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Category:    Home > Reviews > Martial Arts Cycle > Comedy > Exploitation > The Crippled Masters 2 + The Crippled Masters 3 (1980 81/Apprehensive Films DVD)

The Crippled Masters 2 + The Crippled Masters 3 (1980 81/Apprehensive Films DVD)


Picture: D Sound: C- Extras: C-/D Films: C-/D



Not long ago, Apprehensive Films released The Crippled Masters 2: Two Crippled Heroes and The Crippled Masters 3: Fighting Life, both on DVD for the first time. Everyone who enjoyed the original can now finally see the further adventures of Jack Conn and Frank Shum without having to resort to bootlegging... but has the wait been worth it?


In each of these films, we follow the adventures of two skillful martial artists one who happens to be missing his legs, and the other with short nubs for arms. Two Crippled Heroes has some alright moments in it, though the fights come less frequently than they did in the first film a movie it never manages to top. Ironically, Fighting Life has even less emphasis placed on fighting, and quickly becomes a chore to sit through.


To help make things better, the powers that be have seen to it that each of the Crippled Masters discs are accompanied by a short film, though that doesn't mean we've been assured that they're any good.


Crippled Masters 2 comes bundled with Ernie Fosselius' Pagoda Hell a sort of mini Kung Pow! Enter The Fist featuring old kung-fu clips dubbed over with sound clips taken from various Three Stooges shorts. The third movie is paired with a recently made short called Farewell To Arm that features a father-son arm wrestling match, where a reluctant son's strength means that this match will end with tragic results. These are both pretty lame, but at least Pagoda Hell kind of makes sense, whereas the other is a complete waste of space.


Two Crippled Heroes is presented in widescreen, but is matted for a 1.33:1 frame, while Fighting Life is shown in 1.33:1 pan and scan. Both of these appear to be sourced from analog tape, and not a good one at that. With a level of quality on this level, you'd expect them to be bundled with a handful of other movies in a bargain basement set instead of being touted individual releases.


I don't find that I can give a solid recommendation to either of these titles, but they're still bound to have their fans. If you like your movies bizarre and don't mind paying extra for them in spite of middling quality (in terms of both the film itself and its lackluster presentation), then The Crippled Masters discs might be worth picking up.



- David Milchick


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