Kung Fu Cult Classic Gets Blu-Ray Remaster for Disability Pride Month

A classic Kung Fu movie, featuring real-life martial artists with disabilities, has been remastered for Blu-Ray release this July.

A fun bit of martial arts movie history is getting new life thanks to the Film Masters. Released back in 1979 (1982 in the West), The Crippled Masters is a story of two martial artists, out for revenge against the one who crippled them. It even starred actors with disabilities who were real-life martial artists to boot!

It’s a pretty neat little gem from the classic Kung Fu movie era, and everyone will have the chance to check it out thanks to an all new Blu-ray remaster dropping on July 23rd. The arrival brings some new bonus features, along with the original Mandarin dialog track, making it a unique way for movie fans to celebrate Disability Pride Month.

An unusual Kung Fu film from the grindhouse era, it was originally released internationally in Mandarin in 1979 as Tiān cán dì quē, later released in the U.S. in 1982. Known for its inventive fight scenes, the film led to two sequels.


Directed by Chi Lo aka Joe Law (Magic Swords, Hong men xiong di, Hei lung), the film tells the story of two martial arts artists, one who has lost both arms and the other who has lost both legs, as they seek revenge against the villainous master who disabled them. Portrayed by Sung-Chuan Shen aka Jackie Conn and Chao-Ming Kang aka Frankie Shum—who in real-life are martial arts artists with disabilities—they endure rigorous training, forming a deep bond as they rely on resourcefulness and determination to master their unique fighting styles … and to avoid challenges from other martial artists and the master’s henchman. Also starring Li Chung Keng, Chen Mu Chuan and Ho Chiu.


An early version of the restoration debuted on Turner Classic Movies for their “Disability in the Movies” schedule during Disability Pride Month in July 2023, programmed by disability advocate Lawrence Carter-Long, who also provides liner notes for this release. The print was provided from the collection of author and film curator Jack Stevenson in Copenhagen, Denmark, where it was scanned in 2K. The scan was from a rare theatrical 35mm release print before extensive restoration that included color grading by Marc Wielege.


SPECIAL FEATURES: A new documentary, from Ballyhoo Motion Pictures, Kings of Kung Fu: Releasing the Legends, is narrated by author/researcher Chris Poggiali; original raw scan of the film (SD); before/after examples of restoration; liner notes provided by disability advocate Lawrence Carter-Long; commentary by Will Sloan and Justin Decloux of The Important Cinema Club; a compilation of Kung Fu trailers (SD) from Something Weird Video; a recut of the original theatrical trailer from restored elements; an original raw theatrical trailer; and a Mandarin-language track.

The Crippled Masters his blu-ray on July 23, 2024 and pre-orders are live now.

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Jordan Maison
Editor-in-Chief: Writer and cartoonist who went to college for post-production, he now applies his love of drawing, movie analysis, filmmaking, video games, and martial arts into writing.