Studio: Mondo Macabro
Theatrical Release: 1981 / 1980
DVD Release: November 15, 2005
Director(s): Eddie Nicart / Bruce Le
Review by James Klein
For those of you who love good, old fashioned exploitation movies from the glorious heyday of the late 70’s / early 80’s, look no further. Mondo Macabro’s double feature of a Filipino spy comedy and a Hong Kong chop socky movie is a must see for those looking to seek out a wild, WTF head scratcher that will have you laughing from beginning to end. While the DVD is over 10 years old, I am hoping that these two classics find their way eventually on blu ray as these two films deserve the HD upgrade.
Starring the 2’9″ Filipino actor Weng Weng, this James Bond spoof is a movie that needs to be seen to be believed. At first I thought this was going to be just a Bond rip-off but as the film progressed I realized I was watching cinema gold and pure insanity. Aside from the title, this has nothing to do with the Bond film For Your Eyes Only as the plot centers on a mysterious crime boss named Mr. Giant whose goons kidnap a doctor who has a strange secret formula for a mysterious bomb that could destroy mankind as we know it.
With the forces of good being the enemy (yeah, the dialog in this had me laughing out loud many times) Mr. Giant and his men must deal with Agent 00, played by the legendary tiny actor Weng Weng. Agent 00 is not only an international spy but a master of kung fu as well as being a ladies man who comes to the rescue to any damsel in distress. Due to his size, Agent 00 can move fast and get underneath anyone who stands in his way. Needless to say, due to his height alot of guys get punched or kicked in the balls in this movie. The editing alone on some of these fight sequences had me cracking up as there are moments where the film is sped up to make it look like Weng is much faster than he probably was. There are several sequences where he slides across floors with his guns blazing at super high speed. One sequences he goes too fast and smashes his head against the wall. Adding insult to injury, the film makers decided to dub in the line, “Ow, my little head.” That’s just one of several lines of dialog that had me gasping for air as I was laughing so much. “I smell a rat or at least a canary.” is a good one. “That’s boy scout do do.” is another great line. I don’t think the film makers could have found a more inappropriate voice for Agent 00 as he sounds more like Woody Allen than a Filipino super spy.
If I had any complaints, I wished the film was a bit more raunchier, pushing the good tastes. For Y’ur Height Only screams for nudity and alas there is none. Not even the segment where Agent 00 gets x-ray glasses and watches women type and talk on the phone nude. Seriously, why not show something? If there was a sex scene with Weng Weng, I don’t know if my heart could take the amount of laughing I would have sustained. Still, For Y’ur Height Only remains a must-see for anyone looking for something different and completely nuts.
For the lack of nudity and exploitation that was missing in For Y’ur Height Only, it’s made up for with this Bruce Lee knockoff, starring China’s #1 Bruce Lee imitator at the time, Bruce Le.
Bruce Le plays Huang, a tough as nails cop whose teamed up with his American partner Richard (Richard Harrison) to track down the men who killed a scientist and stole a formula that can make all men sterile. These madmen are trying to sell the formula to the highest bider although Huang and Richard are hot on their trail to stop them. Yeah, it’s pretty ridiculous but who gives a shit, the movie is LOADED with non stop nudity and some fairly decent martial arts fight sequences thanks to the talent of Mr. Le. Just the out of place, slow motion nude tennis sequence is enough to make this movie a must see. Toping off (pun intended) the topless tennis playing, is how the sequence ends. The scene ends with Richard laughing at a woman in the swimming pool getting splashed in the face by a urinating statue. Needless to say I had to rewind this a few times as one viewing wasn’t enough. If that’s not enough, wait until you see Huang fighting a bull where it was obvious he was NOT fighting a bull or when he is about to be attacked by a growling dog that is obviously dubbed and staring at Le with its tail wagging.
While Challenge is your basic cop movie, the action and nudity alone are entertaining enough and makes this less than 90 minute film fly by. If I had any complaints, I wanted the film to remain bonkers like it started out until the end. However, nearing the third act I found the dubbing a little better and the action scenes fairly decent. I was almost upset the movie was actually entertaining and well-made as it progressed.
Mondo Macabro’s DVD is fine, but don’t expect HD quality. In fact, the movie looks just a step up from watching a VHS tape as the picture for both films is very soft and the colors are a bit washed out. Challenge looks a tad better than For Y’ur Height Only but not by much. Thankfully Challenge is presented in the original 2:35:1 ratio where Weng Weng is stuck at 1:33. The only extra features on this DVD are some linear notes and trailers for other Mondo Macabro films.
I loved both of these movies. Both flicks are fun to watch and very entertaining. I’d love ton see Alamo Drafthouse pick up either of these films and give it a new life. Regardless, this is a great double feature and I hope someday Mondo releases these films on blu ray. Until then, seek out the DVD for your collection.
For Y’ur Height Only Rating:
Challenge of the Tiger Rating: