For Y'ur Height Only (1981) Firstly, that typo is courtesy of the filmmakers, not me. Secondly, it's neat to still be logging firsts in my movie watching after so many years. This was my first martial arts/James Bond knockoff starring a little person! Filipino star Weng Weng is the tiny actor in question, listed in info on the DVD as 2'9'' (?!) He may be short, but he's not short on talent! Well, actually he is. But you gotta give the guy credit as he jumps right into the action as secret agent 00, the best man for the job when Filipino bad guys do...well, villainous things. There was definitely no plot to get in the way of the story here, which basically had the bad guy sending his minions to kill Our Hero, but instead getting their comeuppance most usually through kicks and punches to their crotch, the body part closest to 00's reach. He also has a great trick where he comes sliding on the floor from around a corner, shooting his tiny little pistol at the bad guy lurking there. The movie seems to be pretty clever, spending the first several minutes just letting the audience marvel at what they are seeing as 00 mops up on a few bad guys. Just when the novelty of the little guy kicking tushie is wearing off, he's called into his boss's office to be given a classic dubbed briefing and a pile of gadgets to use. So now we get to watch 00 continue his mission with a poison detecting ring, little machine gun sized for him, and a remote control Oddjob hat (!) Finally, this too starts to get a little old, and they filmmakers play their final trump card: they send 00 back into the office where his boss gives him this adorable little jet pack! Oh my golly, the sight of this tiny little man on a pretty much totally visible cable "flying" about 7 feet off the ground with a little smoke coming out of one of the jet pods on his back had me cackling all over the couch right through the end of the movie. All in all, this one has a lot going for it, including love scenes, gun battles, fist fights, surveillance and sneaking around, all of which is made that much more exciting because the guy doing it is knee high! There's also a climactic little person martial arts free for all, frequently hilarious dubbing, a musical score that will remind you of a certain British spy's theme song without waking up the musical copyright lawyers; and the moment you had to know would be in there: the moment when 00 does something so dangerous the filmmakers have him doubled by a big doll. Now that is cinema!
Challenge of the Tiger (1981) Bruce Le, whose stage name might have been chosen to make viewers think he was someone else, stars in and directs this chopsocky epic. Le and Richard Harrison star as two guys. Someone has a "formula." Other people want it. Some villains attack Le, who fends them off with his kung fu; he then runs over and breaks up Harrison's topless tennis game with several young women to enlist his help. After that they walk around various parts of Hong Kong getting attacked every few minutes. Eventually everyone in the cast kicks someone. And that's pretty much it. Definitely no plot getting in the way of the story here. The dubbing, usually atrocious in these movies is actually somehow worse here, as no one seems to be moving their mouths for the words not to match to. One very fun scene has Le and Harrison following the bad guys to some kind of convention hall, where tons of people stare at the camera as they are forced into being extras, and Le takes a moment to talk to Jack Klugman and Jane Seymour (?!?), and although we can't hear the conversations, it's obvious neither know who Le is or that he is shanghaiing them into his movie. Cinema gold! Another great scene pits Le against a bull for some meaty martial arts. Who wins? Well, at the end of the fight one of the two gets briefly represented by a little graphic of a cartoon that shows the skull cracking into pieces, and that's no bull! Er...well, I mean, yes, it is the bull...oh, you know what I mean! Other than that, this is pretty standard issue kung fu nonsense, but it moves along pretty well, Le and Harrison have some chemistry together despite the dubbing, Le has entertainingly bad hair (a huge mop that makes him look like an angry housewife in some shots), and Harrison really looks like a mustached early 80's Roger Moore in any shot wider than a closeup. For these reasons alone I had a good time with this, if that sounds good to you give this one a try!