Naked Fist is a terribly silly film, but for some reason I love it. Even after watching it about 5 times (and poring over bits of it frame-by-frame while trying to edit the damn thing together), I still find it ludicrously entertaining. Oh sure, a lot of it is amateurish, the acting is by and large terrible and the plot full of holes, but it’s never dull. There’s an action scene about once every ten minutes and these are fairly well done. They don’t hold a candle to what was being done in Hong Kong or Taiwan at the same time, but are still better than what you’d find in an American film of this vintage, or even subsequently. There’s very little of the ‘stand still while I kick you’ style later popularised by Jean-Claude Van Damme films, and it’s notable that Naked Fist predates the whole ‘underground martial arts tournament’ craze that exploded in the wake of Bloodsport.
And no nude kickboxing, but there are shirtless gold monks…
Those wacky Shaolin monks. If legend is to be believed, they came up with any number of ways to school young acolytes in the Ways of Kung Fu. These were ingenious, esoteric and usually very, very fatal to any student who hadn’t quite mastered the techniques required. No legend is more mysterious than that of the Bronze Men. Any budding monk would have to pass through the halls of these dreaded metallic automatons, using all his speed and skill to avoid their deadly crushing blows. But is there some scrap of truth in this ancient and terrifying myth?Um, no.