Eastern Condors (1987) – Review
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Eastern Condors (1987) – Review

Eastern Condors (1987) – Review

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

[usr 5]

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