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Issue #192a HOME E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com BACK ISSUES December 29th, 2003

Last Hero in China
(1993; Win's Movie Production)

A Masterpiece
Highly Recommended
Very Good
Marginal Recommendation
Not Recommended
Definitely Not Recommended

Cantonese: Wong Fei-hung chi tit gai dau neung gung
Mandarin: Huang Feihong zhi tie ji dou wu gong
English: Wong Fei-hung: Iron Rooster Vs. the Centipede

Alternate English Title: Deadly China Hero

After a falling out with Golden Harvest, Jet Li Lianjie left the ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA series and brought his trademark "Wong Fei-hung" character over to Win's for this entertaining kung fu comedy. Forced to move Po Chi Lam clinic due to rapidly escalating rental fees, Wong inadvertently re-locates next to a brothel, run by the like-named pimp, "Mass Tar Wong" (a gag that doesn't really survive translation). The great hero is soon at odds with Lui Yat-siu (Alan Tsui Chung-san), Canton's openly corrupt police chief, who is a member of the illegal Boxer's Association and in league with a group of evil monks (led by Gordon Lau Kar-fai). Operating out of Nun-yan Temple, the monks kidnap young girls and transport them to clients in South Asia. Looking for her missing sister, swordswoman Ti Yin-er (Sharla Cheung Man) sneaks into Nun-yan one evening but is badly injured by Lui. Fei-hung's bumbling pupils, Fu (Leung Kar-yan) and So (Dicky Cheung Wai-kin), attempt to rescue the captured girls but must be aided by their master. When Lui tries to frame Fei-hung for the havoc in the temple, the magistrate is pressured by local businessmen to let him go. However, one of Lui's confederates poisons Fei-hung, causing him to go deaf.

The climax features one of the wildest kung fu battles you will ever see. At a Lion Dance competition, Lui and his men participate using a giant, flame-shooting metal centipede contraption! Deducing that nature provides the best answer to this situation, Fei-hung adopts the guise of a rooster, complete with a comb, a beak, and metal spurs on his feet! The sight of him flying, kicking, scratching, and clucking is not easily forgotten. Almost all of the martial arts are presented with extensive wire trickery, so those looking for traditional athletics need not bother with this one. However, the action (choreographed by Yuen Woo-ping) is consistently entertaining and still takes good advantage of Li's talents. In spite of all the silliness surrounding him, Li plays his signature role straight, providing an effective contrast to the broad antics of Dicky Cheung and Nat Chan Pak-cheung (as "Mass Tar Wong"). While not in the same league as the opening two chapters in the ONCE UPON A TIME... series, LAST HERO IN CHINA ranks above the remaining sequels and is diverting period fare. Li and director Wong Jing re-teamed soon after for KUNG FU CULT MASTER. Beware of the version entitled DEADLY CHINA HERO, which is missing some footage. Anita Yuen Wing-yee, Yuen King-tan, Chung Fat, and Wong Tin-lam also appear.

Cover art courtesy Universe.

Jet Li. Image courtesy Universe.

Gordon Lau. Image courtesy Universe.
Dicky Cheung (left) and Leung Kar-yan. Image courtesy Universe.
Universe #5015 (HK label)

Dolby Digital 2.0

Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks (both post-synced)

Permanent Subtitles in English and Traditional Chinese

No Menu or Chapters

Letterboxed (1.83:1)

Coded for ALL Regions

NTSC Format

Macrovision Encoded

106 Minutes

Contains moderate violence and coarse language

Jet Li. Image courtesy

Australia: PG (Medium Level Violence, Coarse Language)
Great Britain: 15
Hong Kong: II
Ontario: AA (Coarse Language, Martial Arts Violence, Violence)
Singapore: PG [Passed With Cuts]

LAST HERO IN CHINA was one of the very first HK DVDs to be released and is closer in design to a LD or VCD. There are no chapters or even a menu and the master is simply the one created for those other formats. The encoding is not up to current standards, with smearing notable at times, and some mild fuzziness in the theatrical subtitles. The source material has plenty of speckles and a few stray scratches but the image is bearable, and the audio tracks get the job done. There are no extras. The disc was originally issued in a jewel case but is now only available in a standard keep case.

LAST HERO IN CHINA is available at Poker Industries.

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