A Quiet Place To Kill/Paranoia (1970)

A Quiet Place To Kill/Paranoia (1970)‘Shooting pigeons helps free us from our subconscious feelings of aggression.’

A racing car driver cracks up during a practice lap, and barely escapes death in the flaming wreckage of her car. She takes up a surprise offer to stay with her ex-husband after recovery, only to find that the invitation came from his new wife. Not long after she arrives at their villa, the conversation turns to murder…

Intricate Giallo thriller from director Umberto Lenzi and star Carroll Baker, who had previously teamed up a year earlier for similar mysteries ‘Orgasmo’ (1969) and ‘So Sweet…So Perverse’ (1969), the first of which, like this film, also bore the alternate title of ‘Paranoia’. All three featured the shifting dynamics of a small cast of main characters and their murderous interplay with each other.

Helen is a lady in trouble. Badly in debt after her racing circuit smash-up, she receives a telegram apparently sent me her ex-husband. On impulse, she decides to accept his offer of a place to take a breather, only to find when she arrives that the invite came from his wife, Constance (Anna Proclemer). Ex-hubby Maurice (Jean Sorel) hasn’t changed in the years since his divorce from Baker and Proclemer is expecting him to start straying soon, realising that he only married her for her money.

A Quiet Place To Kill/Paranoia (1970)

‘You’re supposed to stab him in the back.’

Together, the two women hatch a plot to get rid of him for good, Proclemer buying Baker’s help with a hefty cheque. However, their principal motivation is that Sorel is like a drug to both of them, and it’s the only way they can kick the habit and move on with their lives. If this reason for murder does need a little work with the suspension of disbelief, then we have already had to accept Baker as a hot-shot racing car driver, so it’s not that hard.

The plan is to off Sorel with a spear gun on a yachting trip, but Baker freezes at the moment of crisis, having already tumbled into bed with him earlier. Proclemer tries to grab the weapon, the trio struggled, and Sorel stabs his wife to death. Moments later, they realise that the yacht of local judge and family friend, Albert (Luis Dávila) is heading their way, so they weigh down the body and fake an accident, pitching her overboard during a sudden sailing manoeuvre. Dávila is convinced, and the authorities can’t find the body, so everything looks like it’s working out fine. Then Sorel’s step-daughter, Susan (Marina Coffa) arrives unexpectedly from school, an and begins poking around, disbelieving their version of events from the first.

A Quiet Place To Kill/Paranoia (1970)

‘Is that drink for me or your new friend?’

This is a good, solid crime thriller and probably the best of the loose trio of films Baker and Lenzi made in quick succession that began with ‘Orgasmo’ (1969). Yes, there is a sense of familiarity, and Baker and Sorel are certainly not required to do anything very challenging or depart from their screen personas of the time. Baker being the usual on edge, self-medicating nervous wreck who loses her clothes from time to time, and Sorel the smarmy, handsome playboy with a nasty edge. It’s little more than a slight variation of the roles they played together for director Romolo Guerrieri in ‘The Sweet Body of Deborah’ (1968), and both had repeated in other projects afterwards. Still, they are convincing and ably supported by Proclemer and Coffa.

The film scores most heavily with the screenplay, which was credited to four writers: Marcello Coscia, Bruno Di Geronimo, Rafael Romero Marchent and Marie Claire Solleville. Perhaps the number of authors goes some way to explain the multiple twists and turns the story contains before the fadeout. There is uncertainty about where events are heading throughout, and Lenzi’s fast pace ensures that the drama remains interesting. Of course, if you take the time to think about the plot afterwards, it’s highly implausible, to say the least.

It was time for some more subtle product placement.

Lenzi was a journeyman of Italian cinema, following trends even more slavishly than most directors of his era. He began his career with historical dramas and swashbucklers in the late 1950s before graduating to Peplum when that became popular with pictures such as ‘Zorro contro Maciste’ (1963) and ‘Messalina vs the Son of Hercules/L’ultimo gladiatore (1964). The inevitable Eurospys followed, such as ‘SuperSeven Calling Cairo’ (1965) and ‘Last Man To Kill’ (1966). His excursion into the Giallo included a fourth film with Baker (‘Knife of Ice’ (1972)) and was preceded by Spaghetti Western ‘Pistol for a Hundred Coffins/Una pistola per cento bare’ (1968). By the mid-point in the decade, he was making the inevitable ‘Godfather’ knock-offs and, in the 1980s, he followed splatter king Lucio Fulci into zombie horror with ‘Nightmare City’ (1980). Perhaps he is best remembered though for delivering the controversial ‘Cannibal ferox’ (1982) which the poster art would later proclaim was ‘banned in 31 countries.’

