01 April 2008

Manchurian Avenger

Manchurian Avenger
United States - 1985
Dir. – Ed Warnick
Thorn EMI/HBO Video, 198?, VHS

There were words said somewhere about this film having Charles Bronson in it, or I’m crazy. It does not, but it does feature a torrent of schlock, and an angry Asian guy who has the same canyonous face as sir Bronson, thus follows the metaphor.Very low budget disembodied dubbing and anti-chinese racism introduce the film, and a simul-scene of Bronsonesque mustachioed Chinese guy coming into town drive the point home. Now you know there’s going to be some throwdown. Terribly scripted TV quality humorous racist stereotypes that smell frightfully of Three Amigos.
Goofy music accompanies scene of Chinamans stage-coach being ambushed by banditos, and following that another scene of Chinese Bronson defeating a bunch of outspokenly racist cowboys in a bar, with a humorous one line at the end that falls flat.

Two Chinese Americans serve as awkward English speaking siblings to out of place non-comunicative(actual Chinese guy) Bronson. There is a secret trove of gold related to which, Bronson utters one liners and initiates the first of a series of brutally dry, dark and uneventful flashbacks.

Another poorly shot fight scene between Bronson and some racists contributes to a distinct feeling of monotony. There is no building crescendo of humor, but rather a constant flat stream of shoddy painful mediocrity. On top of that, fourth gay/childish sibling goes in search of the “four winds” and brings another stumbling synthesizer scored flashback scene crashing down onto the rapidly accumulating wreckage of this movie.

The final showdown features a thoroughly boring and unconvincingly edited fight scene between Bill “Superfoot” Wallace the Bronson mimic set to what I can only describe as science fiction movie music and a total absence of empathy for any of these people from me.
With little discernable logic but grim determination this film bursts the misguided low budget genre cross-over dam, flooding its kung fu western setting with a relentless deluge un-humorous one liners delivered haltingly by a full round of racial charicatures. Alas, despite such a downpour of good intentions, only the cacti of irony grow in this celluloid desert.

1 comment:

rl said...

The cacti of irony are nourished by the floodwaters of sarcasm.