The famous bandit chasers and best friends Chow Lung (Lo Lieh) and Meng Hu (Wang Tao) have developed quite a reputation for ridding their local area of thieves, rapists, and other criminal vermin. That is until a deadly group of bandits led by the notorious and dangerous Chung Tin-Pao invade the town and lay down an ultimatum to our heroic lawmen: let the bandits do business or else! Chow Lung and Meng Hu battle these arrogant and wild bandits. In the wild chaos of battle Meng Hu accidentally kills Chow Lung. Meng Hu then promptly kills the bandits in a fit of rage tinged with sadness.
Meng Hu, feeling responsible for his best friend’s friends death is a seemingly changed man. He drinks heavily and decides to leave town when one of the inn-keepers tells him they need him to be a hero. Meng thinks he has found refuge in a nearby town, where he stays at the local brothel drinking and feeling sorry for himself. In order to keep his true identity a secret he takes on the name Chen Chieh after he stands up to a local bully on behalf of one of the prostitutes at the brothel. Meng Hu is called a hero by the Madame and the other staff. He leaves the brothel this time finding menial work in the Sheriff’s residence.
All is relatively calm until the infamous Mongolian Bandit Chung Tung (played with a cunning delight by veteran Chang Yi) arrives in town looking to do business (smuggle drugs). A series of violent encounters between the officers of the law and Chung Tung’s thugs forces Chen Chieh to release his devastating iron fists to Chung’s thug Iron Head Hu Wan and then the sadistic Chen Pi-Ao (Tommy Lee), Chung Tung reacts by using his secret and deadly “Golden Needles” to subdue the Sheriff. Chen Chieh (still hiding who he really is) and the others come up with a plan to get Chung Tung and free the Sheriff from the Golden Needles.
The Sheriff removes Chung’s needles (causing death) and Chen Chieh forgoes the plan in order to exact revenge on Chung Tung and his thugs. Chen Chieh And Chung Tung finally meet one on one where Chen Chieh reveals his true identity ( the famous bandit chaser Meng Hu). Chen Chieh exacts revenge on Chung Tung countering his Golden Neddles with skill, ingenuity, and the devastating iron fist!
Kung Fu content:
The fight direction, handled by Tommy Lee, is an excellent display of cinematic Kung Fu. One of the things I love about the styles in this film are how they add to the characters personalities. The heroic Chen Chieh (or Meng Hu) displays an imposing and impressive style that seems as strong as his ideas of fairness and justice. Chen Pi-Ao’s style is wild and wide open displaying arrogance because he knows he is the number 3 fighter in all of China. Chung Tung’s style is based in deviousness, cunning, and the ability to throw the Golden Needles seemingly out of nowhere.
I would highly recommend Fatal Needles vs Fatal Fists to anyone looking to enjoy some old school Kung Fu cinema. Great story, great fights, and a fist smacking good time!