狄 – Di2 – A Surname
狄龍 – Di2 Long2 –
Ti Lung (this is how his name is normally spelled) in Iron Chain Assassin, also known as Iron Chain Fighter or The Convict Killer.
The Chinese name of this movie is 插翅難飛 – Cha1 Chi4 Nan2 Fei1. It literally means “Insert Wing, Hard to Fly”. It’s an expression that means something like you’re in such bad trouble, that even if you stick wings on your back, you still won’t be able to fly away.
Ti Lung was also in Iron Fingers of Death, also known as Shaolin Prince, or in Chinese, 少林傳人 – Shao3 Lin2 Chuan2 Ren2 – Shaolin Legacy, which is easily in the top 12 Kung Fu movies EVER. Iron Chain Assassin is great too.
During junior high, before the scourge of the infomercial destroyed late night TV, random local channels and the USA network used to fill the wee hours of the morning with KUNG FU. I taped everything they showed, and built up a pretty good library of movies. To this day, lurking in those stacks of tapes, are movies I’ve never seen. Iron Chain Assassin is one that I had seen back then, but didn’t pay much attention to. I recently dusted off the tape (no coke on this one) and watched it again, and let me tell you, it’s really really good.
Actually there’s another funny story there. Since I’m so stupid, I would sometimes cut off the ends of movies. The tape would run out, or the time on the VCR would be off. Iron Fingers of Death was one where the ending was cut off, about halfway though the big fight at the end where the Two Princes reunite to battle the Ninth Prince. They were fighting him, while his minions were carrying him around on a big chair. The Princes are starting to win, but then the chair suddenly folds up and becomes a weapon, startling them. They look at each other for a second, and then charge back in… and the tape ends! It took literally YEARS of searching video stores across the entire stupid state (this was before the internet) to finally find and rent a copy. One video store had the case for it, but the movie was never in. I went back there week after week, and finally asked the guy what’s up with that movie, is it really popular, or what. He said no, somebody rented it and never brought it back. Nice of him to leave the case out on the shelf, huh. He promised to order another copy of it, but he never did. The store eventually went out of business. I finally found it for rent someplace else, after only having the truncated version for something like 5 years. The ending was really great!
Another movie that I famously cut off was Invincible Obsessed Fighter, but the ending of that one, when it was finally recovered, was really strange and disappointing. The consensus is that the cut off version is actually better. “He’s now an orphan, and…”