred, and its kung-fu sequences are artful and brutal. It's a winner even in this mutilated state.

Grade: B+