Kung Fu Season One in July
Warner Home Video have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of Kung Fu The Complete First Season for 5th July 2004 with a retail price of £29.99. Following hot on the heels of his performance as the eponymous villain in Quentin Tarantino's two-part cinematic epic Kill Bill, David Carradine comes to DVD in the television series that inspired Tarantino.
Kung Fu was one of the most influential TV series of the 1970s, one that managed to inject both spirituality and Eastern religion into the standard Western formula and make it seem new. The original feature length pilot and The Complete First Season are presented across three discs accompanied by a set of all-new "kick-ass" special features.
- 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- English Mono
- Two new original documentaries:
- From Grasshopper To Caine: Creating Kung Fu (25mins)
- The Tao of Caine: Production and Beyond (20mins)
- Original promotional TV spot
From the PR...
The time is the 1870s. The place is the American Southwest and in flashbacks, China. The stories follow Kwai Chang Caine (David Carradine), Schooled in the spirit-mind-body Shaolin priesthood by the blind, avuncular Master Po and the stern yet loving Master Kan. Caine speaks softly but hits hard. He lives humbly yet knows great contentment. He is the Old West's most unusual hero. But hero is not a word Caine would use. He would simply say, "I am a man."
Caine is forced to flee China after killing the Emperor's nephew who had shot and killed Master Po. Arriving in America Caine learns he has a half brother, Danny Caine. While searching for him Kwai is sought by Chinese assassins and American bounty hunters (who are after the $10,000 reward that China, in widely distributed wanted posters, offers for his capture - only $5,000 for his death).
* Way of the Tiger, Sign of the Dragon (Pilot)
The intriguing and scene setting feature length pilot that was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Movie Made for TV in 1973. Fleeing a murder charge in China, Caine helps Chinese labourers building the transcontinental railroad.
* King of the Mountain
Caine befriends a young boy who has just lost his parents. When he goes to work for a woman whose ranch is in disrepair, he asks to bring the boy along. Meanwhile, on the mountain overlooking the ranch, a bounty hunter plans to earn the $10,000 reward for capturing Caine.
* Dark Angel
Caine goes to Lordsville where his father was born. There he discovers that he has a brother and that his grandfather abhors having a half-Chinese grandson. Guest stars John and Robert Carradine.
* Blood Brother
In Kilgore, Arizona Territory, following up a return address on one of his brother Danny's letters, Caine discovers that an old friend from China has been there. The priest first seeks his friend, then the body, then justice.
* An Eye For An Eye
Tackles the delicate subject of seeking vengeance for a rape and won an Emmy for Best Director and another for Best Cinematographer. Jerry Thorpe was also nominated for a Director's Guild award. This episode answers the question "If I don't have a right to vengeance, who does?" Learning from his past Caine finally answers: "No one."
* The Tide
Caine, recognised from his poster, is handcuffed and shot by the sheriff of a coastal town. After he escapes, wounded and still handcuffed, he is then rescued and cared for by Su Yen who thinks she can trade Caine for her father, a poet who has been imprisoned by the Emperor back in China.
* The Soul is the Warrior
The search for Danny leads Caine to a man who tries to take revenge on the brother for what he feels Danny did to him. When this man tries to shoot Caine, a sheriff interferes and brings down on himself the wrath of the wronged man's father.
* Nine Lives
Caine tries to help a miner find a cat that the man needs in order to go back to the fields where he thinks he has discovered gold. But in order to get the cat, the two of them have to dig a well for a widow.
* Sun and Cloud Shadow
Caine becomes involved with a village of Chinese miners who are in conflict with a man who claims their mountain. As one killing leads to another a Manchu assassin arrives from the Dowager Empress.
* The Praying Mantis Kills
Caine, the only one willing to testify against bank robbers, ends up helping a boy first deal with his father's death and then try to fill the sheriff's shoes.
Directed by John Badham (WarGames, Stakeout). Caine gets caught up in a stage hold-up and an honest young girl (guest star Jodie Foster) thinks she sees him shoot a man. On her eyewitness testimony, he is sentenced to hang. In flashbacks, a magician tricks the young Caine, who is sent on a mission with a 400-year-old scroll.
Michael Greene was nominated for a best supporting actor Emmy for his role as an uneducated, angry man to whom Caine is chained and with whom he escapes prison. They are hunted down by an Army tracker and surrounded by Utes on the warpath.
Unjustly accused of stealing, Caine is forced to work in a mine over an Indian burial ground. The other prisoners/miners are convinced that uncovering human bones results in the death that day of whoever does so. In flashbacks, Master Po shows young Caine just what such beliefs produce.
* The Stone
Caine runs into a Brazilian who knows a style of fighting that Caine has never seen before, an Armenian who wants to avenge massacres in his homeland, three children who want to hire him to kill and a misplaced diamond.
* The Third Man
Caine befriends a charming gambler who has been held up by two thieves. Later the thieves try to steal more money and in the dark, the gambler is killed by a third, unknown gunman.
* The Ancient Warrior
Headed for Santa Fe, Caine befriends an old Indian who just wants to return to die and be buried in the land of his birth. That land - according to a deed - is covered by the mining town of Purgatory, whose people can't forget a massacre by Indians eight years earlier.