Classic Bolo Yeong Movies (BFS)
Picture: D/C-/C- Sound:
C Extras: D Films: C/C-/D
Yeong is a less known name in the Martial Arts films, but to fans, he is big
time. Especially if you have seen him,
this is literally, as he was Arnold Schwarzenegger big before that was
commonplace. This collection of his
films here are:
Chinese Hercules (1973) is one of the most brazen
cinematic celebrations of people being beaten down you will ever see. This would be flat-out sadistic if it were
not so silly. Yeong is a henchman
villain, while the hero is the kind trying to hide his violent past, even to
the point of stoning his own hands! This
is in addition to defenseless peasants being pushed around. The result is not good, but fascinating to watch,
especially in Yeong’s fight scenes. The
print is in really bad shape.
Tattoo Connection (1978) has Yeong again in a
supporting role. If Bruce Lee thought he
was being short changed, imagine what Yeong and his fans must think. He is just another shallow henchman here, a
step backwards form the older film!
There is also a sense of buffoonery not in the last film, as bad as it
got. The Gangster angle is an even
bigger joke. The print is also not in
good shape, but a touch better than Chinese
Hercules by having some color that sometimes looks right.
Breathing Fire (1991) involves a bank robbery
and a very, very bad Karate Kid
without a brain subplot, but the karate bank robbery is a hoot and should have
gone on longer. It also tries to be
every bad 1980s film a few years too late, with Yeong barely in it. This is an all-time dog. It was more excruciating by being recorded in
Ultra Stereo than even monophonic sound in the respect that Ultra is a terribly
distorted version of long-dated Dolby A-type analog. Played back in regular stereo, Pro Logic, Pro
Logic II, or DTS Neo: 6, it is a disaster!
As bad as
these films, the DVD should have offered some featurette on Yeong, but all we
get is limited bio/filmography text and both a glossary and “wisdom” on Martial
Arts. Only the absolutely biggest fans
and most extraordinarily interested readers should see this one.
- Nicholas Sheffo