An enjoyable thriller; nothing special, but the performances are good, and the plot should keep you engaged until the final twist.

So Sweet…So Perverse/Così Dolce…Così Perversa (1969)

So Sweet...So Perverse (1969)‘Don’t get yourself so upset. You see corpses everywhere…’

A philandering playboy, caught in a loveless marriage, becomes intrigued by the mysterious blonde who has taken the apartment upstairs. Before long, they are having a passionate affair, but she is still seemingly in thrall to her abusive ex-boyfriend…

In many ways, this is the archetypical late 1960s Giallo thriller. This cocktail of death and sex is served up by journeyman Italian director Umberto Lenzi, who had just come off the similarly themed ‘Orgasmo’ (1969). Why is it so typical Well, there’s a small cast of principals whose loyalties and alliances are continually suspect. There’s a low body count, no blood to speak of, and the nudity is kept mostly under wraps. There’s also a twisting plot more reminiscent of a ‘mystery of the week’ than the kind of borderline horror picture that helped to inspire the American Slasher craze of the late 1970s and 1980s.

Our less than perfect protagonist is Jean-Louis Trintignant, already experienced in this kind of picture. Here, he’s a casual businessman approaching a mid-life crisis. Why is a little hard to understand. After all, he’s hitched to the beautiful and wealthy Erika Blanc, and they live in a wonderfully gothic old building in the centre of Paris. But Trintignant is a serial player with a roving eye and other wandering parts of his anatomy, and his various infidelities have left him at loggerheads with Blanc. Enter beautiful blonde Carroll Baker, who takes the apartment upstairs. Blanc had wanted to rent it for expansion purposes (or perhaps as a retreat from Trintignant), so the couple has a key. Trintignant finds a dropped earring in the elevator, which seems to belong to Baker, and well, you can guess the rest.

So Sweet...So Perverse (1969)

‘This is the last time I let the boss drive me home from work..’

As usual, the game is to guess who’s in league with who and what they might be planning to do to someone else. The wild card is the last member of our featured quartet; violent bully Klaus (Horst Frank), who runs a photography studio. He still has some hold over Baker despite their relationship being over. Or is it?

Baker was getting quite experienced at playing out these kinds of scenarios, and she’s the stand out here. Her character turns on a dime so many times that it sends Trintignant into a complete spin, and constantly wrong-foots the audience. Is she victim, or perpetrator? Damsel in distress or cold-hearted femme fatale? Elsewhere, Blanc gets a bit of a thankless role as the cast-aside wife, but there is a nice piece of business where she walks around her flat staring up at the ceiling, following the sounds of Baker and Trintignant making love in the flat upstairs. There’s also some casual exploitation with stripper Beryl Cunningham in a ‘swinging’ party scene, and Helga Liné is completely wasted as a family friend. It may have been a nothing role, but at least it was another credit for the hardest working actress in 1960s Europe.

Probably the film’s greatest asset is that Lenzi resists a lot of the tricks and flourishes he’d employed on ‘Orgasmo’ (1969), although there is one sequence where he throws the camera around and puts coloured filters on the lens. But it’s brief, and most of the time he chooses to shoot in a way that serves the story, rather than distracts from it. The twists are better executed too, happening more organically throughout the film. This helps to keep the audience interested, even if the final resolution isn’t particularly satisfying and the end product is ultimately a little bland.

So Sweet...So Perverse (1969)

‘Thank you, but I’m not interested in a new set of vacuum cleaner brushes.’

The film’s most remarkable feature is the presence of so many people on both sides of the camera who became closely associated with the Giallo film. Behind the scenes are co-writer Ernesto Gastaldi and producer Sergio Martino, both of whom leant their talents to many similar outings.

Baker had only just finished working on ‘Orgasmo’ (1969) with Lenzi and went on to star in half-dozen or so similar projects into the 1970s. Here, she is dubbed by another actress in the English language version; presumably, her voice-track not being available after the original Italian dub. It’s not as disconcerting as similar instances involving actors such as Christopher Lee, as her voice is not as distinctive, but it’s still a little distracting.

