Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 3rd, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong, December 22nd, 1971
Director: Cheh Chang
Writer: Kuang Ni
Cast: David Chiang, Lung Ti, Feng Ku, Lei Cheng, Sing Chen, Lung Yu, Bolo Yeung
DVD released: September 30th, 2008
Approximate running time: 81 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Mandarin, Dolby Digital 5.1 & Mono English
DVD Release: Media Blasters/Tokyo Shock
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99
Synopsis: The fate of a kidnapped prince is left in the hands of handful of skilled warriors who face numerous obstacles along the way.
The Deadly Duo was directed by Cheh Chang who also directed The One-Armed Swordsman, The Heroic Ones and Two Champions of Shaolin. The screenplay was written by Kuang Ni who frequent collaborated with Cheh Chang. Kuang Ni’s, diverse screenwriting credits include such notable films like Chinese Hercules, The Super Inframan, The Killer Snakes and The 36th Chamber of Shaolin.
The plot for The Deadly Duo is simple and very little time dedicated to character development or back-story. The film relies heavily on its numerous action sequences which are all well crafted and at times dazzling. The plot also bears a passing resemblance to the similar themed The Heroic Ones which was also directed by Cheh Chang. The film’s most memorable moment is a scenes where the five sent to rescue the captured prince make their way across a dangerous bring that has already claimed the lives of a few of their friends.
One of the film’s most enjoyable assets is its colorful heavies like a mole man, a tree man, a fighter who uses fire and some under water fighter lead by a character named the Water Dragon who is played by the formidable Bolo Yeung. The film moves along at a break neck pace. Some much ground is covered in a mere eight one minutes. The film’s two standout performances come from its two lead’s David Chiang and Lung Ti. After all the violence and bloodshed the film’s final image of David Chiang’s character is a poetically haunting conclusion to the film. Ultimately The Deadly Duo is a highly entertaining martial arts film that more than makes up for its short comings with its exceptional action sequences.
Tokyo Shock presents The Deadly Duo in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This progressive flagged transfer looks clean, detailed and colors are nicely saturated throughout. Black levels are strong the image remains stable throughout.
This release comes with three audio options, English and Mandarin Dolby Digital mono mixes and a Dolby Digital 5.1 English audio mix. All the three audio mixes are clear and free of any background noise. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix sounds to spread out. While the Dolby Digital mono mixes are the preferable audio mixes. Removable English subtitles that are easy to read and follow have been included.
Extras for this release include the original and a new trailer for The Deadly Duo (in Mandarin with English subtitles). Other extras include a brief stills gallery and trailers for other films also available on DVD from Tokyo Shock. The main extras for this release are two career retrospective featurettes for David Chiang and Lung Ti. Overall The Deadly Duo gets a superb DVD release from Tokyo Shock that is highlighted by its strong audio/video presentation.