Monday, June 13, 2011

Dragon on Fire (1981, HK)

Starring: John Liu, Philip Ko, Tino Wong, Dragon Lee, Bolo Yeung, Chan Lau. Directed by: Godfrey Ho

This is another one of Godfrey Ho's better movies, and one with a top-notch cast that pull off a fine job in this movie!

In "Dragon on Fire", a group of foreigners is seeking to buy rare Chinese antiquities from the rabid strongman (Chan) of a Chinese village. Two local men (Wong, Lee) object to the sale and decide to stop the sale of these priceless national treasures whatever the cost and bring down the strongman's business empire. These two men are also the only two fighters of the Stone Rock Fist style left in China and they must use their skills for the benefit of the nation.

However, this strongman isn't going to give up his empire without a fight and hires two powerful fighters (Ko, Liu) to defend his interests.

The fight scenes in this movie are just plain amazing. John Liu is at his best in this movie and it's jaw-dropping to watch him take down several men with one kick plus use his special fist and palm styles. Next to John would be Philip Ko in terms of awesomeness in this movie. He carries an hourglass with him in this movie and before the fight scenes begin, he says "When the sand stops running in this hourglass, you're dead!" He doesn't tell a word of a lie either because can give his opponents a good beating with his fancy kicks and Snake and Crane moves! Then there's Tino Wong and Dragon Lee. In terms of acting and fighting, both of them do a good job in this movie. Dragon Lee, who is in a relatively minor supporting role in this movie, pulls out his usual Bruce Lee mannerisms. Surprisingly enough, these work very well in this movie. Chiang Kam also has a good supporting role as the dishwasher who helps Dragon Lee and Tino Wong in their efforts to bring down the strongman.

This is also a very noteable movie for Chan Lau, who plays one of the most memorable characters you'll ever see in a kung fu movie! As the crazed strongman suffering from a bad case of rabies, you'll most certainly remember him panting like a dog, chasing his opponents down, and biting them long after this movie is over!

Bolo Yeung has a very good cameo at the beginning of this movie as the strongman's fighter "Muscleman". The strongman holds a contest where the local fighters can win 50 taels of silver if they can defeat Muscleman, and our heroes take him on. Also in this contest is a very brief cameo by Bruce Lee's good friend and fellow kung fu star Mars, who plays a defeated contestant.

This is an excellent kung fu movie and one worth checking out for some top-notch actors and good old-fashioned chop socky fun!

Also known as: Guai quan guai zhao (original Mandarin title-HK, Taiwan?) The Dragon, the Hero (original English title-HK), Dragon, the Hero (international English title), Bruce Lee - Die Todesklaue des Tigers/Todesgrüße von Bruce Lee (West Germany), Dragon and the Hero (unknown English title), Dragón de fuego (VHS title-Spain). Released in the USA in 1982 and originally released in Taiwan in 1979?


  1. I loved this movie!!!!!!! I saw it in Atlanta back in 81 or 82..Wow!!! Next to bruce lee's chinese connection,this movie had a brotha in da hood kicking,punching,and howling while i walked down the street for at least 2 weeks lol..I wanted to be a kung fu master sooooooo bad after seeing this yo,!!

  2. of course we did not mention how the crazed strongman got that attempted rape, a hungry german shepherd and a geldinf canine. I'll NEVER forget that scene. Saw it on the big screen back in the day