The Victim CoverNo matter what some people might do, and no matter what some people might say, for the rest of their very lives they will always, always, be a victim. Yeah. I'm not stirring your noodles the wrong way, pal. Just ask the Director / Actor: Sammo Hung, or his chums: Yuen Biao and Bryan Leung. But only ask them this question for 100 minutes, in 1980, OK?

The Victim

Boy! That Leung Chun (Bryan Leung). I don't understand him one little bit. Why won't he do it? Why won't he become Fatty's (Sammo Hung) new master?

Well, Fatty is very-very good you know. Really good. Only the other day I saw him punch, kick, and slap, an idiot, a teacher, and some dodgy looking chap with a fake beard, before he bumped into Leung, and asked him to teach him kung-fu.

But would he listen to him? No. He wouldn't. Leung doesn't want anything to do with Fatty because his step-brother, Jo Wing (Chang Yi), tried to rape his wife, Yu Ti (Fanny Wang), a couple of years ago, and has hounded them both ever since.

Now does that make any sense to you, pal? It doesn't, does it? If anything, I thought having someone like Fatty around would be a good thing all in all. Just in case your half-brothers henchmen try to kill you at every chance they get! Or if your step-father suddenly passes away due to ill health!

Still, whatever Leung ultimately decides, I suppose that is why what next transpires all kicks off when a reluctant union seems to come together. As a wife makes her stand - this film isn't bland - a victim eventually shows his face - and please note, to kill a f*cking evil b*stard is by no means a disgrace.  

A couple of months ago, a friend of mine from a popular social networking site, recommended that I should find some time to watch, 'The Victim'. 'It's great' he said. 'You won't be disappointed' he continued. 'It's one of those classic Hong Kong films you always seem to go for. It has Sammo Hung in it. It has a fairly decent story-line. Plus you've got to see the amazing martial arts action on offer'.

The Victim Original Film Poster
So, to cut a long story short -- Snip! -- I found it -- Ka-Ching! -- I watched it -- Click! -- And I come to the realization that my friend was one hundred percent correct about this flick. It's an amazing kung-fu classic. For all the reasons he previously stated.

Granted, the only thing I wasn't overtly keen on was how the overall story seemed a bit jumbled in places. The first twenty minutes or so you'll see Sammo's character trying to find a master by beating up a lot of people he meets. The next thirty minutes is dedicated to Bryan's character, and the mystery surrounding him and his wife's situation. Whilst the rest of this movie is all about the fighting, the revenge, the unions, and a couple of smashing surprises that I feel propelled this film from being a great film, to being an amazing film.

Hey! I'm not giving away any spoilers here, pal. I wouldn't want to do that to you. But let me just say that nothing is as it seems until the very end of this adventure. It's one of those 'flash-back scenarios' that'll make you go 'Oh! I got it'. Once the final reveal is finally revealed.

Sammo Hung in the Victim

The Victim Asian Film Poster
Anyway, before I say too much, here, check out these filmic-facts.  (1) The 'Graffon Film Company' first released this $16.6 million Hong Kong dollar production, on the very same day America carried out a nuclear test in Nevada -- the 28th of February, 1980. (2) For marketing reasons alone, this movie was entitled 'Lighting Kung Fu' in America, and 'The Death of the Little Dragon Fist' in Germany. (3) Even though he wasn't on screen for very long, Yuen Biao did a lot of work behind the scenes, doubling certain actors, and contributing to the overall action choreography. (4) Tin-Chi Lau, who wrote the screenplay for this film, also penned the Jackie Chan 1980's classic, 'Young Master', and the Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung 1979 opus, 'Knockabout'. (5) This was the only film that the production company, 'Graffon', ever distributed in its one year existence. (6) Considering Bryan Leung is known for his rather intense fighting style, it was noted on set, that even he had difficulty carrying out certain moves asked of him. He was only doubled once or twice though. (7) During his time as an actor, Karl Maka worked opposite Sammo Hung on quite a few kung-fu comedies, including this one in 1980, 'Odd Couple' in 1979, plus 'Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon' in 1990. (8) Not only did Frankie Chan compose the music for this movie, but he also composed the music for two of the movies I've previously mentioned -- 'Young Master' and 'Odd Couple -- plus 'Armour of God II: Operation Condor'.

Bryan Leung in the Victim

Lightning Kung Fu Movie Poster
Now another thing I like to mention about 'The Victim' is how great the fighting and the acting truly is. Obviously, its' going to be very difficult for me to explain to you what I mean by this in alliterative terms. However, let me just express that it's up there with such greats as 'Hapkido' and 'Fist of Fury' where the choreography is concerned, and 'Drunken Master' and 'Magnificent Butcher' performance wise.

Yep. That's correct. This is a bold and sometimes funny film with free-flowing action, a lop-sided plot-line, and a way about it that'll make me want to watch it again sometime soon. Furthermore, it's also one of those movies that I would define as a 'hidden gem'. It's rarely mentioned. Hard to find. And something you'll love if you're a Hong Kong film nut like me.

Nuff said. Hai-Ya!


THE VICTIM (1980) THE VICTIM (1980) Reviewed by David Andrews on October 10, 2013 Rating: 5
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