One of the recurring gags in Severin’s marketing of their superior editions of a range of crucial genre titles is that they have been, e.g.
“… restored from a film element recently discovered beneath the floorboards of a Trastevere church rectory.” (Burial Ground)
“… remastered from materials recently seized in a Roskilde vice raid!” (The Sinful Dwarf),
“… restored from a 35mm print discovered in a Barcelona bordello.” (The Hot Nights Of Linda),
“… stunningly transferred in HD from vault elements recently unearthed in a Mongolian film depot! (Horror Express.)
Amusing stuff, if best consumed with more than a pinch of salt. As it happens though, Severin’s Kung Fu Trailers Of Fury compilation really was sourced from “original 35mm trailers discovered underneath the stage of a maverick UK cinema.” The maverick UK cinema in question is Bristol’s grass-roots labour of love collective The Cube, about which you’ll learn a lot more in the bonus feature The Way Of The Cube, specifically about the serendipitous discovery of the Coming Attractions in question.
There’s also A Brief History Of Kung Fu Movies, a self-explanatory title for a nifty featurette in which lead chop socky authority Ric Meyers (with the able assistance of Frank Djeng) sketches the history of kung fu movies from uplifting historical yarns of chivalric derring-do, through the cinematic supernova blazed by Bruce Lee in his quest to vanquish the myth of Chinese as “the sick men of Asia”, Lee’s tragic early demise and the unedifying “Bruceploitation” feeding frenzy that followed in its wake, the rise of comedy kung fu (as exemplified by Jackie Chan and the incredible Samo Hung) and Chan’s crossover into the Hollywood mainstream…
… and oh, did I nearly forget to mention the trailers themselves? Over two hours of the buggers here, newly transferred in 2k from those rare original 35mm prints. They comprise (brace yourself, grasshopper!) … The Ways Of Kung Fu (“There are fights! There are laughs! There are surprises!”), Fists Of Bruce Lee, Kung Fu Vs Yoga (“He must face The Yinyang Shemale… The Powerful Monk!”), Death Blow (“Cunnig! Suspense! New Gimmiek”), Two Champions Of Shaolin (“Monkey Boxing vs Flower Boxing!”), Daggers 8, Secret Of The Shaolin Poles, The Happenings, Snake In The Eagles Shadow, The Story Of Drunken Master, Chinese Kung Fu Against Godfather (“Chinese bumpkin wreaks havoc in Europe! Starring the most popular actress in Holland, 1972!”), The Invisible Swordswoman, Return Of Bruce, Bruce Le’s Greatest Revenge (“See Chen Jun, the strong man of Asia! Upholding his pride, his heritage and his fighting spirits!”), Shaolin Iron Claws, Fast Fingers, Enter The Fat Dragon (“He’s Bruce Lee possessed with nunchuks in hand… thugs get to eat them for breakfast!”), My Kung Fu 12 Kicks (“Witness also the return of The Golden Turtle fist!”), The Brutal Boxer, Blacklist, Bruce’s Deadly Fingers (“Filled with fiery lust, the bad guys take on the weak!”), One-Arm Chivalry Fights Against On-Arm Chivalry (“Who will win? Who will lose? Why Did They Fight?”), The Damned, The Way Of The Dragon, Hong Kong Connection (“The slut who can’t control her lust and stirs up a storm… she’s the horniest of all!”), Chinese Kung Fu, 18 Shaolin Disciples (“With Yi Chang shaving his head for the first time!”), The Blazing Temple, Shaolin Wooden Men, The Magnificent Boxer and last, but certainly not least, Golden Dragon, Silver Snake (“Explosive Snake and Drunken Monkey styles!”)
When not simply deploying this trailer loop as one of the coolest “party tapes” of all time, you have the option to learn something from it by paying attention to the informative commentary track by Meyers and fellow kung fu buffs Rick Stelow (from the Drunken Master Video label), Michael Worth (author of The Bruceploitation Bible) and Greg Schiller, a for-real martial arts instructor… I wonder how many of these gruelling / bonkers training routines he actually inflicts on his own students.
Remember kids, these guys are experts and you shouldn’t try any of this stuff at home…
“Buddha have mercy!”