The decade of the 1980s was a banner era for the fantasy film all across the globe. KUNG FU WONDER CHILD probably isn’t the only one to feature bathroom humor alongside martial arts and magic, but it might be the only one that has a monster with blonde bangs and Yukari Oshima kicking dudes into trees.
When his brother overdoses on a new designer drug called “nirvana,” a fresh MBA graduate must choose between the stable pursuits of marriage and a burgeoning family business, or traveling to Hong Kong to learn kung fu and fight drug dealers.
A mystical sword formed from a meteorite. A nun in a wheelchair flying off a cliff. A motorcycle riding hero in a red cocktail dress. All these random threads converge in the misshapen, cable-knit sweater of a 1980s action film that is SWORD OF HEAVEN.
This is a lean and mean 1970s yakuza exploitation picture that plays with a lot of genre tropes – rival groups, old ways versus young guns, etc. – all capped off by a deeply fatalistic streak. And mannequins!
Bob Rafelson and a great ensemble cast demonstrate that Atlantic City during the winter in the 1970s is a terrible time and place to hatch a madcap real estate scheme.
The rare b-grade action film that delivers what its title promises and its box art fails to convey: actual blood on actual hands!