Way of the Black Dragon (1979)

Posted in Reviews by - May 22, 2021
Way of the Black Dragon (1979)

Before the omnipotence of kung fu comedies and in the wake of relentless Bruceploitation pictures, Hong Kong was still churning out recycled crime bashers like this one. Writer-director Chan Chue (an actor probably most famous for being the factory manager in The Big Boss) takes a cavalier attitude to story-telling – and directing for that matter – preferring to, presumably, just riff it on the day. This film is saved (just about) by kung fu star Carter Wong and American martial artist Ron Van Clief, both of whom leave it quite late in the film before they unleash their magic. In truth, it’s all a bit turgid before that, detailing a drug and sex trafficking operation led by a gweilo pervert in Bangkok who uses kidnapped girls as drug mules and ships them to Hong Kong. Cecilia Wong is one of the kidnapped girls who is bought as a Thai bride by Carter Wong, and despite being basically robbed of her freedom, she takes one look at cute Carter and apparently seems OK with the deal. Clief plays a Hong Kong based Interpol agent who escorts her back to Bangkok to hopefully identify the criminals, only for her to be kidnapped again! The film ends with Carter and Ron teaming up to take part in a finale which features essentially non-stop action, from a bike and car chase to a strange routine involving jet-skis before a full-on assault on the big boss’ mansion. The gweilo’s secret weapon is Charles Bonet from The Black Dragon’s Revenge, who tries his best to give Ron a good hiding, but clearly doesn’t stand a chance. Keen kung fu fans may be able to spot the likes of Peter Chan Lung and Meng Hoi being smashed around in the Hong Kong sequences.

AKA: Black Dragon.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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