DVD Reviews \ Fist Of Unicorn

There's 2 versions of Fist of the Unicorn. One in dubbed English, fullscreen, 1hr 22 mins. Bruce Lee footage - total, less than 10 seconds. Bruce Lee is at least in proper ratio, since it's in the front and end credits. Otherwise, it's a badly damaged print, in full screen and no matting, therefore, the top of the frame is at the bottom. My bootleg VHS copy is about the same quality. The Mandarin version, Unicorn Palm, is widescreen, 1 hr 30 minutes, not anamorphic, with burnt-in english and chinese subs - but hard to read. Anyway, better picture quality, but only a second, yes, ONE second of Bruce footage at the very end, which cuts out abruptly. No commentary on either.

Just checked the trailer section. Noted as Original HK trailer. But no trailer for Fist of Unicorn. Only real Bruce Lee stuff is courtesy of Green Hornet and Return of the Dragon trailers. The rest are Lady Whirlwind, Bruce Li trailers, dodgy kung fu flick trailer ( no name ), Ron Van Cleef trailer, and another with Isaac Hayes.Totally unedited, the trailers run and jerk abruptly and you seen bits of 70s product adverts in between. Bizarre.

Better is the Last Days of Bruce Lee featurette. But - you knew there was a 'but' didn't you? - it's actually an old extended trailer for the film, and previously available at the end of some prints of The Man, The Legend documentary. It's rare, but not that rare. What it has going for it is extended funeral and Fist of Unicorn Press conference footage. Full screen and bad picture quality. 17 minutes. Think bootlegs. Interesting for people who don't have it, I suppose.

Fighting the Bruce Lee way feature, with Bee Chen and Chen Lung. A homemade style video piece - yes, hand held by drunken camera man for the martial arts demo. And sober guy with tripod for the sit down interview after 4 minutes, then after a while, he gets drunk again. And then sober etc. Total about 14 mins. Voice over dubbed over original Cantonese, by dodgy english voice again, Toby Russell, I reckon, who does different voices for different people. Even does Chaplin Chang, who is out of shot. Good sense of humour he has. Interesting interview with Bee and Chen - seriously -as they give their anecdotes about Bruce and working with him. I actually like this piece, especially Toby's voice over. It's just a shame it has no production value, and so short. Picture and audio quality is fine, though we hear nothing of the original Cantonese answers from Bee and Chen.

Next and lastly, is the 50 photos gallery. This is quite good. 50 rare shots of Bruce, at various stages. Only a couple on Fist of Unicorn however. What makes it are the comments accompanying them. Most are informative, and some are jokingly flip and irrelevant. Good quality, though rather small in size - about half A4 size.

The packaging describes this as a lost classic. I know it's not a classic, but should it remain lost?

Your choice.

Rating out of 5: