Return Of The Kung Fu Dragon (Taiwan 1976)

Rating: **
Review Date: 3/7/10
Cast: Polly Shang Kwan, Sze-Ma Yu Chiao, cameo by Chan Sing

A standard kung fu actioner with some very silly set pieces. Phoenix Island was a peaceful place until the evil General Ma attacked and took over the Golden City. The princess of the city managed to escape to a sacred mountain where she trained in kung fu for the next nineteen years in order to avenge her family. Together with the three descendants of Phoenix Island's greatest warriors, the princess launches an attack against Ma and his wicked sorcerer.

While the kung fu is fun and plentiful, the "make it up as you go" story is disjointed and incomprehensible. Polly Shang Kwan is always fun to watch and her style is overly playful in this film. She also gets into some very silly bouts including one of two chess board related battles. Ah yes, kung fu chess... The princess (Sze-Ma Yu Chiao?) is adorable and gets in some good chops as well, even though she gets repeatedly captured. For comedic effect, there's a strange little man who works as the good sorcerer's servant, as well as a strange girl who is the bad sorcerer's beard wrangler. Wacky. There's also some unexplained bond between them, which causes the beard handler to betray her master. Mostly enjoyable for its camp value, bright colors, ridiculous costumes, and energetic kung fu.