The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe / Il mio nome è Shangai Joe (Mario Caiano, 1973)

And what term is used instead?

The dialogue is completely different…

I enjoyed the hell out of this film. Very gory, with great villains to make up for the wooden protagonist (although he doesn’t suck and you don’t get to hate him, he’s just kinda uninteresting) and some interesting scenes like the one already mentioned with Kinski taunting Shanghai Joe after shooting him in both legs. A lot of people complain about the soundtrack being ripped off but I think it was put to better use in this one and that main theme is one of my top 5 SW themes.
I can see why people wouldn’t like it though, it’s not an actually good film. You’ve got to have some love for cheap exploitation in order to enjoy it, but if you do this is bound to become a favorite (maybe not top 20 but alternative top 20).

[quote author=Bad Lieutenant link=topic=1573.msg40881#msg40881 date=1225379849]
That bored you?
Any spaghetti finale with a hand chopping scene has my approval. And let’s not forget the heart ripping bit.

[quote author=Bad Lieutenant link=topic=1573.msg40881#msg40881 date=1225379849]

Yeah, but without the gore what are we left with? A promise of a Kung-Fu fight that doesn’t deliver.

I would watch this one 3 times in a row beofre I watch Django Kill again.

It may be the best scene in the movie, but I still have to observe the whole thing, I think there should be more effort westerns, but I think most people agree that “Kung Fu” series comes into play.

Watched this last night, for the first time, I guess (didn’t ring any bell), and I don’t think I’ll ever watch it again.

Most people here think Nicolai ripped off his own score for Have a good Funeral … , Giusti, on the other hand, think it’s from God in Heaven … Arizona on Earth.

I have no idea.

The same theme is used in both films but it was first used in Have a Good Funeral…

Thank you very much. Is it the main theme or one of the others (or virtually the entire score)?

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:69, topic:1382”]Is it the main theme or one of the others (or virtually the entire score)?[/quote]Yes the main theme. I don’t remeber what’s the case with the rest of the score.

I’m surprised you haven’t seen it before Sherp, as it’s quite a well-known Spaghetti Western and fairly easy to get hold of.

I’ve seen the crossover with Lee and wasn’t too fond of it, so I never bothered to order a DVD and it’s not one of those spaghs that is regurly shown on TV (maybe because of the gore). I have been wandering through the lower regions of the genre lately, so I decided to give it a chance. Many people here seem to have more positive thoughts about it than I do. The critics are devided too. I guess I make a patchwork review.

Is he really from Shanghai? Is he really called Joe? Or Chen? Or is he ‘simply’ a Japanese Dustin Hofmann from Rome?



With contributions from Bawtyshouse, Stanton and John Welles

I did a double take when I read the contributions part - a true honour to be quoted ;). Interesting review, although I am, like you said, marginally more positive about the film, but only to the point where I gave it a 3/5.

Anyone tempted to view the follow up film now then:


[quote=“ENNIOO, post:75, topic:1382”]Anyone tempted to view the follow up film now then:


I’ll watch it … one day. First I’ll do The Stranger and the Gunfighter, I think.

One of my favourites. The unique athmosphere is greated due to the unbelievable strong
music from Bruno Nicolai. It is pushing and driving the movie forward. A great moment when the greatness of the soundtrack appears in my opinion is the opening scene when you can see the driving horse carriage.
The original soundtrack CD from the 90s features lots of cool tracks.
These tracks are different to the recycled tracks by Nicolai on another CD and they are much stronger!
Unfortunately Caiano tells in an interview that the scene of the final battle was cut. The spectators unfortunately don’t see how Joe grabs the heart out of his enemy.
Excellent movie!!

I gave it 4 stars. It ended too soon. Besides, there was no reason to leave Romanelli and her idyllic village. Yeah, he wanted to work-cattle… I figured Lee was gonna take-over Lulli’s ranch. Oh well… It’s a great film and ahead-of-its-time. It may’ve needed a solid 2-or-3-minute Nicolai farewell-fugue as Lee rode off, just to wrap everything up a little tighter.

My goodness, this was big monkey fun. Excellent blend of exploitation genres all rolled into one fun flick. I’m no expert on the martial arts, but i have seen more than a few chop-socky flicks and i thought Chen’s moves and acrobatics where pretty good. If anything was lacking, i felt like some of the fighting/flying kick scenes could have been shot a bit better. Other than that, i enjoyed pretty much everything about this one. Not quite good enough to make my top 20, but this should be somewhere in the alternative top 20 for sure. 7/10

If it’s improbable back-flips from laying-down positions and slow-mo plate flingage, it must be The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe, aka Nice Joe Visits the Planet of the Racists. I mean I’ve no doubt that American foreign policy still needed some work around the edges 130 years ago, but Jesus! EVERYONE white hates EVERYONE of any other colour. Adds a nasty sheen to what might’ve worked quite well as a comedic piece, what with the (surely!) deliberately bad and over-the-top martial arts action sequences. I mean, I like a not-very-good martial arts bit; I was brought up as a young 'un on Saiyuki (Monkey) and that had some dreadfully over-choreographed bits between people who couldn’t really do it, with hordes of bad guys waiting patiently for their turn to gently somersault near the hero to give the impression that they’d been thrown even though they’d usually not even been touched. And I loved that show. And even through adult eyes, the charm of that show is still abundant. Because where the action no longer holds up, the humour carries it (a similar argument can be made I guess for the old Batman TV show of the sixties). But it’s hard to keep a light touch when everyone’s screaming “Chink!”, “Slant-eyes!”, “N*gger!” or “Greaser!”, and during a humourous bit of faux-Karate someone’s hand comes off, or eye gets popped out, or gets scalped. All over the shop, this film. Like “Carry On Race-Hate Leatherface”, or something.

All of which is a bit of a shame because the story was interesting enough - IF you could look past the dreadfully represented “American” contingent - and the lead, Chen Lee, was an engaging fellow (I liked him, anyway. He looked a bit like my father-in-law. He’s not Asian and doesn’t look Asian, but then again neither did Mr. Lee, especially). I’d say that it’s impossible to see The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe as anything but a pretty poor Spag, but it’s right up the “good” end of the “bad” ones. I’ll definitely watch it again and probably enjoy it immensely, but most likely from here on in as a “bad” movie a la The Creeping Terror or Rat Pfink a Boo-Boo rather than in its capacity as a Spaghetti Western.

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