Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Circle of Iron (1978)

Director: Richard Moore

Starring: David Carradine, Jeff Cooper, David Carradine, Christopher Lee, David Carradine, Eli Wallach and David Carradine

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: The Challenge Of A Lifetime...

Plot: A young martial artist, Cord the Seeker, competes for and loses the right to go on a quest for the Book of All Knowlege held by a wizard named Zetan, but he goes along the path to seek Zetan anyway. Along the way, he meets strange tests and challenges by enemies and allies - often having difficulty determining which is which.

My Rating: 4/10

Would I watch it again? This movie's about stupid and there ain't no abouts about it!

#12 on Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

It's been 45 minutes since I finished it (or did it finish me?) and I'm still shaking my head at what the fuck I just watched. Many of the fight scenes are SLOWLY choreographed. None of the players seem to be giving or taking any solid hits. I never understood why Hollywood, back in the 70s, made kung fu movies with slow-as-fuckall fight scenes. The Hong Kong flicks were fast, man! Chop socky lightning!

I'm not wasting much time on this. I get the feeling that watching all the movies on this trailer compilation is seriously going to piss me off and make me a huge fucking movie cynic. This is the only director credit for Moore (who just died last August). There's a reason. Between that, the silly acting and the convoluted script, It's one big WHAT THE FUCK?


By the time the end hits you've gotten the point but it's the journey that is so ridiculously loaded with dumb that you start figuring there were a lot of people exerting their input and not for the greater good of the film. It's more akin to a Conan rip-off than an exercise in the world of zen. Silly, stupid and WE TODD ID!

But wait! Bruce Smeaton's score is out of sight! WTF? Yeah, I know. Didn't see that comin'. That's the best thing about the picture, really. It's got a Basil Poledouris CONAN THE BARBARIAN vibe four years before CONAN. For the entire picture I suspected Poledouris until the end credits rolled. The second best thing is the cinematography. Would you believe they shot this thing on location in Iowa? I wouldn't either because it was Israel. Stunning photography!

Eli Wallach has a funny scene as the man in a giant vat of oil in the middle of the desert. Why is he naked in a vat of oil? He wants to deteriorate his genitalia! It's an interesting scene but it doesn't mean shit to the rest of the film. This movie is a collection of "What the hell is going on here?"

Carradine plays four rolls and he does do a decent job of making them distinct from one another, but it's the casting of Cooper in the lead that's got me stymied. I mean look at the guy! He looks more at home in a Masters of the Universe live action TV show than in something as 'important' as this. I say 'important' because Bruce Lee co-wrote this with James Coburn and Stirling Silliphant way back when. There was an attempt by people outside of Lee to make it before he died but Lee didn't want anything to do with it. He may have been onto something...hmmm...But then he could've just been a great ideas man, when it came to stories, and shitty with the dialogue and the finer details...much like George Luca$.


Regardless, this picture has been on my radar of things to watch for probably 15 years. With the right people in front of and behind the camera, this could have been a good film but the script would need a complete overhaul and given to somebody who can do better than...


And why is this called CIRCLE OF IRON? Well, when you figure it out you just let me and the film makers know.

Oooh! THE GREAT HOLLYWOOD RAPE-SLAUGHER is up next to watch. Gee, I'll be that one's a winner!

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