The Hand of Death (1976) torrent download

The Hand of Death

1976

Action / Drama

6.1

Synopsis

Superkicker Dorian Tan Tao-liang plays a Shaolin student who must find a Manchu traitor responsible for the murder of the abbot. Jackie Chan is a spear fighting expert who decides to help Tan because the traitor killed his brother. Part of their mission is to help a scholar make it safely across the river without getting killed from the Manchus. —Albert Valentin

Cast

Sammo Hung
as Du Qing
Jackie Chan
as Little Tan
James Tien
as Commander Shih
John Woo
as Zhang Yi

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by kwhuneycutt 7 /10

Underrated Woo Film

The Hand of Death aka Countdown in Kung Fu (1976) is a vastly underrated early work by director John Woo. The film stars Dorian Tan (Tan Tao-liang) and features Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and James Tien in significant supporting roles. Many people believe, or have been lead to believe by deceptive advertising, that this is a Jackie Chan film. This is not a Jackie Chan film, Dorian Tan is the star but Jackie gives one of his best (most serious) early performances.

The Hand of Death is about a Shaolin disciple named Yunfei (Tan) who is sent on a mission to assassinate a Shaolin traitor named Shih Xiaofeng (Tien) and protect a revolutionary named Zhang Yi (Woo). Along his journey Yunfei meets up with a young woodcutter named Tan (Chan) and a disgraced sword fighter (Chang Chung) known as "the wanderer." Both men have suffered at the hands of Shih and want to take revenge. The three team up to defeat Shih and his eight bodyguards and escort the revolutionary to safety.

The martial arts action is above average under the direction of Sammo Hung. Dorian Tan uses his trademark high kicks very effectively as the "Northern eighteen styles kicks" along with some "Southern five styles boxing." Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan provide excellent martial arts performances as well. James Tien is not the greatest martial artist on the Jade screen but does an acceptable job. Some of the early fights are a bit slow and seem over choreographed but the final showdowns featuring Chan, Tan and Hung are very good.

Director John Woo provides plenty of interesting character development in the film, which is refreshing. The cinematography by Leung Wing Kat is very stylish, unique and beautiful for a kung fu film of this era. Joseph Koo's music: a combination of soft flutes and 70's "Shaft" style orchestral pieces is kung fu cinema at its best. Hand of Death is not Jackie and Sammo's usual kung fu comedy. Hand of Death is a serious, straightforward revenge driven story.

Hand of Death aka Countdown in Kung Fu is an underrated classic in the old school kung fu genre. The film is one of the best artistically of its time and a preview of the great things to come from Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung. Hung's great choreography is put on display here before his directorial debut and Chan's early charisma and talent can be clearly seen.

Hand of Death is a solid, stylish old school kung fu film and a brilliant early work of the legendary John Woo.

Kung Fu Genre Rating 7.5/10

Wanderer to Tan (referring to his new weapon): "The Little Eagle Wing God Lance."

Tan: "Just a knickknack."

Reviewed by eibon09 N/A

Only John Woo Feature with Chan/Hung/Biao

Made during the martial arts period of his career, John Woo came up with one of his best films from this early Woo era. The story is about the Shaolin Temple who sents a young warrior who murder a traitor who has killed many of his compatriots. Shao Lin Men/Hand of Death(1975) features one of the early and most impressible performances from future Hong Kong action hero, Jackie Chan. Sammo Hung also appears as one of the main villains. The main actor Tao-Liang Tan has faded out of the Hong Kong film scene after appearing in this movie while Chan and Hung would go on to become big stars.

Bruce Lee co star, James Tien makes a memorable turn as the main villain. The last twenty minutes is the film's golden moments. The fight scene in the beach would be repeated by John Woo in both Heroes Shed No Tears(1985) and Mission:Impossible 2(2000). Uses many themes that would become popular in the director's heroic bloodshed pictures. The story of Shao Lin Men(1975) interestingly enough is reused in Mission:Impossible 2(2000).

Reviewed by BA_Harrison 7 /10

Chan, Hung, Woo, Baio and Wah.

Old-school martial arts 'classic' Hand of Death has a rather formulaic 'men on a mission'-style storyline, its high-kicking hero Yun Fei (Tao-Liang Tan) teaming up with several other skilled fighters to deal a blow to the evil Ching dynasty by killing traitor Shih Shao-Feng (James Tien), while protecting a revolutionary named Zhang Yi, who is carrying a map vital to the anti-Ching cause.

But although the plot isn't all that inspired, the film will undoubtedly still prove of interest to avid Hong Kong movie/kung fu fans thanks to its director, Wu Yu Sheng, better known as John Woo, and the involvement of several performers who would go on to be major players in the Asian martial arts movie scene, most notably superstar Jackie Chan, who appears in a supporting role as vengeful brother Tan Feng, and Sammo Hung (sporting hilarious fake buck teeth) as Ching henchman Lord Du.

Eagle-eyed viewers may also spot Yuen Baio as the guard killed with an arrow by Shih Shao-Feng, and Yuen Wah (my favourite martial arts villain of the 80s) as a bodyguard. I didn't.

As far as the action is concerned, Woo handles his fight scenes competently but with few of the stylish touches that he would later become known for (there's minimal use of slo-mo and absolutely zero doves in churches). The martial arts involves a variety of styles and weaponry, enough to ensure that boredom never sets in, but in the end it won't be the fighting that most people will remember this film for, but rather the burgeoning talent involved.

6.5 out of 10, rounded up to 7 for Sammo's teeth.

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