18 Golden Destroyers Review: The hero is as wooden as a board and the film

The 18 Legendary Bronzeman of Shaolin are unearthed after a long slumber by an evil monk. They are ready to take on the modern world, but is the world ready for them? Some things don’t die quietly.

Something of a cut and paste bodge job from those guys at IFD. 18 GOLDEN DESTROYERS (Thap Bat Dong Nhan) is a late-stage cash in on the success of 18 BRONZEMEN. It has certainly been packaged as such. As is usual for an IFD film, the opening historical battle sequence has been ripped off from elsewhere and plonked into an entirely different film.

It’s very difficult to work out this movie’s country of origin. But at a guess I would say Thailand because a lot of the names in the cast list look Thai. It’s a typical kung fu adventure in which the young hero and his buddy go up against an evil wizard who has raised an army of gold-skinned robots to work in the local mine. Shades of Hammer’s THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES you might think, and you’d be right. But sadly 18 GOLDEN DESTROYERS is more annoying than fun.

The evil wizard has zero presence and uses the most irritating shrill whistle ever to control his troops. There’s plenty of action to be had, that’s for sure, but the clunky gold-skinned warriors are goofy rather than threatening, despite the best efforts of the director to make them so. The hero is as wooden as a board and the film, although colourful, is entirely cheap. And lacks the fun and wacky factor from other fantasy-themed Hong Kong movies (phim hong kong vo thuat xua) from the 1980s.

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