Everybody Was Kung-Fu (Bull) Fighting

Everybody Was Kung-Fu (Bull) Fighting

Challenge of the Tiger (1980) is the B-side of the “For Your Height Only” DVD. It should have its own disc, complete with a “Making of…” and maybe a primer on topless tennis.

Bruce Le and Richard Harrison are a couple of CIA agents who have to track down a formula that kills sperm. The formula’s been stolen by a gal who looks a bit like Sophia Loren, but less mountainous, and hidden in a hat.

The Viet Cong are involved, too.

There’s a lot more plot, most of it incomprehensible, but it doesn’t matter because there is kung fu.

Lots of kung fu, accompanied by extra-comical dubbed-in kung fu noises.

Not content with your standard “Hah!” and “Ugh,” the filmmakers add to the repertoire.


“Ohhhh…gobble gobble goong fow YAAAAAAAH!”

And my favorite, from a character on his last legs: “Oooo-waaah…gurgle bloont froom (gasp).”

We’re talking topless tennis. The Mysteries of the Orient, from the (shapely) rear. Brief full frontal nekkidity at swimming pool.


Extremely stupid bad guys, who lift weights and listen to bad pop music on headphones when they should be guarding the woman with the anti-sperm formula.  Hot tub sex. Rottweiler kung fu. Bad driving. Filipino jazz.

The centerpiece is near the start of the film, when Bruce Le combines the ancient art of bullfighting with the even more ancient art of kung fu.

It is a remarkable sequence, including exciting jump cuts, stock footage, a stuffed bull and a brief moment of avant-garde animation.

Here it is, for those of you too cheap to spend $12 on the DVD:

“Challenge of the Tiger,” for schlock fans, is a must. An unabashed four coils, and an Iron Coil nomination.

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