Saturday Editor’s Pick: Raw Force (1982)

by on July 1, 2011Posted in: Editor's Pick


Playing Sat July 2 at Midnight at FSLC [Program & Tix]


Edward D. Murphy’s kung fu/cannibal shlockfest (also known as Kung Fu Cannibals) isn’t the type of movie that garners much attention from the mainstream press, despite featuring Western television star Cameron Mitchell, and music by Walter Murphy of “A Fifth of Beethoven” fame. We turn to some of the greasier corners of the internet instead for a critical consensus on this one.



Says Zomblee for Eatmybrains:

The T&A count in Rawforce is like nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s like a Russ Meyer movie but down a few cup sizes. And it’s good. Because when we’re not being treated to gratuitous female buffery in all its glory, we’ve got some wicked chopsocky action and Cameron Mitchell as an old, salty sea dog. There’s also a Hitler lookalike who keeps popping up in various scenes when the flesh-eating monks, zombies and the piranhas are taking a shooting break. “Everybody’s having sex with everybody!” [fellow Eatmybrains reviewer] Rawshark pointed out but before you have time to enjoy it, something else random and exploitative in nature occurs to keep this crazy, mixed-up, kung-fu sex horror medley afloat until its 86 minutes elapse.

It’s the best trashy kung-fu-tit romp i’ve seen in ages, and i’d very much like to own a copy for my increasingly weird movie collection. See it if you can.


Now, as we all look for places to use the phrase “kung-fu-tit romp” in our real lives, let’s hear from Thomas T. Simmons for Video Junkie:

If you are expecting the authentic Asian stuff, you are on the wrong voyage amigo. It’s goofy, cheesy white-guy stuff that makes James Ryan’s slow-ass moves in KILL OR BE KILLED (1980) seem like technical precision. On the other hand, if you enjoy this sort of thing, this is a freakin’ classic of epic proportions. If I have one gripe, it seems like a missed opportunity not to have the monks actually shown eating human flesh. Everything else is in there including a bloody piranha attack using that stock footage of real piranhas that everyone seems to have.


A fair complaint! But Mr. Satanism disagrees. His review states only:

These three karate dudes are on vacation, but their boat sinks and they end up on this island of evil monks. The monks don’t like them, so they raise all these kung fu zombies from the grave and everybody fights. Kung fu zombies are enough to make a great flick all by themselves, but this movie also has tons of naked chicks, a bar brawl, a guy’s face shoved in the toilet, white slavery, a gun fight, cannibals, piranhas, and of course there’s plenty of gore. I don’t want to say any more and ruin it for you, because this is one of the most awesome movies I’ve ever seen- it’s like some sort of classic or something. If you ever see it at a video store you should get it and make an illegal copy, or rent it with your girlfriend’s card and just don’t take it back. It’s that good.


Raw Force poster


Mr. Intolerance for Digital Retribution:

As a matter of fact, there is a wonderful mix of brawling and boobs – ahhh, fighting and nudity, could there be a better conjoining (I suppose we could have seen some Foxy-Boxing or Jelly Wrestling, but I’m not complaining)? The strip club our boys wander into after the brothel isn’t the safe haven they expect it to be, and it’s time to leave town, post haste. But the kung-fu action that we get as they try to leave is pretty special. Good violent fun for one and all – Chin’s kung-fu chaos is especially worthy of note; good, good stuff, 70s chop-socky style, albeit a little low-rent.

Boobs, blood and great martial arts scenes, Raw Force is genuine exploitation brilliance from beginning to end. The acting and the dialogue are so bad it hurts, and yet there’s a tongue-in-cheek knowingness about it that you’ll appreciate. Laughable in the extreme, yet with some enormous amounts of chutzpah and early 80s charm, you can’t help but salute Raw Force. Seriously, if you can’t dig this, you have severe mental and emotional problems. Big dumb fun which will have you rolling around on your sofa in hysterics – let Raw Force into your lives. You will become a better person.


Since so many reviewers seem to emphasize the boobs of the film, here’s another tidbit courtesy once again of Thomas T. Simmons and Video Junkie:

Raw in Raw Force





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