Film #51: BAMBOO GODS AND IRON MEN
Bamboo Gods and Iron Men
2.75 out of 5 stars
Comedic blaxploitation meets Kung Fu in this Filipino production directed by Cesar Gallardo (HUSTLER SQUAD). The film was a part of the b-movie explosion that came out of the Philippines in the 70s (reference MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED) which bore fruit such as the films of Eddie Romero (BLACK MAMA / WHITE MAMA, TWILIGHT PEOPLE, MAD DOCTOR OF BLOOD ISLAND, BEAST OF THE YELLOW NIGHT), some classic Jack Hill sexploitation / women in cage films (BIG BIRD CAGE. BIG DOLL HOUSE) and the cinema of Ciro H. Santiago (TNT JACKSON, SHE DEVILS IN CHAINS, VAMPIRE HOOKERS). All of it is low budget, poorly dubbed, and just a little bit cheesy, but… there’s something inherently fun to be had amongst all the fromage. Disappointedly, the fight scenes are stilted and VERY “Golden Harvest” rather than reflecting the Philippine’s rich martial culture. Acting is stiff and wooden, but James Inglehart (BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS) and Shirley Washington (MELVIN & HOWARD) have a certain kind of chemistry in what appears to be wholly improvised dialog. Fans of Pinoy & Asian exploitation and surely dig this. Others may just find themselves frustrated. Fun, but flawed.