Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 20th, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: 1980 (For Your Height Only), 1980 (Challenge the Tiger)
Directors: Eddie Nicart (For Your Height Only), Bruce Le (Challenge the Tiger)
Cast: Weng Weng, Anna Maria Gutierrez, Beth Sandoval (For Your Height Only)
Cast: Bruce Le, Richard Harrison, Brad Harris, Bolo Yeung (Challenge the Tiger)
DVD released: November 15th, 2005
Approximate running time: 86 & 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame & 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Mondo Macabro
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
For Your Height Only: The Evil Mr. Giant wants nothing more then complete control of the world kidnaps Dr. Van Kohler who has just invented a bomb to end all bombs. There is only one man who can stop Mr. Giant and his quest for world domination and his name is agent 00. Just like another super spy James Bond agent 00 is fully equipped with several special gadgets like a boomerang hat that can cut you like a knife and sunglasses with x-ray vision that see through all clothing allowing the wearing of such glasses to look at lovely ladies in nothing more then their birthday suits. One day while in incognito agent 00 saves the life of a former stripper named Lola who used to work for Mr. Giant. Together they take on Mr. Giant and his legions of henchmen in their quest to save the world from the clutches of evil even if it means ultimately giving their lives in the process.
In the world of actors who are vertically challenged no actor has ever achieved the leading man status that was bestowed upon Weng Weng. Other pint sized actors like Hervé Villechaize may have gotten supporting roles in James Bond films, still they never were giving a James Bond like role in which they were the lead who wooed the ladies and had to carry the film. That is until there came along an actor named Weng Weng who proved that size doesn’t matter as long as you are confident and walk with a swagger. Agent 00 played flawlessly by an actor named Weng Weng dresses in only the best clothing and men twice his size tremble in his presence.
For an actor who stands just barley above three feet tall Weng Weng kicks a lot of butt with his high flying combat skills and his ability to adapt to his surrounds by using his height as an advantage and not a crutch. Sure the English dub is laughable at best and the plot as well as the bay guys is paper thin and nothing we haven’t seen before. It is precisely these elements. It is the addition of actor Weng Weng that makes this film so much fun and one has to really respect how the rest of the cast stay in character through out without ever bursting out into laughter.
One of the films stand out moments happens when Weng Weng and a lovely lady are at a disco. There are interrupted while talking and a fight ensues in which Weng Weng like the dare devil he is fly’s off tables and punches his opponents in the nuts. The lady he is with also pick’s up Weng Weng and uses him as a weapon. This scene truly has to be seen to be believed. The film ends with a Bruce Lee like ending as Weng Weng takes on various henchmen on his way to fight Mr. Giant in a showdown for the ages. Overall For Your Height Only is a film that never fully takes itself seriously and it is because of this irreverence why this film succeeds on every level.
Challenge the Tiger: A Spanish professor invents a secret formula that can make all sperm infertile and shortly after his finishing his experiment his murdered and his formula has disappeared. The CIA calls in two of their best men Huang Lung and Richard Cannon to track down the formula. To disclose any more of the plot would not be wise so I will stop here.
July 20th, 1973 is a day that will forever be remember by fans of martial arts films as the day that Bruce Lee this genre’s most charismatic icon passed away at the young age of thirty three. Producers in a mad scramble to find the next Bruce Lee/martial arts superstar decided to take the easy way out and exploit Bruce Lee’s legacy by chasing in on a series of films that had actors who resembled Lee with names like Bruce Li, Bruce Le and Dragon Lee just to name a few. Bruceexploitaion as a genre of films is without a doubt one of the most unusual genre’s ever conceived in the history of cinema.
Challenge the Tiger is filled with bone crunching marital arts action and Bruce Le even takes on a Bull with his bare hands. This film was directed and written by its star Bruce Le. While there are your standard marital sequences that are used to pad these types of films over Bruce Le keeps things moving quickly. Richard Harrison has the most enjoyable performance in the film as CIA agent who spends most of his time chasing the ladies and very little time pursing the bad guys. One scene that immediately jumps out at you happens early on when two women are playing topless tennis in slow motion. Bolo Yeung has a small but all to brief cameo ion the film and as always he is a pleasure to watch as he breaks his opponents in two.
Overall Challenge the Tiger never really tries to rise above its exploitation roots as there is plenty of flesh on parade and enough non-stop action to satisfy even the most hardcore kung fu fan.
Mondo Macabro presents For Your Height Only in a full frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio that looks pretty close to the films original aspect ratio since nothing looks cramped or cropped. For Your Height Only is a rarity that has been seen by very few people and after an exhaustive searches it quickly became apparent that the films original elements no longer exist. This transfer looks like it was sourced from the same master used to source the Simitar DVD which is now long OOP. The colors look stronger then ever and the image exhibits stronger detail then the previous mentioned Simitar DVD. Sure there is some minor print damage; still this is truly the best this film has ever looked.
Mondo Macabro presents Challenge the Tiger in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The colors are nicely saturated and flesh tones look healthy. Black levels are strong and grain is kept to a minimum. The image looks sharp in most scenes with a few that look softer then others. There are no problems with compression or artifacts and edge enhancement is kept to a minimum. There is some print damage and beside that the overall quality of this transfer is pretty good.
Both films come with Dolby Digital stereo mixes in English. The dialog sound clean and is easy enough to understand. The music and effects tend to drown each other out at times. Overall there are no problems with hiss or background and these tow audio mixes are more then adequate.
Extras for the For Your Height Only include a still gallery and two essay about Weng Weng. The first Essay written Pete Tombs simply titled “Dick Randall and Weng Weng” is a well written and in-depth look into the man known as Weng Weng. The second essay written by DVD Talk reviewer Ian Jane is titled “Weng Weng – An Appreciation”. What starts out as a humorous piece quickly becomes tired as the joke about Weng Weng’s height becomes stale quickly. Overall if you are interested in knowing more about Weng Weng then I would suggest that you check out the piece written by Pete Tombs.
Extras for the Challenge the Tiger include a still gallery and two bios. The first bio “Bruce Le” is another solid piece that was written by Pete Tombs. The other bio “Richard Harrison” is an insightful and humorous piece written by Julian Granger. Rounding out the extras is the Mondo Macabro preview trailer which includes clips from titles they have currently released or about to release.
What is there not to love about this release both films are highly entraining even if it is so good its bad way! Mondo Macabro with their For Your Height Only/Challenge of the Tiger double feature DVD prove once again why they are one of the premier companies releasing cult films on DVD. For Your Height Only/Challenge of the Tiger is not only the best double feature DVD ever it is hands down the cult DVD release of the year.