The Four Invincibles
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Revision as of 17:10, 2 January 2010 by Lafnlab (alphabetizing in category)
Also Known As
- Sei daai bai kuen (Hong Kong)
- Vier rechnen ab (West Germany)
- Released in 1979
- Aspect Ratio:2.35:1
Cast and Crew
- Directed by Yen Hua
- Written by Shun Sai Sing
- Produced by Tsui Wen Hua
- Music by Chan Fun Chi
- Cinematography by Chiang Tak Wei
- Starring Ku Feng, Dai Sai Aan, To Siu Ming, Han Kuo Sai, Cecilia Wong, Helen Poon
Chin Lee (Ku Feng) is a framed man. After being accused of causing the heartache of his clan master due to the maiming of the master's most respected mentor, a corrupt pupil named Chen Wei makes sure that Chin Lee recieves the punishment. Not only does Chin Wei strike Chin Lee with his devil's palm and makes a cripple out of him, but Chin Wei becomes the evil successor of the clan and gains custody of Chin Lee's unborn daughter (Who will soon become Cecilia Wong)
Fast forward 16 years later. Chin Wei's nephew (Almost just as evil as his uncle) goes about town creating havoc. First, his henchmen ruthlessly make a blind man out of a street gambler (To Siu Ming) then nephew gets the hots for a young girl out in the countryside. Two men try to protect her, but become handicapped in the process. One becomes deaf and dumb (Han Kuo Sai) and the other loses an arm (Dai Sai Aan). Soon all three men bond together and are later discovered by Chin Lee, now a hopeless whino. But Chin Lee is given new life when he hears that Chen Wei's clan is responsible for these attacks. This causes Chin Lee to instruct these men on a certain brand of kung fu. The rarely seen "Handicap tecnique" will make it's appearance once the Four Invincibles get their revenge.
Though It's safe to say that this is less demeaning than Crippled Masters, this film often recieves criticism for being an uneven affair, but I didn't have much quarrel with it. Sure, the backstory for the main character might be a little too convoluted for this kind of film, but I thought the direction had moved at a nice enough pace to make me ignore the story problems. Quite a bold impression given that the kung fu scenes are often far and few between. Plus the much-treasured training sequences seem to end in a jiffy compared to the other great kung fu classics out there. But I still feel that the good outweighs the bad for this one. Through the good ol' english dubbing, I was able to make out good performances from Ku Feng as the troubled Chin Lee. And of the three other "Invincibles", I was most taken in by Dai Sai Aan's performance as the one-armed man. At least he's the most multi-dimensional character of the bunch. If you've seen Enter The Dragon as many times as I have, you're sure to spot Dai Sai Aan as the cockeyed yellow-vested extra on Han's Island...Or at least I think that's him. If it is, it was nice to see him make the most out of a big role. The other two "Invincibles" are mostly played for the comic factor. Speaking of the comic factor, wait til you get a load of the "Handicap tecnique". Visually, it lends a thing or two from the Drunken Style and is very fun to watch. It's just too bad there isn't enough screentime for it.
Lastly, even though this movie has it's share of broad comic antics that could appeal to youngsters, there's often flashes of risque material. Mostly involving potty humor (Which even made me gag a bit) and out of nowhere, there's a brief, but blunt, rape scene featuring full frontal nudity. So "Three Stooges" for the kiddies, this ain't! Four Invincibles is well worth a look if you get your hands on it.
Reviewed by Laydback - 5/25/08
- Chin Lee: "And you..Bring me pig shit, cow shit and human shit"
- Blind Man: "But Master, I'm blind."
- Chin Lee: "Your nose is not blind."
- Blind Man: "That's true."