The film started out as a Road Warrior rip-off. Then I got distracted, and when I returned to the living room I found Bruce Le locked in mortal kicking combat with Hwang Jang Lee wearing a silver wig.
If you are unfamiliar with the peculiarities of Indian cinema, a film like Farz might take some getting used to, but once that happens, it’s at least as enjoyable as many of its European spy film brethren.
So, in this form, the one that Andre Hunebelle gives him, I think that it’s perfectly alright to laugh at Fantomas. Especially since it’s really ourselves that are the butt of the joke.
If you can roll with the goofiness of a demon anti-hero who seems to be taking acting queues from Jimmy Walker, this movie is fun enough, stupid enough, and warped enough to be a pretty entertaining, dumb time.
Emboldened, perhaps, by the success of the first film and the amount of creative leeway given him by Toei, Ito this time largely dispensed with genre trappings and delivered a film that was even more obviously the product of a singular directorial vision.
Female Prisoner #701 is a thrilling piece of exploitation cinema, as well as a challenging work of visual artistry. But, as great as it is, it merely set the stage for what was to come.
That it never received a theatrical release in America is a no-brainer; distributors would undoubtedly have hit a mental logjam trying to market a movie that looks on the surface like a family film but plays out like an angst-ridden version of The Aristocats as imagined by Eli Roth.
Satirical or not, what I definitely find The Face of Fu Manchu to be is a rollicking good adventure yarn, full of fist fights, car chases, exploding monasteries, underwater lairs, and fiendish traps.
Suffice it to say that this is really one of those movies you just need to see before you can grasp just how wonderful it is. This is the sort of movie that gave birth to this website.
Somehow, the animated Ralph Bakshi feature Fire and Ice managed to slip through the cracks, though I can’t imagine it didn’t make the early 1980s cable TV rounds. It’s perfect late-night HBO fare. If I’d seen it back then, I would have embraced it whole-heartedly and probably proclaimed it the best thing I’d ever seen.