A solid thriller. Not a bad example of the genre, but a little unmemorable.

Orgasmo/Paranoia (1969) 

Orgasmo/Paranoia (1969)‘You’ve got an unusual bellybutton; just like the Botticelli Venus.’

A millionaire’s widow takes an isolated villa in the country after her husband’s death to settle her nerves. One day a handsome young man’s car breaks down outside her gate, and she invites him in to use the phone. They strike up a friendship, which quickly tums physical, but is it all as innocent as it seems?

Late 1960s Giallo picture from journeyman director Umberto Lenzi featuring American star Carroll Baker, who had already appeared in ‘The Sweet Body of Deborah’ (1968) and would go on to make half a dozen such thrillers on the continent in the first half of the 1970s. Here, she’s joined by handsome Lou Castel and quirky Collette Descombes in a three-handed psychodrama that mixes drugs, sex and murder.

After her filthy rich husband expires in a car accident, high society widow Baker
wants out of the limelight and relocates to Italy, dodging paparazzi on the way. A
quiet life dabbling with oil paints seems the way to go and lawyer Tino Carraro fixes her up with a beautiful house in a beautiful spot. She looks all set, but her nerves have taken a beating by recent events, and she’s self-medicating with alcohol and pills. Enter Castel; a roguish, fly-by-night sort of a chappie, who fetches up at her front door after a spot of car trouble. He’s dreadfully forward in a devil-may-care kind of a way, but she’s having none of it, playing the outraged lady of the manor to the hilt. At least to begin with. But it’s not too long before he’s a permanent houseguest, and the two are fooling around in the shower. He seems to be just what Baker needs, but trouble in paradise isn’t long in coming; this time in the form of Castel’s fun-loving sister Eva (Descombes).

Orgasmo/Paranoia (1969)

The last pint was always a mistake…

From there, the trio begins what seems to be an extended holiday; throwing crucial shapes at a hipster hangout, drinking to all hours, playing the record player really, really loud, and generally living it large. Of course, Baker and Castel are having lots of sex too, but she’s still self-medicating, with the suspiciously enthusiastic support of Descombes.

One morning after involves waking up in bed subsequent to an apparent threesome, and it’s not long afterwards that the fun takes a far more sinister tum. Verbal abuse becomes physical, and Baker is on the wrong end of a series of increasingly sadistic mind games. These include repeatedly spinning a 1960s pop record at ear-splitting volume; one listen of which would probably be enough to send any self-respecting music fan round the twist anyway.

Baker appears naked for her tussles with Castel, and, although the nudity is not exploitative by today’s standards, a ‘name’ Hollywood actress appearing in the altogether probably raised some eyebrows at the time. But, if Baker’s decision to
relocate to Europe and tackle such material seems a little strange, then the
explanation is remarkably simple. She was broke, and there was no work available back home. That was principally due to her soon to be ex-husband, director Jack Garfein. His activities might have been overlooked if Baker was still a box office draw, but the disastrous ‘Harlow’ (1965) had pretty much taken care of that.

Orgasmo/Paranoia (1969)

‘Just a small one…’

There are two principal problems with the film, which both fix it firmly in the era when it was made and doom it to a kind of watchable mediocrity. The major issue is the story. More plot is badly needed, especially during the glacial second act, where the evil actions of Castel and Descombes lack any real invention and become swiftly repetitive.

There are some twists in the tale, and, although these aren’t bad, they do arrive all at once. It’s also very late on in proceedings by then, so these developments don’t lead anywhere. Instead, they just come across as a handful of cheap tricks thrown in at the last minute to try and convince the audience that the film is a lot cleverer and more accomplished than it really is.

This shortfall in the script department may have had a knock-on effect on director Lenzi, who favours a lot of zooms, swift pans and large close-ups of the faces of his cast. This last stylistic tendency proves unfortunate as it tends to exaggerate the performances at times. This kind of approach was in vogue at the time, but there’s a suspicion here that the director may have lacked faith in the project and was trying too hard to keep his audience interested.

Lenzi and Baker went back to the well almost immediately with ‘So Sweet. ..So Perverse’ (1969) and reunited again for further adventures in Giallo with ‘A Quiet Place To Kill’ (1970) and ‘Knife of Ice’'(1972). Baker immortalised her own story in the excellent autobiography ‘Baby Doll’ and exhibited such a natural talent for writing that you wish she’d turned her hand to fiction.

