Trailer com­pi­la­tions are usu­al­ly gen­re-hop­ping affairs that include mul­ti­ple types of film. Single-gen­re trail­er comps are a rar­er breed but they can be as reward­ing as the discs that have a broad­er bill of fare. For exam­ple, con­sid­er Severin’s new mar­tial arts film trail­er col­lec­tion, Kung Fu Trailers Of Fury: despite being lim­it­ed to one kind of movie, it shows off just how many dif­fer­ent sub-styles of enter­tain­ment can exist under a sin­gle gen­re ban­ner.

KFTOF-BluThe basic struc­ture of the trail­ers used for Kung Fu Trailers Of Fury is the same: fights, more fights and still more fights are all com­pressed into a rough­ly three-min­ute run­ning time designed to give the view­er high-kick­ing, gut-punch­ing mar­tial arts over­load. There are a few name-brand attrac­tions pop­ping up here, name­ly Bruce Lee in The Way Of The Dragon and Jackie Chan in a few spots (includ­ing Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow), but the disc main­ly focus­es on the count­less inde­pen­dent pro­duc­tions that were being knocked out by the dozen out­side the walls of the Shaw Brothers and Golden Harvest stu­dios.

As the punch­es and kicks fly across the screen, you’ll notice a num­ber of dif­fer­ent styles that fall under the mar­tial arts gen­re. For exam­ple, there are comedic kung-fu movies, like the afore­men­tioned Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow, a fun quick­ie enti­tled Golden Dragon Silver Snake that fea­tures a twitchy-faced Chan clone and Story Of Drunken Master, a semi-sequel to the Chan clas­sic that fea­tures a female pupil fill­ing Jackie’s shoes.

KFTOF-01There are also train­ing-cen­tric mar­tial arts films, a sub­gen­re that often revolves around the Shaolin school of kung-fu: for exam­ple, there is Secret Of The Shaolin Poles, which fea­tures amaz­ing chore­og­ra­phy by the great Lau Kar Leung, and The Blazing Temple, a Joseph Kuo-helmed epic rep­re­sent­ed by a spot that trum­pets its epic scale and cost. True to its word, the lat­ter spot fea­tures some jaw-drop­ping moments with sev­er­al peo­ple on screen at the same time, all deploy­ing elab­o­rate kung-fu moves.

However, the most enter­tain­ing sub­gen­re on dis­play here is the “Brucesploitation” film, a sub­gen­re devot­ed to the Bruce Lee clones that popped up after Lee’s untime­ly death. These films are notable for how they shame­less ape Lee’s cel­lu­loid hits: Bruce Le’s Greatest Revenge looks like a ripoff of Fist Of Fury, right down to hav­ing the title actor duke it out with a Bob Wall clone, and the spots for Return Of Bruce and Bruce’s Deadly Fingers all have the nerve to use cues or rere­cord­ings of cues from the Enter The Dragon sound­track! That said, the best Brucesploitation spot here is Enter The Fat Dragon, an affec­tion­ate send-up star­ring and direct­ed by Lee acolyte Sammo Hung.

And there’s more to Kung Fu Trailers Of Fury that just notic­ing the dif­fer­ent sub­gen­res at play. For instance, it’s fun to notice all the dif­fer­ent sound­tracks and pop­u­lar music that get swiped for use in the­se trail­ers: you’ll be hear­ing music from Isaac Hayes, The KFTOF-02Alan Parsons Project and the sound­tracks for Death Wish and Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off. Even the Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow trail­er uses Space’s Eurodisco clas­sic, “Magic Fly.”

You’ll also get a new appre­ci­a­tion for what a hard work­er Shaw Brothers play­er Lo Lieh was, as he appears in what feels like half the indie films here. Better yet, there are odd­ball bits of fun that ran­dom­ly pop up in dif­fer­ent trail­ers: high­lights include a bizarre con­ver­sa­tion about urine in Daggers 8, a mon­tage of peo­ple doing hye­na-style laughs in Deathblow and the appear­ance of a vil­lain called the “yin-yang she­male” in Kung Fu Versus Yoga.

In oth­er words, don’t let the sin­gle-gen­re focus of Kung Fu Trailers Of Fury throw you. There’s plen­ty of dif­fer­ent types of fun to be had here, with col­or­ful sur­pris­es around every cor­ner.

Blu-Ray Notes: Severin has done a fine job with this release. The trans­fers were all tak­en from orig­i­nal cel­lu­loid trail­ers: visu­al qual­i­ty varies depend­ing on the rough­ness of the source ele­ment but most of them look col­or­ful and sharp. Audio is either English or Chinese depend­ing on KFTOF-03the spot, all pre­sent­ed in a nice-sound­ing LPCM pre­sen­ta­tion. In a nice touch, the Chinese lan­guage spots have been given some new sub­ti­tles, includ­ing some cap­tions for the Chinese lan­guage title cards.

There are also a trio of extras. The first is a com­men­tary track fea­tur­ing gen­re afi­ciona­dos Ric Meyers, Michael Worth, Greg Schiller and Rick Stelow. This track moves as fast as the trail­ers, with Meyers lead­ing the charge as they provide info on actors and film­mak­ers and trade quips about favorite films and oth­er triv­ia that will inter­est gen­re fans.

The next extra is a 30 min­ute fea­turet­te with Meyers and film his­to­ri­an Frank Djeng that offers a pot­ted his­to­ry of the kung fu film. It’s a fast-mov­ing piece that cov­ers all the key film­mak­ers and actors, with a spe­cial focus on Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan and lots of col­or­ful anec­dotes through­out. The final extra is a seg­ment about the Cube, the U.K.-based the­ater that uncov­ered the trail­ers used for this disc. They reveal the tale behind the dis­cov­er of the­se trail­ers as well as some fun tales about how they were used for a cou­ple of col­or­ful screen­ing nights at the the­ater (hint: hip-hop and cheap booze were involved).