Tuesday, January 17, 2006

FOR YOUR HEIGHT ONLY / CHALLENGE OF THE TIGER

Mondo Macabro continues to fulfill its promise to bring to film buffs "the wild side of world cinema," with another entry in their "Dick Randall Collection," featuring the death dealing double feature of FOR YOUR HEIGHT ONLY / CHALLENGE OF THE TIGER (1980). In case you're curious, the late Dick Randall was an American film entrepreneur who specialized in co-financing international exploitation productions in exchange for certain distribution rights. Among the many films he had a financial hand in are these two action-packed jaw-droppers.

FOR YOUR HEIGHT ONLY stars diminutive (officially he is 2' 9" tall) Filipino superstar Weng Weng as Agent 00 of the Philippine Secret Service. When a mysterious megalomaniac known as Mr. Giant and his gang of sleazy gunrunners and drug dealers kidnap an important scientist, Agent 00 is on the case, decked out in an all-white Polyester leisure suit and equipped with cutting edge Filipino covert technology.

Weng Weng is a marvel. A master of unarmed combat (specializing in headbutts to the groin and ass-biting) and an insatiable love machine, the incredible Weng manages to do battle, make love, and save the world, all without ever changing expression. Women adore him, men fear him, and you'll wonder just what the hell you're watching.

The second feature of this wonderful double-feature disc is CHALLENGE OF THE TIGER, starring exploitation legends Bruce Le and Richard Harrison (TERMINAL FORCE, NINJA SQUAD). Le was among the most ambitious of the Bruce Lee-alikes that sprang into action upon the Master's demise, not only starring in tons of kung fu capers (such as THE CLONES OF BRUCE LEE), but dabbling behind the camera, as well. In fact, he's the director of CHALLENGE OF THE TIGER, a globetrotting Eurospy adventure that must be seen, even if not to be believed.

Le and Harrison are partners – Le does the fighting, Harrison the loving – on the trail of a missing infertility formula and another madman aspiring to world domination. The plot is nearly incomprehensible, but does offer the following attractions, among many others: Le fighting a maddened bull to the death, Harrison playing tennis with some amazingly naked young ladies, and Le throwing down with screen muscleman and ex-Hercules, Brad Harris (GOLIATH AGAINST THE GIANTS). What more could you want?

FOR YOUR HEIGHT ONLY's transfer is culled from a videotape source, as the original negatives seem to be lost. While lacking in definition, Mondo Macabro has put some real effort into it, and it looks far better than I expected. CHALLENGE OF THE TIGER is presented in a remarkable 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Both films are presented with clear Dolby Digital stereo audio, and they sound just fine.

The disc is a bit light on extras, but does offer up extensive and informative on-screen liner notes for both features, poster and still galleries, and the always welcome Mondo Macabro promo reel.

Do I have to say it? Buy it, love it, show it to your friends, family and enemies. Highly recommended, of course.

BUY: For Your Height Only/Challenge of the Tiger