The Postman Fights Back
Genre: Martial Arts, Action, Adventure, Drama
Year Released: 1982, 2023 88 Films Blu-ray
Runtime: 1h 27m
Director(s): Ronnie Yu
Writer(s): Kiu-Ying Chan, Kang-Chien Chiu, Siu Fung Koo, Yiu-Wah Koo, Ronny Yu
Cast: Ka-Yan Leung, Kang-Chien Chiu Siu Fung Koo, Chow Yun-Fat
Where To Watch: available now; order here www.88-films.myshopify.com, www.mvdshop.com, or www.amazon.com
FILMMAKER ON FILM REVIEW: The Postman Fights Back is a very exciting film to watch because we witness a group of martial arts icons come together in the infancy of their careers. Ronnie Yu is a director many may only know from horror films such as Freddy vs. Jason and Bride of Chucky, but he built his career on Hong Kong martial arts films, with The Bride with White Hair being of note. Also, a young Chow Yun-Fat is part of the ensemble cast. Finally, fight direction is handled in this film by Woo-Ping Yuen; yes, the man responsible for the beautiful fights in movies like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.
The Postman Fights Back is definitely a lower-budget affair than the movies we would see from these auteurs later in their careers, but the bones of badass-ness are all apparent in this film. The story follows a down-and-out postman in turn of the century China who is convinced to transport some mysterious packages to rebels. The Postman brings along an additional fighter and an explosives expert to help fight their way through dangerous lands to make the delivery.
The adventure that follows includes some really fun fights, with the standout being against villains on ice skates. The thing that might be surprising to some kung-gu matinee fans is the sheer amount of story included in The Postman Fights Back. There’s a good bit of drama and character building, as well as some important plot twists and turns. All of this story included in the tight 87-minute runtime means that overall, there are fewer fights than you’ll typically find in similar films. The fights actually mean more here, though, because we are invested in the story rather than just waiting for the next fight. That said, I did find myself wishing there were a few more fights here and there. Also, when it’s time for the movie to end, it literally just stops. The ending just feels incomplete.
88 Films gives a lot of love to this little gem of a film with a great package with striking artwork, and a nice collection of extras. There are multiple cuts of the film with different language options and commentary tracks. There are some archival cast and director interviews and one more recent YouTube interview. The new 2k transfer is a bit shaky in the first act, but it progressively improves throughout the runtime. The 5.1 audio presentation is clean and clear but lacks any real bells and whistles.
The Postman Fights Back is a fun martial arts film that offers more and better story than is common in the era and genre. 88 Films provides beautiful art and a solid set of extras to complete the package. This one comes highly recommended for martial arts movie fans.
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[photo courtesy of 88 FILMS, MVD ENTERTAINMENT]
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