The Dynamite Brothers


AKA: East Meets Watts, Stud Brown, Killing of a Chinese Bookie

Year of release: 1974

Genre: action

Director: Al Adamson

Action directors: Lam Ching-Ying, Erik Cord

Producers: Marvin Lagunoff, Jim Rein

Writer: John D'Amato

Cinematography: R. Michael Stringer

Music: Charles Earland

Editor: John Winfield

Stars: Alan Tang, Timothy Brown, Aldo Ray, James Hong, Don Oliver, Al Richardson, Carol Speed, Clare Nono, Lam Ching-Ying

Rated R for violence, language, and nudity

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The Dynamite Brothers  The Dynamite Brothers

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Al Adamson was a low-budget director who quickly shot and released pictures that capitalized on trends that were currently popular in the exploitation market. His 1974 entry The Dynamite Brothers merges the world of kung fu and blaxploitation into a somewhat bizarre and poorly-made, yet still entertaining, film.

Alan Tang stars as Larry Chin, who has come from Hong Kong to San Francisco illegally to search for his brother. After being picked up by a crooked cop (Aldo Ray) Larry forms a partnership with fellow arrestee Stud Brown (Timothy Brown) and the adventure is off and running. And running. And running. And running. There's so many shots of the pair running that one could think this is some sort of Nyquil-influenced California travelogue. At least we are treated to the movie's funky theme several times during the multiple shots of rolling hills, babbling brooks, and truck stops.

Adamson did show some insight by importing a stunt team that includes Lam Ching-Ying, Mars, and Phillip Kwok, but then squanders their talents by featuring fight scenes that use camerawork that was apparently captured by someone that had a few belts of Colt 45, as the frame stumbles and fumbles around so much that at times, one begins to wonders if they're watching one of those old-school bootlegs that was captured by some shady cat in a theatre.

So you're never going to mistake The Dynamite Brothers for a great action film, and there are many points when it comes off as less of a movie than a collection of seemingly random scenes hastily slapped together. But there is a dopey low-budget charm to the proceedings that makes it hard to stay mad at the picture for too long. If you're a fan of 70's cheesefests and are ready to jump feet-first into a cinematic fonduzzi, grab a couple of cold ones and hop right in.