by Anthony King
Early in Sammo Hung's career he worked with the Shaw Brothers as an assistant director on Come Drink With Me (1966), as well as doing stunts and appearing in bit parts in 1968 in the films The Jade Raksha, Death Valley, and Bells of Death. While still working with the Shaw Brothers periodically, Sammo signed a contract with Golden Harvest in 1971 where he would work on films as assistant director, action director, and actor; titles like Lady Whirlwind (1972), Hapkido (1972), and Enter the Dragon (1973). It wasn't until 1977 that Sammo would get his first chance to sit in the director's chair and run his own film. The Iron-Fisted Monkey proved to be just the calling card Sammo needed to show his talent, and make him a well-rounded, multi-hyphenated filmmaker. He followed Monkey with his Bruceploitation action-comedy Enter the Fat Dragon (1978), and then the same year Sammo would make one of the greatest kung fu movies of all time.
While the action is certainly remarkable in Warriors Two, the film opens with a short voiceover monologue about the history of Wing Chun. Knowing next to nothing about kung fu (other than the fact I like the punching and kicking), I assumed this monologue was just part of the fictional narrative of the film. It wasn't until I watched the excellent archival documentary included in this release called The Way of the Warrior: The Making of Warriors Two that I discovered the film mixes in the true story of Wing Chun, and how it was passed down from generation to generation. Wing Chun was developed by a woman named Yim Wing Chun as a way to mix soft, straight-forward movements with powerful punches. Wing Chun is less circular in its motion. A perfect way to explain it is the old adage “the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.” So instead of a lot of powerful limb movements, Wing Chun uses minimal motion while still packing a hard hit. Because Wing Chun was so simple and not flashy, many East Asian action films didn't use the style because they didn't think it was interesting enough to be filmed. Sammo thought otherwise and hired choreographer Guy Lai, a master in Wing Chun, to train the cast of Warriors Two in the philosophy and style. Thus, Warriors Two was the first film to feature the kung fu style of Wing Chun. Before a script was even written, and long before filming began, Sammo asked Golden Harvest to set a production schedule for the cast where they would work every day together for two months straight learning the philosophy and mechanics of Wing Chun. Only then, when the actors and filmmakers were comfortable, did they start to develop a story based around this ancient style. All in all it took over a year to make Warriors Two, with single scenes taking multiple days to be filmed.
Two choices of English dubbed audio for the HK Theatrical Cut: the original export dub mono and the newer 5.1 dub created for international DVD presentations
Commentary on the the HK Theatrical Cut by martial arts cinema expert Frank Djeng and actor Bobby Samuels
Commentary on the Export Cut by action cinema experts Mike Leeder & Arne Venema
Archival documentary The Way of the Warrior: The Making of Warriors Two, featuring interviews with stars Sammo Hung, Leung Ka-Yan, Feng Hak-An, Casanova Wang, and Wing Chung master Guy Lai
Archival interview with Bryan Leung Ka-Yan
Original theatrical trailers
Double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Joe Kim
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Joe Kim
Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing by Jonathan Clements and original press materials
Blu-ray release date: June 6, 2023
95 minutes / 1978
PCM Mono (Cantonese & English)
Subtitles: English (SDH)