Pointless story alert: Joe Law’s 1979 cinematic insanity “Crippled Masters” is one of the very first kung fu movies I experienced as a child. Since then, I’ve probably watched the flick no less than 100 times, which may be a testament to my misspent youth. After all of these years, I had no idea there were sequels floating around out there. The folks over at Apprehensive Films have managed to dig up watchable copies of “Two Crippled Heroes” (“Crippled Masters 2”) and “Fighting Life” (“Crippled Masters 3”), which they plan to release on DVD this summer. Makes me happy.
Here are a pair of plot summaries I managed to scrounge up:
CRIPPLED MASTERS 2: A man with disfigured arms (and a pet chimpanzee) wanders across the countryside, eventually intruding on a man with–well, I’m not quite sure what the second guy is suffering from. We’re supposed to think he has no legs, but he clearly has them folded together–so perhaps he’s actually paralyzed below the waist and something got lost in translation. At any rate, the two immediately engage in a battle, with the Thalidomide victim performing some impressive stunts with his feet and a knife whilst his wacky chimp companion somehow manages to bring the bout to a close by destroying a barn. Simple as that, our two crippled heroes now become crippled best buds. Shortly afterwards, they rescue a beautiful young blind woman on the run from local gangsters, and the stage is set for a throwdown against an evil warlord. This film was so successful it spawned a sequel, Crippled Masters, and it’s easy to see why–the disability angle makes the film’s underdogs all the easier to root for and the cast are engaging. Ocean Shores’ pan and scan video print (titled Two Crippled Heroes) is watchable and in passable condition.
CRIPPLED MASTERS 3: More crippled Kung-Fu action in this incredible exploitation export from 1980’s Hong Kong. Frank Shum and Jack Conn are back in the third installment in this incredible franchise. This time they’re moving from their rural home into the city of Taipei in search of employment. Searching for work in the city is tough, especially while training for the Kung-Fu Championship. City life isn’t easy for our two crippled heroes while fighting off local gangsters, struggling to make rent and even foiling would be thieves.
The double-feature DVD retails for a mere $12.95. Don’t pass this one up when it arrives on July 24th, 2012. You can have a look at a pair of trailers for the flicks embedded in the space provided down yonder. Big thanks to City on Fire for bringing this to my attention.