Invincible Enforcer (1979) Review

"Invincible Enforcer" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Invincible Enforcer" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Director: Cheng Kang
Cast: Lau Wing (Liu Yung), Fan Lei (Fanny), Helen Poon (Bing Seung, Pan Ping-Chang), Lam Fai Wong (Lin Hui-Huang), Wong Yung, Chen Kuan Tai, Si Wai, Ngaai Fei (Ai Fei), Chan Shen
Running Time: 107 min.

By Mighty Peking Man

“Some medicines when administered are more painful than the disease. Similarly some law enforcers are more harmful than the convicts.” – From the film’s preface

Jiang Chai (Tony Liu) is a happy man with a beautiful wife, a steady job and a child on the way; but his happiness becomes short lived when he accidentally disrespects a ruthless police officer. The situation becomes overblown and Jiang is unfairly sentenced to 20 months in prison.

What follows is a living hell for Jiang. In addition to being bullied by inmates, he also has to deal with a corrupt prison guard with a personal agenda; as well as a powerful gangster named Big Brother Long, who controls all of the criminal activity inside the prison.

By the time his 20 year term is over, Jiang tries his hardest to live a decent life. However, his time in prison effects any normality he tries to lead, so he decides there’s no choice but to live a life of crime to earn a living.

Invincible Enforcer is one crazy ride.

It’s filled with over-the-top brutality, peculiar situations and an unforgiving plot that pulls no punches. Even though most of it takes place in prison, it’s too jumpy to be considered a ‘prison’ flick. There are so many bizarre moments this film offers that it’s in a league of its own. Some of the movie is corny, some of it is serious, and sometimes, it’s like, “what the fuck?”

Towards the very beginning, just as new inmates are getting ready to get physically checked, one guy accidently relaxes a little too much and sprays a doctor’s face with fecal matter. Soon after, we are treated to a scene where our main character has the choice of either drinking piss or taking a beating. There’s also a scene that involves James Bond-style mice – a silly, out of place moment that you’ll have to see for yourself to believe.

Although Invincible Enforcer stars martial arts heavy Tony Liu (as well as a cameo by Chen Kuan Tai), keep in mind, there’s not a single scene of kung fu at any given time. There is action, but most of it involves prison brawls, bloody beatings and a quick shoot-out (and beheading) towards the end of the movie.

If you’re familiar with Cheng Kang’s work, the rough film editing should come to no surprise. I’ve noticed it in Sword of Swords, The Twelve Gold Medallions and Killers Five. Even though some of it feels rushed, it never harms the greatness of this or any of his films. In a way, I consider the rugged editing in his films more of a trademark, than a flaw.

I’d rate this movie a little higher if those damn mice didn’t make a cameo. Otherwise, it’s a decent flick.

Mighty Peking Man’s Rating: 7/10

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