Macho Man (1982)

Sorry, folks, but Macho Man is neither a biopic of wrestling’s Randy Savage nor the Village People’s follow-up to the flop Can’t Stop the Music, but a straightforward kung-fu extravaganza with a little bit of bloodletting and a whole lotta fighting. Plus, its original title is Duel in the Tiger Den — a moniker I could see adorning the label of a Village People 12-inch (pun intended), but still.

The titular Macho Man (Tien Te Hui, The Fatal Flying Guillotine) is a drifter who, in his first scene, snaps the necks of four hoodlums with ease and a smile, as if he were buying chocolate bars for orphans. With his goofy smile and semi-lazy eye, he looks exactly like how I would envision Brendan Fraser, had the Mummy man been born Asian.

Our hero is out scouting for the king’s stolen seal (not the animal), which has been stolen by not-as-macho men, who try to kill him with construction equipment. They do not succeed, but they are able to hit him with a log and stab him with a forklift. Later, director You Min Ko (better known as a prolific performer in this genre, including the immortal Fantasy Mission Force) stages a fight atop a moving train, which is more elaborate than the usual battles in the chopsocky films of this waning era. Scenes like these — and an utter obliviousness toward its humor — make Macho Man worth a watch. —Rod Lott

Get it at Amazon.


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