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Film / One-Armed Boxer

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The somewhat forgotten film that preceded Master of the Flying Guillotine.

One-Armed Boxer is a 1972 Martial Arts Movie starring Jimmy Wang Yu, in his directorial debut. Much like Jimmy's earlier martial arts epic, One-Armed Swordsman, once again Jimmy plays a righteous martial artist who lose his arm, and puts himself through rigorous training to make himself stronger, deadlier, and to exact revenge over those who wronged him.

Jimmy Wang-yu stars as Tien Lung, the best martial artist of his school, who out of chivalry, stopped a gang of bullies from the Hook Gang - a rival martial arts school secretly involved with opium dealing and trafficking - from terrorizing a restaurant. In retaliation, Master Chao of the Hook Gang hired the best and most sadistic fighters from Shanghai to go on a killing spree, leaving Tien Lung the sole survivor of his school and losing his arm to a Japanese fighter in the process. After being rescued by a herbalist, Tien swears to avenge his defeat and have the Hook Gang put to justice.


Wang-yu will later star and direct the much more popular, Surprisingly Improved Sequel, Master of the Flying Guillotine. The combined popularity of both films proves to studios that Wang-yu can direct, besides act.

Released in the United States as The Chinese Professionals.

One Armed Boxer provides examples of:

  • An Arm and a Leg: The events of the movie depicts how Tien Lung lose his arm, and became the famous titular boxer.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Besides Master Chao of the Hook Gang, their hired goons includes a trio of karate experts, a pair of Thai kickboxers, an Indian yoga expert and two Tibetan monks (which, in the sequel, is revealed to be the students of the titular Master Of The Flying Guillotine).
  • Blatant Lies: After Tien beats up a bunch of bullies from the Hook Gang and sent them running back to their school, the bullies complains to their leader, Master Chao, that Tien is the one who bullied them, as well as claiming Tien and his friends insulted the Hook Gang.
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  • Boss Bonanza: The Final Battle in the valley feels like this. Tien had to face ALL of Master Chao's hired professionals, one (sometimes two, for the Thai boxing duo) at a time, without stopping. In short order, the Karate expert, the pair of Thai kick-boxers, a Tibetan warrior monk, the Monk's Master, the Indian Yoga expert whose Kevlard power makes him nigh-impenetrable, Master Chao who tries to frag the hero from a distance with grenades, and finally the Yakuza murderer who can tear apart limbs with his bare hands.
  • Catch and Return: In the climatic battle, when Tien has defeated most of Master Chao's hired goons, Master Chao immediately tried to frag Tien from a distance by hurling grenades at him. Tien catches one of the flung grenades and throws it back, blowing up Master Chao with his own weapon.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: While Tien had the potential to become stronger than any martial artist ever thanks to the herbalist's elixir, he must sever all the nerves in his remaining good arm and put himself through Training from Hell to achieve his power.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: There is no reason for Tien to intervene with the Hook Gang bullies in the opening scene, other than he feels obligated to do so.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: To achieve the greater level of powers which allows him to take revenge, Tien will have to destroy the remaining nerve points of his remaining good arm, put it through fire, have its tendons crushed by rocks, and pretty much risk killing himself from the pain.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: After completing his training and realizing his one remaining arm is now over tenfold its original strength, Tien tries punching a nearby shed... and ends up destroying the whole structure with one hit.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The main character is a one-armed martial artist whose special skill is boxing. Really, really, really hard.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: In the valley battle, Tien defeats the Indian Yoga Expert (whose body have an external layer of Kevlard which deflects conventional punch and kicks) by stabbing two fingers through his opponent's torso.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: The final battle involves Tien fighting all the baddies, hand-to-hand. Except Master Chao, who tries to avoid a fight by throwing grenades at a distance, and look where it gets him.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: If Fung Sheng Wu Chi's background from the sequel is anything to go by, Cho Lo and Cho Fu were potentially imperial assassins whom used Chao Liu's operation for their own agenda and cover for their true identity and purpose.
  • Handicapped Badass: Tien, the titular boxer.
  • Hooks and Crooks: The Hook Gang, true to their names, uses hooks as their primary weapons.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Japanese fighter is also a ruthless murderer and the enemy who ripped off Tien's arm in the first place. He ends up getting his own arm chopped off by Tien in the final battle.
  • Martial Arts Headband: Tien wears one on his head throughout the second half of the movie.
  • Megaton Punch: The moment Tien finished his training, he can do this with ease. Every punch would send enemies reeling backwards, and most of them would end up puking blood before dying shortly.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: For the American release, oddly enough. The original Hong Kong version had its own unique film score, but the American version for some reason decides to lift the soundtrack from Shaft.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Tien, in the second half of the movie after training is completed. Firstly by tearing apart the bullies that caused all this mess in the first place, then challenging the Hook Gang's karate dojo and killing several of their mooks, tearing down the Hook Gang's operations, and finally challenging Master Chao to send ALL his hired professionals at once to face him in the finale.
  • Sound-Only Death: One of the Karate experts that Tien confronts in the finale dies from getting punched backwards into a boiling pool of superheated hot spring, but we only see a close-up of the water, hear him screaming, and then silence.
  • Yellowface: The Indian Yoga expert is played by the very Chinese Pan Chun-Lin.