The titular character is Teng-piao, once an esteemed martial artist and elite fighter, who was framed 15 years ago for possession of drugs by his arch enemy, a vengeful martial artist called the Black Leopard. Released from prison 15 years later, with his only possession being the same chain who bound him to his prison cell for the past decade and a half, Teng-piao embarks on a bitter path of revenge.
Iron Chain Fighter contains examples of:
- Arch-Enemy: Black Leopard to Teng-piao, the former being responsible for framing Teng-piao and his subsequent 15-year-sentence in jail.
- Action Prologue: Teng-piaos fight with a bare-chested, brown-clad challenger in the first scene, right before the opening credits. Who later turns out to be Shang-lins husband.
- Body Double: There are seven villainous martial artists called the Black Leopard, six which are the main Black Leopards most trusted acolytes and followers. After 15 years, nobody - not even Teng-piao - knows how the true Black Leopard actually looks like. The main one is the Big Bad that Teng-piao had a beef with, who immediately summons his six followers upon learning Teng-piao has been released from prison.
- Chain Pain: The movies title is Iron Chain Fighter. Guess what kind of weapon the protagonist uses.
- Companion Cube: Teng-piao and his
chain. The very same chain that bound him in prison for the past 15 years, that he ultimately developed an affection towards. He even talks to the chain while all alone at one point.Teng-piao: "Oh iron chain, when can I have my long-awaited revenge? You have spend the past 15 years by my side in prison, and I will prove my innocence by using you to strangle the man who wronged me all those years ago. You are my only friend now..."
- Cool Hat: Teng-piao wears a cool fedora, which stays on his head throughout all his scenes. Including the extremely long final fight against Black Leopard. It even stays on his head as he collapses from being shot by Shang-lin in the end
- Diabolus ex Machina: Teng-piao has finally succeeded in his revenge, killing Black Leopard, and all his enemies are dead. But then Shang-lin, recognizing Teng-piao as the man who killed her husband, then picks up a gun and shoots him 5 seconds before the credits start rolling.
- Distinguishing Mark: The real Black Leopard can be distinguished from his doubles by the leopard-shaped birthmark on his chest. Naturally after killing each double Teng-piao would look for the birthmarks on their bodies afterwards.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Who do you think the movies title refers to?
- Extreme Mêlée Revenge: The final battle between Teng-piao and the Black Leopard. It's long-drawn, lasts for more than 10 minutes, and much of it consists of Teng-piao pummeling Black Leopard as hard and as many times as he can before the eventual coup-de-grace.
- Genre Mashup: Kung-fu Film Noir with a dash of western.
- I Call It "Vera": Implied, that the chain Teng-piao carries around throughout the movie is more than just a mere chain. Notice how affectionate he sounds when referring to his weapon?
- Knife Nut: Tao Kuo-cheng, The Lancer to Teng-piao, who is an expert in throwing knives, using them to take down pistol and rifle-wielding enemies in the final battle.
- Saying Too Much: Teng-piao, at the end of the movie after killing Black Leopard, off-handedly telling Tao Kuo-cheng and Shang-lin how he spends the past few weeks being hunted and pursued by his enemies, all whom he kills including that chap from the opening prologue. Which happens to be Shang-lins deceased husband. She then puts two and two together, and deduced Teng-piao to be her husbands killer.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: Face it, after everything hes been through the entire movie, including the long and awesome fight scene with Black Leopard that takes up much of the films final 12 minutes, NOBODYs going to expect Shang-lin to realize Teng-piao to be her husbands killer, and shooting him all of a sudden. Literally seconds before the movie ends, too!