For decades, the only physical copy of Ring of Fury was stored in karate master Peter Chong’s refrigerator.
Written and directed by James Sebastian and starring Chong, Singapore’s only martial arts flick was banned before its release in 1973. The film was eventually screened at a festival for the first time in 2005 and restored by the Asian Film Archive in 2017. Earlier this month, Ring of Fury emerged on YouTube.
A humble noodle-seller refuses to pay protection fees to a gang of thugs, resulting in tragedy befalling his family and loved one. To exact revenge, he learns martial arts to deal with the gang led by a mysterious man in an iron mask. Inspired by the kungfu craze sparked by Bruce Lee in the 1970s, Ring of Fury is Singapore’s first and only martial arts film featuring local karate master, Peter Chong.
About the Film’s Restoration:
Ring of Fury was made in homage to the late Bruce Lee’s influence on the martial arts genre. It was also an attempt in the early 1970s to make a commercial genre film in Singapore. Ring of Fury was a relatively low budget film made with amateur actors. A major highlight of the film is the unscripted and unchoreographed fight scenes. With no budget for special effects, the prolonged fight scenes featured in the film were raw and genuine fights between lead actor Peter Chong and the other stunt members. Ring of Fury was banned for its portrayal of gangsterism and vigilantism at a time when Singapore was aggressively ‘cleaning up’ its national public image. The ban lasted for 32 years before the film made its long overdue debut in 2005 at the Singapore International Film Festival.