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Film Review: Crippled Avengers 残缺 (1978) - Hong Kong (Shawscope Volume 1) (Arrow Video)

Andrew Chan

Film Review: Crippled Avengers 残缺 (1978) - Hong Kong (Shawscope Volume 1) (Arrow Video)


Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)


“Crippled Avengers” directed by Chang Cheh and released in 1978, is a highly entertaining Shaw Brothers kung fu film that deserves recognition for its unique blend of comedy and brutal martial arts action. This underdog story follows four handicapped avengers as they seek justice against the tyrannical martial arts master Dao Tian-du (played by Chen Kuan-tai) and his son Dao Chang. Despite their physical limitations, the protagonists showcase their resilience and determination, making their journey both captivating and inspiring.


The film's comedic elements provide a refreshing contrast to the intense fight scenes, adding a lighthearted touch without detracting from the overall tone. Chang Cheh masterfully balances humor and action, creating a perfect recipe for enjoyment. Moreover, the pacing of “Crippled Avengers” is commendable, maintaining a steady rhythm that keeps the audience engaged throughout. Each scene contributes to the narrative progression, ensuring that the story never loses momentum.


The martial arts choreography in the film is impressive, highlighting the physical prowess of the Venom Mob members. The fight sequences are expertly executed, showcasing the skills and creativity of the cast. Furthermore, the film's guilty pleasure factor adds to its appeal, making it a delightful experience for fans of classic kung fu cinema.


In conclusion, “Crippled Avengers” is a highly entertaining and well-crafted film. With its combination of comedy, brutal action, and an underdog narrative, it captures the viewer's attention and provides an enjoyable cinematic experience. Chang Cheh's direction, along with the talents of the Venom Mob, ensures that the film remains engaging and memorable. For martial arts enthusiasts and fans of Shaw Brothers films, “Crippled Avengers” is definitely worth watching.



I rated it 8.5/10


Reviewed as part of Shawscope Volume 1 Limited Edition Blu Ray Set (Digitally restored in 2K format)

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