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The Golden Buddha

Hong Kong 1966
produced by
Shaw Brothers
directed by Lo Wei
starring Paul Chang Chung, Jeanette Lin Tsui, Lo Wei, Fanny Fan, Wu Ma

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Always make sure of DVD-compatibility!!!
On a flight ot Bangkok, Paul (Paul Chang Chung) coincidently  meets his friend Chung Cheung & ends up taking that man's briefcase instead of his. When he realizes his mistake & wants to bring the briefcase to his friend, he finds him stabbed to death. Coming back to his hotelroom, he is immediately attacked by 2 thugs he can fight off. But what's the secret of the briefcase ?

Paul finds out the briefcase contains a Golden Buddha that, combined with 2 more Golden Buddhas in the possession of Chung Cheung's siblings, contains a map to an enormous treasure - so big that the infamous Skeleton Gang (that has also sent the thugs to his hotelroom) has decided to go after it, too.

& since the local police forbids Paul to leave Thailand anyways because of his involvement in Chung Cheung's death, he decides he might as well look for the treasure himself.

His quest first leads Paul to Chung Cheung's brother Chung Tai, whom he has to immediately save from the Skeleton Gang, so Chung Tai promises him full cooperation. Chung Cheung's sister Mei-Nan however proves to be not quite that cooperative, as she wants to cut her own brother out of the deal & share the treasure only with Paul. Apparently though, she is not even prepared to do this much as she secretly wants to drug Paul. He sees through her game though & manages for her to take the drugs herself. When searching her appartment as soon as the drugs take effect on her, he finds out she is not Mei-Nan at all but Number Four of the Skeleton Gang, while the real Mei-Nan lies neatly tied up & gagged in her cupboard.

Once freed, Mei-Nan agrees to help Paul on his quest, but unfortunately her Golden Buddha had been buried with her granny - & since the Skeleton Gang overhear that conversation, they soon start to unearth granny ... but her grave proves not to hold the Buddha at all, as the greedy gravedigger has kept the statue & sold it off.

The Buddha has since become part of the exotic dance routine of a nightclub dancer, & the Skeleton Gang & Paul & Mei-Nan just happen to watch the very same performance she does when the Skeleton Gang tries to steal the statue, but in all the confusion they cause, Paul & Mei-Nan end up with it after all.

Realizing they hold already 2 thirds of the Buddhas' secret, the Skeleton Gang decides to finally catch up with them, & they throw them into one of their dungeons, where, believe it or not, Chung Tai is also held. They manage to make an escape, but after they have exchanged their secrets, Chung Tai is shot, while the others get away.

Finally, Pauzl & Mei-Nan arrive at the temple where the treasurre is kept, manage to solve the riddles the treasure map still held for them & unearth the vast treasure ... when the Skeleton Gang shows up, & their leader proves to be ... none other than Chung Tai, who wasn't killed after all but just used his sister & Paul to get the treasure & now orders his men to shoot them ... when Mei-Nan, counting on the greed of the Skeleton Gang's goons, throws the treasure among them, & soon they all start to fight for the diamonds & gems of the treasure of the golden Buddhas - until the police arrives, having always been just one step behind Paul to get their hands on the Skeleton Gang.

& when in the end, Paul & - the now immensely rich - Mei-Nan part, they do so as lovers.

 

As so many movies in the 60's, this light-hearted action-adventure movie was obviously inspired by the James Bond-series, which back then had single-handedly changed the face of action-adventure movies (for better or worse). So the Golden Buddha also contains a he-man hero, seductive women falling all over him, a gang of ruthless criminals with a secret high tech-hideout & futuristic weapons, exotic locations & images of a decadent lifestyle. & little does this Asian version of the genre differ from its European or American counterparts, so little actually that the story from beginning to end stays totally predictable & could have been filmed just about everywhere.

However, unoriginality aside, Golden Buddha is easy-going & entertaining in a retro, kitsch, camp way, just nothing to be taken seriously.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
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special appearances by
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directed by
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written by
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produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
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