Blu-ray Review: The Miracle Fighters (1982)

Woo-Ping Yuen has contributed enormously to martial arts cinema in the West as a stunt advisor and choreographer on films such as The Matrix Trilogy and Kill Bill (both volumes), but his work as a filmmaker is not to be overlooked and one of his most haywire classics, The Miracle Fighters is now available on Blu-ray from Eureka Entertainment.

An evil sorcerer is tasked with retrieving the emperor’s child after being snatched by a condemned Manchurian commander. Years later the perusing villain finds a young man he believes to be the child, who has since found protection under two quarrelling elderly Taoist priests.

The Miracle Fighters is a hard film to keep up with despite following a linear narrative. It’s one sequence after another of fast dialogue, kung fu and relative strangeness to those not accustomed to this particular genre. A prime example is a demon whose arms and legs spring out of a terracotta pot to cause unrelenting mischief and annoyance to our hero. Needless to say, it’s a sight to behold and the physicality on display is astonishing, to say the least.

Tonally the film is fairly light, although there are a few intense moments involving our antagonist, the aptly named, Sorcerer Bat. Much of the entertainment comes from the two priests, Kei-moon and Tun-kap. Think of the comedy Grumpy Old Men but with a lot of sorcery. As the climax nears, the film becomes comparable to watching a live circus performance with all the wirework, which is well-hidden despite its obvious use. Furthermore, the final duel takes on a clownish quality that includes a surreal moment when a deep-fried fish begins to speak like ‘Big Mouth Billy Bass’ although its words have a little more impact.


  • Limited edition O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling [2000 copies]
  • Original Cantonese mono audio and optional classic English dub
  • Optional English subtitles, newly translated for this release
  • Brand new audio commentary on the Hong Kong theatrical version by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival)
  • Brand new audio commentary on the export version by action cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema
  • Action Master: An Interview with Yuen Woo-ping – archival interview by Frédéric Ambroisine
  • At the Service of the Great Magician: An Interview with Fish Fong – interview with assistant director Fish Fong
  • The Shakespeare of Yuen Woo-ping: An Interview with John Kreng
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original poster artwork
  • Stills Gallery
  • Trailer
  • A limited edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by James Oliver [2000 copies]

While most of The Miracle Fighter’s charm is in its mystery, Frank Djeng helps shed light on the film’s mythical and cultural inspirations in his commentary. As usual, the Asian film expert is affable and a joy to listen to, and the same can be said for Mike Leeder and Arne Venema. As Leeder knew various players who worked on The Miracle Fighters, the pair’s commentary has a personal flair and is filled with amusing anecdotes!

For the best information on director Yuen Woo-Ping, check out the archival interview with the man himself! Of course, the fight choreographer doesn’t just spend time talking about himself but sheds light on working with legends Jackie Chan and Jet Li. As they were conducted more recently, the separate interviews with Fish Fong and John Kreng focus more heavily on The Miracle Fighters. Fong especially offers some interesting behind-the-scenes anecdotes in regard to the film including how many snakes suffocated during the final battle sequence! – by Hannah Lynch


Presented from a brand new 2K restoration, this latest Taoist spectacular looks impressive despite the colours appearing slightly dull compared to previous releases like Close Encounters of the Spooky Kind and Mr. Vampire. Nevertheless, there’s no damage to the 2.39:1 image which isn’t the sharpest, but that may be due to all the smoke on display. Cantonese and English audio tracks are both in LPCM Mono 2.0 which offers solid volume and naturally, English subtitles are included.

The Miracle Fighters find prosperity under Eureka Entertainment who continue to house countless Asian titles that have influenced Hollywood and beyond. While it didn’t grab me as much as their other supernatural Hong Kong titles, it’s an experience that won’t dissipate from your mind any time soon after watching.

(1982, director: Yuen Woo-ping)


direct blu-ray screen captures



You can follow cinematic randomness on Facebook and Instagram where you’ll find all my cinematic exploits. Thank you for visiting!

Scroll to Top