The Tongfather (1974)

Posted in Reviews by - November 15, 2012
The Tongfather (1974)

Cheap Taiwanese spy fu from Tien Peng who looks rather charming as a chain smoking secret agent, hardly recognisable from his swashbuckling persona in King Hu’s A Touch of Zen. A revolving Chinese cast play Japanese opium dealers in Samurai attire, planning their nasty racket from the confines of a dojo. Tien Peng and partner Tin Hok are recruited by their government to infiltrate the dealers and take it down from the inside, although Peng makes only the smallest of efforts to remain undercover, bragging about his espionage skills before laying waste with his special kung fu chops. The marvelous title refers to Yee Yuen’s kingpin character, although none of the baddies are alive long enough to make any sort of impression. And that funky song playing every five minutes? Papa Was A Rolling Stone by The Temptations. Perhaps the best use of disco in a kung fu picture.

AKA: Hands of Death; The Notorious Bandit

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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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