Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 16th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Taiwan, 1980
Director: Shia Yue
Cast: Jackie Conn, Frankie Shum, Hai Ka, Hsieh Wang
DVD released: January 25th, 2011
Approximate running time: 91 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Letterboxed Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Apprehensive Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $12.95
Synopsis: Two cripples join forces against a corrupt mayor who is embezzling money from the townspeople.
Crippled Masters 2: Two Crippled Heroes re-teams Jackie Conn and Frankie Shum, who had previously worked together on the delirious martial arts extravaganza The Crippled Masters. For those who have yet to be exposed to that aforementioned film. This film features more of the same Kung Fu bizarreness. The two leads, Jackie Conn has no legs and the other Frankie Shum has no arms. Separately they are at a disadvantage, while together they are nearly unstoppable.
At the beginning of this film a chance meeting brings these two together. As the story progresses they encounter a young woman, who has been temporarily blinded. They take care of her while she recovers. And not wanting her to know that they are cripples. They help each other cover up theirs deformities from this young woman. Shortly after this young woman’s arrival she reveals to them the mayor’s devious plan. Reluctant at first to get involved they focus on taking care of the young woman. There no found serenity is disrupted when henchmen come looking for the young woman and kill their monkey. This proves to be the final straw. With their back to the wall they take on the corrupt mayor and his henchmen.
The plot follows the basic structure that has been used countless other martial arts films. Thankfully the martial arts are anything but normal. The film does a superb job using the two lead characters limitations as an asset. Jackie Conn’s character has a skate board like device that he sits on. The handles of this device can be detached and used as weapons. Frankie Shum’s character throws knives with his toes. Needless their stunt work and agility is at times impressive. As mentioned earlier their characters have befriended a young woman who is temporally blind. While their trying to keep their deformities a secret from her is amusing at first. Things become disturbingly uncomfortable when she regains her sight and does not tell them. When all is said and done, Crippled Masters 2: Two Crippled Heroes is a mildly entertaining film that fails to live to its predecessor.
Crippled Masters 2: Two Crippled Heroes is presented in a letterboxed widescreen. Framing wise things don’t look cramped. It should be noted that the IMDB lists this film’s original aspect ratio is 2.35:1. This source used for this transfer is obviously VHS based as there are many defects that are inherent to VHS that crop up throughout. Colors tend to look washed out, black levels are weak and the image tends to look soft. Also there are some mild instances of combing present.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. There is noticeable background noise and distortion that varies in degree throughout. At least the dialog comes through clearly enough to follow.
Extras for this release includes trailers for other titles also available from Apprehensive Films and a very brief short titled ‘Pagoda Hell’, which is essentially a clip from a Bruce Li film that is used for parody purposes. Overall Crippled Masters 2: Two Crippled Heroes gets a mediocre DVD release from Apprehensive Films.