Eastern Condors is a Dirty Dozen-style feature where a rag-tag group of military convicts accept a suicide mission back into Vietnam to earn their freedom. It also features some of the most epic fights and stunts in any Sammo movie I have ever seen.
First off, it’s directed and starring Sammo Hung Kam-bo, one of the legendary all-stars of HK cinema. The famously rotund actor lost significant weight to make his role more plausible, so it’s a rare glimpse of a svelte Sammo.
It also is a star-studded affair. It stars Mr. Vampire himself: Lam Ching-Ying as the super serious badass Lieutenant Colonel Lam, who is sent to lead the mission. The movie also features 4 of the 7 Little Fortunes. Besides Sammo, Yuen Biao co-stars as the black market bandit “Weasel,” and gets plenty of opportunity to show off his acrobatics and amazing kicks. Yuen Wah is credited as the Giggling General, and provides a great final battle. The supporting cast include Corey Yuen, who became a successful action choreographer and director, along with legendary action choreographer and fellow alumni Yuen Woo-Ping. Also featured is Joyce Godenzi as the leader of an all-girl guerrilla outfit.
This movie is absolutely action-packed from front to back. The story (not that you need it) moves along at a steady pace. You’ll also see shout-outs to every great 80’s action movie, from Rambo, to Predator, with a little bit of Deer Hunter thrown in for good measure. The stunt work and fights are top shelf. It’s a bit more kill-heavy than most Sammo movies, but all is forgiven in the great displays of martial arts and acrobatics. Oh yeah, he’s able to murder people with leaves. I couldn’t find out if that is based on a real thing, but I’d be grateful to any enlightenment.
I consider this one of Sammo’s best. Watch it!
(5 / 5)