Friday, January 27, 2017

Kill the Golden Goose (1979)

Prior to costarring in this low-budget thriller, Bong Soo Han applied his martial-arts mastery to movies by training Tom Laughlin to fight for the Billy Jack movies, and by playing the villain in “A Fistful of Yen,” the epic Enter the Dragon spoof that comprises most of The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977). The Billy Jack movies are cult classics, and “A Fistful of Yen” is hilarious, so Master Han should have quit while he was ahead. Playing an American police detective tasked with stopping an international assassin, Han gives a lifeless non-performance in Kill the Golden Goose, creating the impression that he spoke all of his English-language dialogue phonetically. Anyway, the picture’s real star is another martial-arts champion with zero onscreen charisma, the hulking Ed Parker. He plays “Mauna Loa,” a hit man hired to kill three witnesses whose testimony could help a government investigation topple a corrupt oil company. Simply because he has more screen time as well as a love interest, Mauna Loa functions as the story’s protagonist, even though hes a one-dimensional murderer. And so it goes throughout this thoroughly rotten flick, which trudges through various dull suspense-movie clich├ęsbrutal murders, clandestine meetings, resourceful moves by dogged investigators, blah, blah, blah. Every so often, either Han or Parker gets into a martial-arts fight, but those scenes underwhelm, as does everything else. In fact, only two weird scenes grab the viewer’s attention. In one, characters attend a costume party at a disco (watch for the shot of someone wearing a vintage Planet of the Apes mask), and in the other, a ridiculous ballad underscores a scene of Mauna Lao getting it on with his lady. Dig the lyrics: “I want to climb all over you and crawl inside your mind—I want to caress you like a summer breeze and tickle your body with mine.” Wow.

Kill the Golden Goose: LAME

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