DVD cover

Legends of Kung Fu

Manufacturer: Brentwood

Price: $20

Sound: stereo

Format: varies

Languages: English (dubbed except for "Fist of Fear, Touch of Death" and "Bloodfight")

Subtitles: none

Extras (on each disc): DVD dictionary, Movie Trivia "Game", Casper cartoon (varies from disc to disc), DVD-ROM material

This is a pack of five DVDs with two movies on each disc. Extra-wise, don't expect much -- the trvia "game" (same on every disc) is pretty boring (with questions totally unrelated to martial arts movies), the DVD-ROM stuff is just a set of weblinks and another trivia "game", and why did they put Casper cartoons on oldschool movies? Anyway, as for the transfers, they're what you might expect for such a cheap set (at $2 per movie), but overall this is a pretty good deal. The movies are:

Blind Fist of Bruce: A full frame transfer; the picture has some scratches, but the colors are suprisingly good and the sound mix is done well.

Fist of Fear, Touch of Death: The world's worst kung fu movie actually gets a decent presentation, with a widescreen picture that is clearer than other versions I have seen and a decent sound mix.

Kung Fu - The Punch of Death (aka "Prodigal Boxer"): The widescreen picture is a bit washed-out, but still okay. However, it sounds as if there was a bad attempt to make the original sound mix into stereo and the voices sound muffled compared to the music.

36 Crazy Fists: The full frame picture is very soft, the colors are washed out, and the sound has a lot of hiss on it. Plus the dub is just horrible; we're talking sub-"Kung Fu Theatre" stuff here.

Legend of the Eight Samurai: Decent full-frame picture with a good sound mix; has better-looking menus than the other movies -- doesn't have any extras besides a Sonny Chiba biography.

The Street Fighter: About the same as other cheap versions of this movie -- a good widescreen picture but a mushy sound mix.

Bloodfight: Probably the best film of the set quality-wise. Even though the picture is full-frame, the colors are sharp, and the sound is good, with some actual use of stereo. No extras besides a Bolo Yeung biography.

Chinese Hercules: The full-prame picture is horrible -- very washed-out and full of scratches -- and the sound isn't much better; definetly the worst film quality-wise of the set. No extras besides a Bolo Yeung biography.

Blood of the Dragon: The full-frame picture is washed out and there is a lot of hiss in the sound mix. NO extras besides a Jimmy Wang Yu filmography.

Shougun's Ninja: Good widescreen picture and decent sound mix; has the same menu set-up and extras as "Legend of the Eight Samurai".

Rating: ***

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