A fair time passer but a little weak in the script department.

Nightmare City / City of the Walking Dead (1980)

Nightmare City (1980)‘Aim for the brain. We must be very specific about that.’

A military transport makes an unscheduled landing at a big city airport. When the authorities surround the plane, they are attacked by the passengers, who have turned into flesh-eating mutants. And they’re a bit peckish…

Cheesy Spanish-Italian ‘Dawn of the Dead’ (1978) rip-off that is never anything but a lifeless copy of the George A Romero classic. Director Umberto Lenzi provides almost no explanation for the deadly outbreak, apart from an early reference to a serious radioactive spill and the fact that one of the hungry passengers is a scientist who was being brought in to investigate the accident. After that, it’s just the usual mixture of survivors on the run (who will be next to get eaten?), serious military types in a bunker (move our forces to zone 7), and lots of extras covered in ketchup overacting outrageously.

Heading up the armed forces is General Mel Ferrer, a respected and serious actor, who had appeared mostly famously in ‘Lilli’ (1953), ‘War and Peace’ (1955) and ‘The Sun Also Rises’ (1957). He was also married to Audrey Hepburn for 14 years. But that had all been quite a few years before and his late 1970’s credits had been consistently embarrassing. For TV, there were guest slots on ‘Logan’s Run’, soap juggernaut ‘Dallas’ and a prominent part in Irwin Allen’s dreadful mini-series ‘The Amazing Captain Nemo’ (1978). On the big screen it was even worse; appearing alongside Lee Majors in chucklefest ‘The Norseman’ (1978), having a ‘close encounter’ with bonkers ‘first contact’ rip-off ‘The Visitor’ (1978), turning up in Italian horrors ‘Island of the Fishmen’ (1979) and ‘The Great Alligator’ (1979) and even headlining for Lenzi before in cannibal shocker ‘Eaten Alive!’ (1980).

However, at least Ferrer doesn’t get directly involved in any of the silliness on display, remaining firmly on the sidelines of the main action. Perhaps it’s telling that the only member of the bunker staff who interacts with anyone outside is Major Francisco Rabal and that’s limited to scenes with his girlfriend Sonia Vivani and a fleeting appearance in a helicopter. Yes, this is ‘patchwork’ filming making at its finest, with the main plot (such as it is) focusing on TV reporter Hugo Stiglitz and his wife Laura Trotter. Unfortunately, the film tells us almost nothing about the pair so there is no audience engagement with their eventual fate. Characters are introduced simply to be killed, while Ferrer and his buddies in the bunker look grave and make decisions to ‘clear sector g’ and ‘pull back from area 5’ etc. etc.

Nightmare City (1980)

🎶..and now…the end is near…🎵

The ‘Z’ word is never mentioned, and our flesh-eaters move at normal speed, which predicts some more recent developments in the genre. However, although gore is plentiful and detailed, it’s not particularly convincing, and the ‘twist’ ending is desperately poor, leaving the distinct impression that either there was no budget to film a notable climax, or the production simply ran out of money.

Director Umberto Lenzi began his career by jumping on the ‘Hercules’ bandwagon in the  early 1960s but then switched to ‘Bond’ when that became popular a few years later. After that, it was Gallo thrillers and ‘Godfather’ pictures throughout the 1970s before horror took over and he started shooting films about cannibals. Nothing wrong with working in different genres, of course, but Lenzi seems to have been little more than a journeyman director with an eye firmly fixed on commerical possibilities, rather than anyhthing else.

Hurried, cheap and undistinguished horror flick aimed squarely at the home video market of the early 1980s.

A 008 Operazione Stermino (1965)

A 008 Operazione Stermino (1965)‘It’s all in my book: ‘How to be a secret agent in 10 days’…’

An evil super villain kidnaps a top research scientist and tries to get his hands on the boffin’s secret invention; a device which will block radar signals. Of course, it’s imperative that the technology doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, so a special agent is dispatched to sort it all out.

Unremarkable mid-1960s Eurospy effort with this week’s ‘Bond On A Budget’ played by German actress Ingrid Schoeller. Yes, it’s a woman! Of course, she’s immediately saddled with a male partner from British Intelligence (Alberto Lupo) but, surprisingly, she still gets to call most of the shots. It’s the only way this effort differs from the hundreds of similar films being made at the time; plot and characters being completely predictable, and the story rarely straying from the obvious formula. Schoeller does do some fighting, shooting and snogging, but none of it is very edgy or convincing. However, the approach is still to be applauded when nearly all the women in the genre were simply femme fatales, or just window dressing.

