(aka 'Pi li quan' or 'Pik lik kuen' or 'The Terrible Kick' or 'The Thunderbolt Fist')

Directed by Il-ho Jang
Hong Kong 1972


There is a good amount of action throughout “The Thunderbolt Fist”, most of it fairly gruesome, with plenty of flying limbs and arterial sprays, especially during the final scenes. Interestingly, although Tie Wa is the nominal protagonist, a higher proportion of the fights involve another of the rebels, played by actress Shih Szu (also credited sometimes as Si Si and who starred in many Shaw Brothers’ films including “The Young Avenger”). Shih Szu’s fights are actually more exciting, mainly since they feature her taking on multiple sword-wielding opponents at once.

The action direction by Leung Siu Chung (who also worked on “The 14 Amazons” amongst others) is solid, if unspectacular, with no real outstanding scenes. In fact, the same can be said of “The Thunderbolt Fist” as a whole, as while entertaining enough for fans of the studio and genre, it is quite blatantly one of their lesser outings. Although by no means a bad film, there is little in the way of invention, and whilst originality is by no means expected or required for the genre, there is a definite lack of ambition or real thrills, which prevents “The Thunderbolt Fist” from being anything other than merely above average.

Excerpt from Beyond Hollywood located HERE


Theatrical Release: December 30th, 1972

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DVD Review: Image Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Image Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:30:57 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.3 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s  

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Mandarin, DUB: English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, Spanish, None

Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• trailers 

DVD Release Date:
November 11th, 2008
Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 11



Image Entertainment remains in the bottom of 'value' DVD distributors... and this is another example. This single-layered, interlaced (see capture below), bare-bones SD-DVD is phenomenally weak.  The combing produced is extensive - otherwise the image is moderately acceptable for a CRT viewing.

The audio gives an optional English DUB as well as the main Mandarin track. There are decent white font subtitles in English or Spanish. There are no extras aside from some trailer-adverts.

Compared to Weinstein's Dragon Dynasty's output, with films-to-DVDs like 'The Tai-Chi Master', 'King Boxer', 'Heroes of the East', 'Fist of Legend' or 'Come Drink With Me', make this Image Entertainment disc look ridiculously poor. The Dragon Dynasty are cheaper have dramatically better image/audio quality and include numerous supplements including commentaries. Why would anyone buy this? For the film? Well, it's a very traditional example of the genre but not at the same standard as the ones mentioned above. You have to be a real devout martial arts cinema fan, with deep pockets, to indulge. We say give it a pass and get the Dragon Dynasty DVDs that you don't already have.  I didn't find the film essential to the genre and the DVD treatment is laughable. 

Gary W. Tooze


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Combing evident....















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Distribution Image Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC


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