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Okay, I am going to take the answer in SciFi/Fantasy meta (Are old school Martial arts films considered SciFi/Fantasy?) as permission to ask about a martial arts film with iron skinned fighters who can knock holes in walls with their fingers.

When I was much younger, I remember seeing an old-school martial arts movie — you know, poorly synched lip synching, sound for each attack — from which “Kill Bill, volume 2” seemed to have lifted the entire Break-A-Wall-From-Close-Range scenes from. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name and nobody mentions it when talking about “Kill Bill”.

As I recall, in this movie, some group hires two expert martial arts assassins to take out a dojo. They slaughter everybody. Only 4 students survive/escape — two senior students and two junior students — One of the assassins is invulnerable, like Toad in “The Five Deadly Venoms”. The other assassin could . . . reflect? bounce back? . . . the power of any punch landed on him back at the puncher (Dunno if this ability shows up in any other movies).

The students learn that the Toad assassin is supposedly vulnerable in the groin and that the reflector assassin cannot reflect the power of hits focused through the fingers. So, the two senior students study appropriate techniques and go for revenge only to be killed: Toad is not vulnerable in the groin. Reflector is too good a fighter; when the senior student attacks with his fingers from arm’s length, Reflector keeps blocking the attack.

So the junior students start training.

One learns that tiger/crane or some such might work on Toad, but the tiger/crane master refuses to teach him. The student decides to learn by regularly ambushing and fighting the tiger/crane master. Eventually, the tiger/crane master learns of somebody dear to him who was killed by Toad and agrees to teach the Junior student properly.

The other Junior student (And here is the main point) trains to attack with fingers from close range. The finger-attack teacher first has him try to make a massive bell ring from close range. Eventually, the student’s fingers are so sore that he cannot eat with chopsticks, but the master beats the student when the student tries to use his hands. So, the finger-attack teacher uses a different training — He makes the student try to break through a wooden wall with just his fingers from close range. Eventually the student succeeds, only for the teacher to move the wall even closer. (“Kill Bill, volume 2” did not include moving the wall closer; I had been waiting for it)

Anyhoo, eventually both students are trained and they go and kill the assassins. I recall the final fight includes a scene of Toad with blood pouring out of his eyes.

What is the name of this movie and why does nobody seem to mention it in connection with Kill Bill?! I cannot be the only one who noticed the similarities . . . or is my memory faulty?

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    When were you "much younger?" Approximately what year was this?
    – DavidW
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 2:47
  • Just as an aside, that movie sounds amazing. Apparently I have two movies to try and find and watch now.
    – JamieB
    Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 15:47
  • @DavidW I saw it in the early 1980’s. It just always stuck with me. :-) Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 16:32

2 Answers 2

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Answer found. "Shaolin Martial Arts" (1974)

It actually is mentioned in IMDB as a reference within Kill Bill. Last time I looked, it was not there.

Shaolin Martial Arts (1974)
A character trains the one-inch punch until their hand is too sore to use chopsticks; they try to eat rice with their hands instead but their master doesn't let them

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There is a second possibility. Checking IMDB it turns out that there was a similar scene in Invincible Shaolin (1978)

The two films had the same writer and the same director, but it doesn't appear to be a direct sequel.

Invincible Shaolin (1978)
A character trains by punching wooden boards close to them, causing hand injuries that prevent chopsticks from being used comfortably.

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