Kung Fu Trailers of Fury (2016)
Released by: Severin Films
Reviewed by Mike Kenny
In association with The Cube, Severin Films assaults viewers with over two hours of fist-smashing awesomeness in Kung Fu Trailers of Fury! Presenting 31 of the genre’s rarest trailers from 1972-1983, subtitled mayhem ensues as prominent kung fu stars ranging from Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Lo Lieh, Angelo Mao and Jimmy Wang Yu deliver intense intervals of high-octane martial arts. Action-packed and rarely taking a breather, trailer highlights include, The Way of the Dragon, Daggers 8, Brutal Boxer, Enter the Fat Dragon, Kung Fu VS. Yoga, The Story of Drunken Master and The Damned. While general audiences may be largely aware of Bruce Lee’s impact on the genre, Kung Fu Trailers of Fury opens the floodgates to countless other gems that provide hard-hitting punches and ample excitement all within the confines of a few minutes each. A treasure trove of over-the-top brutality and eccentric performances, Kung Fu Trailers of Fury is a nostalgic necessity for genre enthusiasts raised on eastern culture’s cinema that shared marquee space with prominent blaxploitation and horror efforts during the grind house’s heyday.
Presented in 1080p and sporting a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, Severin Films serves their smorgasbord of kung fu with obvious signs of wear. Each trailer contains noticeable, if not unexpected, levels of dirt, debris and scratches, all varying in their severity. Miraculously surviving through years of excessive damage, the trailers never adhere to immaculate standards yet, are wholly enjoyed under their more distressed presentations reminiscent of their original theatrical runs. Equipped with an LPCM 2.0 mix, cracks and pops are ever-present while never uprooting the realistic expectations from viewers. While audio is far from perfect, the native-spoken trailers are attached with English subtitles allowing for nothing lost in translation. Surpassing the enjoyability of the trailers themselves, newly produced special features include, an Audio Commentary with Writers Ric Meyers, Michael Worth, Martial Arts Instructor Greg Schiller and Drunken Master Video’s Rick Stelow. In addition, A Brief History of Kung Fu Cinema (28:09) provides viewers with a solid crash course into the genre’s history and influence with expert insight from Ric Meyers and Frank Djeng. Finally, The Way of the Cube (11:19) explores the inner workings of the beloved UK cinema and the owners’ surprising discovery of the original 35mm trailers utilized for the release.
In a delectable year for trailer compilations, Severin Films’ Kung Fu Trailers of Fury gives fans a much-needed injection of roundhouse kicks and high-speed nun chucking. Programmed with rarely seen favorites and scholarly supplements that arguably exceed its main feature, Kung Fu Trailers of Fury is a necessary board worthy of breaking into your collection.