The Golden Buddha (HK 1966)

Rating: **
Review Date: 3/3/12
Director: Lo Wei
Cast: Paul Chang, Jeanette Lin Tsui, Fanny Fan, Wu Ma, Lo Wei

Another pathetic attempt by Shaw Brothers to cash in on the James Bond phenomenon. Paul Chang is on his way to Singapore for a business trip and ends up getting detained in Bangkok due to bad weather. A chance meeting with an old friend and some mixed up luggage lead to murder and intrigue. There are three golden Buddha statues that hold the secret to a great treasure, and the evil Skeleton Gang will kill to get them. Paul and pretty Jeanette Lin Tsui have two of the Buddhas and spend the majority of the film running away from the bad guys while trying to unravel the riddle of the treasure. Fortunately, the Skeleton Gang is made up of incompetent fools who are easily dispatched by Paul's rudimentary judo and karate skills. Sultry Fanny Fan also shows up to seduce Paul and flash a little skin in a laughable attempt to get her hands on his Buddha (among other things). The John Barry derived score makes the film seem edgier than it is and the scenic Thai locations are beautiful, but overall the film falls flat. The action scenes are terrible and the film is too silly to take seriously, but it's also not campy enough to be funny.