I’m a huge fan of martial arts flicks. The well made ones are full of amazing acts of physical ability and choreography. Like a ballet… with swords.
However, story isn’t usually the strong point in these movies. It’s a means to an ends; just give me a reason to watch people flip around and hit each other. But The Crippled Avengers… this story is weird.
And kung fu films are already inherently weird. As viewers, we have to accept the inherent conceit that we’re watching a world where people regularly punch and kick each other to death.
Some worlds need more of that
But this movie… this is a film where the bad guy cripples people for fun. Where no one has a problem attacking a blind man with swords. A film where the climactic battle features a blind man and an adult with the mind of a 3 year old fighting a man with no arms.
And crazy enough, it kind of works. While it would be easy to be exploitation (especially in 1978) this movie does its best to avoid that. The moral seems to be that hard work and help from friends can help people with physical disabilities cope in the real world. That’s a pretty damn good moral. The scenes with the mentally disabled character are a little less delicate though. But, to the movie’s credit, that character did have his brain crushed in a vice (it’s a weird movie)
So the basic plot of the movie is, guy’s son gets crippled, so he goes crazy and starts crippling everyone that crosses him. (They use the word cripple a lot in this movie) There are 4 characters in particular that he attacks: one he blinds, one becomes a deaf/mute, he cuts the legs off a third, and the fourth is Brain Crushed in a Vice Guy.
It does make a pretty sweet nickname
While things do get weird, the action is always amazing. The second half of the movie is almost non stop fighting and the choreography is some of the best I’ve ever seen. There are some things that you won’t believe you just saw, but know you did because special effects in 1978 weren’t good enough to fake it.
Speaking of which, the special effects in the movie are hilariously bad. Especially whenever someone loses a limb. I really couldn’t help but laugh everytime it happened.
So there were some silly things, but the movie is actually really enjoyable. If you like martial arts movies and won’t get offended by the word “cripple” tossed around like it’s going out of style, I recommend it.
Final Verdict: The best choreographed cripple fight you’ll ever see. Dear lord, did I really just say that?