Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Crippled Masters

Crippled Masters - 1979 - China - Kung Fu

"Two crippled brothers, one indestructible force.  Revenge against all odds."

Crippled Masters is a little known Kung Fu flick.  Like many Kung Fu movies from this era, the dubbing is bad, the voice acting laughably awful and the words don't even come close to matching the mouth movement.  The sound effects are all entirely corny and overused, the picture is aged and grainy, and the back of my particular DVD case has broken sentences and bad translations.  This is what you cant expect from these type of back of the video store, bargain bin martial arts movies.

The two cripples don't start off that way.  One has his arms chopped off by sword and the other has acid poured on his legs, rendering them useless.  Although this is how they play it off in the film, its massively obvious these actors where born this way.

  The "master" without arms has a creepy little finger-like appendage on his right arm.  I don't think when somebody gets one's arm chopped off, one winds up with a fully functional miniature appendage...but what they hell, they covered the gimp arm's finger deformity in blood and played it off like his arm got chopped off!

As for the "master" without any legs, its quite clear this man has been a paraplegic for quite some time.  After he forcibly has acid poured on his legs, they cover his skinny, atrophied legs in makeup and play it off like its a new injury.  At first the actor lets his legs dangle about, flailing about and twisting around each other, (an unsettling sight) but when he begins to train himself to fight he folds them up indian style for maximum efficiency, except when he uses one to put a guy in a choke hold!.

The fighting choreography in Crippled Masters at times can look overly rehearsed and robotic.  Despite this, most of the action is pretty creative .The moves that these two crippled men are capable  of are certainly impressive.  The man with no arms can manipulate a staff using just his deformed arm, chin, and feet, and is able to pick up several objects at a time with his toes and chuck them.  Ol' acid legs is great with his arms as well.  He's got some fancy moves under his belt and is able to walk surprisingly quick on his hands.  Its when these two collaborate together as a team that the fighting gets most interesting.

Crippled Masters consists of %90 Kung Fu and %10 story.  Thats fine with me, at no point does it lag or seem slow, but the constant fighting can get a little repetitive after a while.

This old school Kung Fu flick has an original concept that works pretty well, but dont expect a masterpiece.  Its cheesy as shit and dated, but turn your brain off for a while and crack a few cold ones and you may find yourself enjoying the absurdity that ensues.

I got my DVD in some weird bargain video store in lower Manhattan, it might even not be an official release, but you can find the real one for dirt cheap on Amazon, perhaps it has better quality than mine too.  Crippled Master DVD 

Plot - 3/10
Action - 9/10
Choreography - 6.5/10
Blood n' Guts - 2/10
Cheese - 8/10
OVERALL - 7/10

The old yoga dude, trainer of the crippled masters. 
Does this looks like the remains of a freshly chopped off arm to you?
Gettin' some training in
The choke hold! these legs are still good for somethin' I tell ya!


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