Judge David Johnson doesn't appreciate the term Bastard Swordsman. He prefers Mommy's Little Surprise Swordsman.
It's a kung fu heart attack.
That tagline is meant to be taken literally, by the way. There's a guy who actually kills people with his heartbeat. And that's only the tip of the lunacy iceberg.
Facts of the Case
Two long-time, legendary Chinese warriors square off to settle, once and for all, who is the most lethal kung fu fighter in the world. On one side you have Yun Fei-yang (Hsu Sha-chaing), who I'm pretty sure is the titular Bastard Swordsman. Yun is a master of the Silkworm Skill, which is exactly what it sounds like: he attacks his enemies with silkworm ejaculate. On the other side is a crazy Chinese lord with the power to shoot special effects out of his hands.
To complicate matters, the deadly Japanese Ega Clan shows up to beat on some fools, led by the clan leader who has the fearsome power of a killer heartbeat that can cause grown men to spew cascades of blood.
There is nothing like a batsh*t crazy kung fu movie and this is a good one. While not quite up to the level of the current champ, Drunken Dragon (which features a guy named Doggy fighting a wizard in a rowboat), Return of Bastard Swordsman features some sky-high insanity and, most importantly, a ton of fighting.
It is in these numerous action scenes where the ridiculousness pours forth. During the plot-building downtime, you're looking at a ho-hum narrative about a crotchety old fart bragging about leveling up his kung-fu ability and a bunch of Japanese guys and their ninja henchmen talking trash about how much China sucks. Thankfully, there's not a lot of soft spots in between the clashes. And when the fists fly, all bets are off.
Here is what you can expect from the four main fighters:
Crazy Chinese Lord
Ega Clan Leader
The Fortune Teller
The DVD: an impressive, yet—weirdly—sporadically blurry 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, a stereo English track, a mono Mandarin track and no extras.
Return of Bastard Swordsman deserves a place on your Insane Kung Fu Movie shelf. And if you don't have an Insane Kung Fu Movie shelf, you're dead to me.
Not Guilty. Not coherent, either, but whatever.
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Scales of Justice
Review content copyright © 2011 David Johnson; Site design and review layout copyright © 2013 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.