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Crash! Che Botte... Strippo Strappo Stroppio

Supermen Against the Orient
Drei Spaghetti in Shanghai

Italy / Hong Kong 1973
produced by
Tino Biasia, Attilio Fattori for Internazionale Nembo Distribuzione Importazione Esportazione Film, Shaw Brothers
directed by Bitto Albertini
starring Robert Malcolm, Antonio Cantafora, Sal Borgese, Lo Lieh, Shih Szu, Tung Lin, Alberto Farnese, Liu Hui-Ling, Chiang Ling, Jacques Dufilho, Isabella Biagini, Chang Shih-Ou, Peter Chen Lau, Chen Ti-Ko, Cheng Bao-Shan, Cheung Chok Chow, Chin Yuet Sang, Chou Chia-Chung, Chow Siu Loi, Chu Chin, Erh Feng, Fung Ging Man, Ho Yun, Ko Ping, Ku Chan-Hsiung, Leung Siu-Hung, Ling Han, Liu Tsun, Lu Hung, Sha Ou, Ting Tung, Tsai Lin, Tu Yung Liang, Wong Chi Ming, Wu Chieh-Chiang, Yang Hsi-Chun, Yuen Biao, Yuen Bun, Yuen Mo
story by Bitto Albertini, screenplay by Bitto Albertini, Gino Capone, music by Nico Fidenco

Three Supermen

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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After a drug raid goes bust in the Far East, six Interpol agents are taken captive by a very brutal drug cartel - so the FBI sends its most capable man to Bangkok, Captain Bob Wallace (Robert Malcolm) to take care of the situation - but at first Bob looks rather clueless, and if it wasn't for the hints a mysterious woman, who later turns out to be fellow agent Suzy (Shih Szu), drops now and again, he would be a total fish out of water. Eventually, she gets him to Hong Kong and to a kung fu tournament where Bob meets his best friends, masterthieves Max (Antonio Cantafora) and Jerry (Sal Borgese), who first get him beaten to a pulp by their kung fu master Tang (Lo Lieh) - who later also turns out to be an FBI agent -, then have him rapidly healed via accupuncture. Bob asks Max and Jerry for their cooperation, but they only agree to it when he agrees to give them access to the local American embassy where $3 million are stashed away in the safe - and of course, he does so knowing that he will releave them of their loot after the mission. So with the gang in place, they go up against local crime kingpin Chen-Loh (Tung Lin), teaching him a good lesson, before heading over to Taiwan, donning their invincibility suits, giving the drug cartel a good thrashing, then freeing the agents just in time.

 

If you've seen one Three Supermen film, you've pretty much seen them all (despite the constantly rotating leads): The story really is nothing more than a hanger for action - which here ranges in quality from so-so to pretty decent - and comedy - with not all the humour working for sure, and several of the jokes being of poor quality. The acting is mostly wooden, but at least Sal Borgese really finds into his part and gets the best laughs, and the invincible "superman" costumes are really rather ridiculous. So no, this is not a good movie - but chances are you'll get a slightly nostalgic kick out of it anyhow (I know I did) for its relative carelessness, its certain anything-goes mentality, its comicbook charm, and its all-round cheesiness.

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
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starring
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out now on DVD