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May 24, 2011

Movie Review: The Crippled Masters 3: Fighting Life (1981)

Apprehensive Films serves up the third installment of this handicapped kung fu series on DVD. Hop, limp or karate chop to check out my review. Or just hit "read more," your call Cheesers!

Crippled brothers (Jackie Conn & Frankie Shum) move to big city Taipei to search for jobs. Finding work is difficult due to their handicaps. Older brother Conn has legs but no arms, "flippers" as he calls them. . Younger brother Shum has no legs but arms which he aspires to use for an upcoming kung fu tournament. Fending off thugs and a bitch of a land lady (who sounds like Rita Repulsa) doesn't make things any easier. Throw in some crazy-fu fights (one which sees Conn fly into the air) and annoying boring drama and you have Crippled Masters 3.

Buy Crippled Masters 3: Fighting Life on DVD!

I love zany, dubbed chop socky flicks like any other self respecting film lover. To be honest though I was let down by Crippled Masters 3. Granted I haven't seen it's predecessors (not sure if there is actual continuity) but I doubt they are this unexciting. There simply isn't enough going on here that could keep my attention. I'm all for fleshing out a story but when it dominates the whole film leaving the fu to a minimum, we have a problem.

If anything Crippled Masters 3 is good for a laugh or background noise. The dubbing is quite hilarious and a spectacle all in itself. I'll have to seek out the previous films to see if they amount to more than this lackluster entry.
  • 4:3 Full Frame
Quite simply, this is a poor transfer. Doing some research online show that the original aspect ratio is 2.35:1, making this a cropped release. The video is worn out looking more like it was taken from a muddy VHS. I'm not sure what source material Apprehensive had at their disposal, but it is a disappointment for sure.
  • English Dolby Digital Stereo
There is a considerable amount of noise throughout but dialogue is clear to understand. Certainly not the worst but on par in comparison with the picture quality.
Bonus Features
  • A Farewell to Arm - Short Film A not so entertaining flick and it's plot earns a below average release. Can't bring myself to recommended this since it's a kin to a $1 bargain bin disc. Definitely look elsewhere for a much better kung fu fix.

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