Fist and Guts

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

In this kung fu driven action/comedy, we watch as one man is forced to fight his way through a number of warriors and traps. Yeung (Gordon Liu) was just hunting down a wanted man, when he was thrust into a scheme much deeper than a simple fugitive search. He stumbles upon a plan to steal the Jade Buddha, which is a priceless artifact indeed. So of course, he must ensure the plan is foiled, but that means he has a hard road in front of him. The path the leads to the priceless item is paved with danger, from lethal warriors to booby traps to all sort of other tribulations. If this sounds pretty serious, breathe a little easier, as this is a slapstick martial art comedic piece. So don’t read into this rather dramatic story synopsis, as this is very much a comedy and of course, plenty of action is also to be seen.

The third and final installment in the Master Killer Collection, Fist and Guts is a terrific movie, loaded with action sequences and comedic moments. Gordon Liu (The Master Killer, The Shaolin Drunken Monk) is of course back in action and this time, he has the company of Lo Lieh (Five Fingers of Death, Jackie Chan’s Miracles) and that is very good news indeed. I had a lot of fun with this movie and I am pleased to own it in such a solid release, even if the disc lacks in some areas. Tai Seng has released this movie with mediocre audio/video, but a very low price, so if you’re in the game to upgrade, this is a terrific chance to do so. But more on the disc’s specs later on, let’s get back to the movie itself. This one has the usual comedic elements, such as exaggerated motions and reactions, silly pratfalls, and outrageous lines, all of which works very well here. I have to think the awful dubbed track adds even more humor, but I think this was a funny film to start with, to be sure. But there’s action also, including a few very impressive sequences that alone warrant the asking price. This disc looks and sounds a little below average, but the fun flick and low price make this an easy release to recommend.

Video: How does it look?

Fist and Guts is presented in a full frame transfer. This is a value priced disc and as such, the quality is not up to the usual standards we expect from this format. I’ve seen this film in a couple other editions and this one looks the best, but still looks less than stellar. The source print has a lot of nicks, scratches, and debris, but when compared to other versions, this is a little cleaner and at worst, equal in terms of print wear. The darker scenes lose detail and gain grain, but the lighter scenes look solid, if a little lackluster. If you’ve owned this in another form, then I think the upgrade is worthwhile, if just to have it on a permanent format.

Audio: How does it sound?

The audio here is stable, but still leaves a lot to be desired. I never expect much from stereo tracks however, so on those terms, this is a decent enough mix. The dialogue is presented in an English dub option, which offers hilarious vocals and of course, poor voice talents. But aside from the miserable (but amusing) voice workers, this track is solid for a stereo track, no real complaints in the end. The music and sound effects are the usual kung fu dub elements, which means chop-socky audio dominates, with humorous results. This is not a reference level track, but as far as dated stereo tracks go, I think this one is more than adequate.

Supplements: What are the extras?

An audio commentary track is provided by Ric Meyers, who knows his stuff and has a lot of information to share here. Meyers talks about the stars and their other films, but also mentions some production stories and anecdotes, as well as his own thoughts on the flick and stars. I’ve started to really like Meyers’ tracks and as such, I hope Tai Seng continues to use his services on future releases.

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