Crippled Avengers

January 18, 2016 at 1:57 am (9 Heads, Crippled Avengers) (, , , , , )

Crippled Avengers – 1978 – Hong Kong

Thugs invade a nobleman’s house and sever his son’s arms. Following the incident, the nobleman outfits his son with mechanical arms and trains him in martial arts. When the training is complete, the sadistic nobleman captures the thugs’ sons, and lets his son cripple each of them. All of this occurs in Crippled Avengers’ first five minutes.

The nobleman and his son rule a town and abuse its citizens, crippling any who criticize them. One man is blinded. Another loses his legs. Another is poisoned so that he cannot speak and then is deafened. And another has his head squeezed in a vice until he suffers brain damage. These four cripples train for three years with a martial arts master. They overcome their disabilities through absurd training techniques such as punching between the spokes of a spinning wheel. After becoming badass martial artists, they seek revenge on the nobleman and his son.

Crippled Avengers is surprising and exciting. The film’s plot and characters are simple, but the heroes are endearing and their quest for revenge is strangely inspiring. Of course, the constant martial arts battles are awesome too. The acrobatic choreography is incredibly complex, emphasized by very minimal camerawork and editing. Some of the scenes, like an elaborate fight using metal rings, are more like dancing than combat. The various battles occur in increasingly imaginative and outlandish circumstances. To foil the deaf fighter, his enemies build a spinning array of mirrors to blind him. To foil the blind fighter, they surround him with ringing gongs. Plus, there are lots of cool weapons, including a flail, slingshot, sledgehammer, blacksmith tongs, and telescoping metal arms that fire darts.

Rating: 9/10 Shrunken Heads. Every character has the same hairstyle.

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