Inevitably, there are several occasions when Lupo takes on the heavy lifting, particularly after their car has been sabotaged on the way to Switzerland. Actually, when that happens, I couldn’t help feeling a better outcome would have resulted if he’d stopped trying to grab the wheel and let Schoeller get on with it! Curiously enough, Lupo looks a lot like future a James Bond, George Lazenby, but is probably best remembered now for playing the title role of the silly, but entertaining, ‘Atom Age Vampire’ (1960).

A 008 Operazione Stermino (1965)

‘No, the name’s not Bond. Whatever gave you that idea?’

The action scenes are reasonably staged, if unimaginative, although there is some interesting design work on the anti-radar device. On the debit side, the gadgets are limited to hidden cameras and microphones, and the villains are fairly colourless, although one shoots metal blades from what appears to be an artificial hand.

This was the first film in the genre by the prolific Italian director Umberto Lenzi, who knocked out about half a dozen of these pictures in the mid-1960s. Most of them were unremarkable, but did include the slick ‘Super Seven: Calling Cairo’ (1965), which is one of the better examples of the type. Later on, he became infamous (in the UK at least) as the man behind a couple of the horror flicks banned as part of the ridiculous, right-wing media-created ‘Video Nasty’ scandal of the early 1980s.

A very middling example of the Eurospy genre.

The Spy Who Loved Flowers (1966)

The Spy Who Loved Flowers (1966)‘l’m quite sure there’s a contact underneath based on magnetic frequencies…’

A spy is sent to assassinate three men who supposedly hold knowledge of a secret weapon that is in danger of falling into the hands of the other side. Unhappy with his role as a paid killer, he soon finds out that everything is not as it seems…

Roger Browne returns as Secret Agent Mark Stevens, although this time he’s dubbed by an actor with a German accent, which is a little distracting. It’s a sequel to the fairly slick ‘Super Seven: Calling Cairo’ (1965) which may not have been a classic, but obviously was a winner at the box office. ‘Bond On A Budget’ movies in the 1960s seemed less a licence to kill, and more like a licence to print money.

Everything is a slight step down in quality from the first movie and that was little more than a standard Eurospy outing, although there are many inferior examples of the genre. But there’s less action here, the story develops more slowly and female leads (Emma Danieli and Daniele Vargas) can’t compete with the luminous Rosalba Neri from the first film. There’s more useful information for the prospective tourist, though, with Browne’s mission taking him to Paris and Geneva before the drama plays out in Athens. Villainess Yoko Tani does display some martial arts moves, but the fight choreography is not particularly good, and the low budget is betrayed by the lack of stunts and big set pieces. Some of the supporting cast return from the first film, although in different roles.

The Spy Who Loved Flowers (1966)

‘Loop your own dialogue or else!’

The director was Umberto Lenzi, who made a number of these pictures before graduating to the horror genre and upsetting the British Censors during the ridiculous, trumped-up ‘Video Nasty’ scandal of the early 1980s. Of course, Browne also starred in ‘The Fantastic Argoman’/The Incredible Paris Incident (1967), a much funnier and surreal take on 1960s spy/superhero/comic book culture.

This film isn’t in that league, and simply takes its place amongst the endless parade of unremarkable Eurospy flicks of the 1960s.

Super Seven Calling Cairo/Superseven Chiama Cairo (1965)

Superseven Calling Cairo (1965)‘At the moment, Napoleon is the only one who can get us out of this mess…’

A foreign agent has stolen a brand new radioactive element, built it into a cine camera, and sent it to Cairo for collection by a Russian agent. But the camera is sold to a tourist by mistake and a British Special Agent is sent to recover it.

Above average 1960s Eurospy outing starring Roger Browne as this week’s ‘Bond on a Budget’ agent Martin Stevens. Predictably, the story is no great shakes, with most of the usual clichés of the genre making an early appearance. Browne finds the mysterious Rosalba Neri in his shower when he checks into his hotel room (lucky man!), there’s the usual tourist board footage (an agent is shot climbing the great pyramid!), and the plot takes our hero on a wild goose chase to other European cities, in this case Rome and Locarno in Switzerland.

Superseven Calling Cairo (1965)

‘Blimey! There’s a mysterious girl in my shower. Again.’

Having said that, it’s all good, breezy fun, and a notch above most of the other identikit spy thrillers of the period. Browne (an American who spent almost his entire career in Italian films) displays more charisma and screen presence than the vast majority of secret agents that were running around Europe in the mid-1960s and, of course went onto star in the title role of kitsch superhero classic ‘The Fantastic Argoman’/’The Incredible Paris Incident’ (1967).

The rest of the cast also helps, with Neri as gorgeous and exotic as ever, Fabienne Dali’ providing our hero with a pretty alternative and ex-Nazi villain Massimo Serato suitably suave and cruel. Although the budget doesn’t allow for any big set pieces, the story moves quickly and retains audience interest.

Italian director Umberto Lenzi knocked out a few of these pictures in the 1960s before his career swung into the horror genre with films like ‘Nightmare City’ (1980) and ‘Cannibal Ferox (1981), both of which got the British censors hot under the collar during the hysterical ‘Video Nasty’ scandal of the early 1980s.

Browne returned as Stevens the following year in ‘The Spy Who Loved Flowers’ (1966).

Bruce Lee Fights Back From The Grave (1976)

Bruce Lee Fights Back From the Grave (1976)‘Can Bruce Lee defeat the invincible and unbeatable BLACK ANGEL OF DEATH?’

A young martial artist follows his best friend to America, but only arrives in time to attend his funeral. The man’s death happened in mysterious circumstances, and subsequent investigation reveals that he was possibly connected with the local drug syndicate…

In the wake of the untimely death of the iconic Bruce Lee, a veritable cottage industry of cheap, knock-off movies appeared, all trading on the great man’s name. This was encouraged by the fact that Lee’s own pictures had been released under multiple titles in the U.S. and around the world and, in the days before the internet, audiences could be forgiven for not knowing exactly how many movies he’d made. It also didn’t help that films like ‘Game of Death’ (1978) appeared, which was cobbled together from the footage Lee was working on when he died, and new material shot with lookalikes.

So how much has this particular example to do with Bruce Lee? Almost nothing. All we get to justify the title is the shot of his tombstone at the start (which looks rather as if it’s made of cardboard; shades of Ed Wood) and a flash of lightning…and that’s it. Cut straight to our hero in a taxicab after his arrival in the States. ls he supposed to be the reincarnation of Lee or something? Well, he is played by the suspiciously named Bruce K L Lea, who certainly has the appropriate physique and moves, but still doesn’t look an awful lot like his (almost) namesake. The taxi driver tries to hold him up for cash, but this proves to be a tactical error when Lea kicks out the window from outside and leaves the guy with his face covered in elastoplasts, as if he’s had a particular unsuccessful morning’s shave.

The story here is as generic as it gets, so predictable that it demands little or no commitment from the audience. lt is helpful to the dubbing crew though, who I suspect were never in possession of the original script, given the awkwardness of the dialogue. It does make for some amusing exchanges, of course, mostly between our hard-assed hero and the ditzy waitress (Deborah Holland) who helps him out. Rather brilliantly, Holland is apparently a Kung-Fu expert after one brief lesson from our hero, which seemingly justifies him regularly putting her in harm’s way. The character’s voices simply don’t fit at all, though, and the dub sounds as if it were knocked together in an afternoon.

Bruce Lee Fights Back From the Grave (1976)

‘Who are you supposed to be again?’

Leaving that aside, the film does have one virtue; and that comes with the combat sequences. Ok, so this is the sort of movie where gun ownership is pretty much unknown and simply everybody does Kung-Fu, but there’s no denying that Lea shows a lot of ability. Unsurprisingly, he was not an actor called Bruce K L Lea at all, but a martial artist named Jun Chong, whose subsequent career followed that path, rather than the trail to your local fleapit. It was probably a wise choice.

The film has a mildly interesting production history, being that it’s not even a product of the Hong Kong film industry at all, but originated in South Korea, although it was filmed in Los Angeles. Some commentators believe that the film was actually shot by Italian director Umberto Lenzi, who was responsible for the notorious horror shockers ‘Cannibal Ferox’ (1981) and ‘Nightmare City’ (1980), but that seems to be unconfirmed.

A formulaic Kung Fu revenge flick, redeemed in small part by the skills of the leading man, and the sometimes amusing shortcomings of the dub. And, of course, the wonderfully trashy title.