I'm looking for a movie that was showing in the early 1970's in the US at the drive-in theater, so I assume it was of that era. I will also assume it was a Hong Kong film.

In the film, a master is training a student. part of the training includes the student driving his fingers into a barrel. I think early on it was filled with sand, but he worked his way up to a barrel of rocks. of course, it was agony for him at first, but eventually he could do it.

I don't remember anything more; sorry, I was just a kid falling asleep in the back of the car, but that scene stuck with me.

I remembered a small detail: at the end of the film, during a big fight the hero was able to jam his fingers through the chests of his enemies.

I believe the barrel training sequence was in a dry, perhaps desert location. I recall the hero trained by alternating his hands in the rocks, not by pushing them in at the same time.


Possibly "Five Fingers of Death" from 1972?

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He's not punching sand, but rather shoving his hand into red-hot coals

  • The progressive training the OP is describing (sand->rocks) is a real technique, though. Does that progression appear in this film? – Walt May 16 '16 at 15:09
  • that clip is not ringing any bells, but i will see if i can find a copy and watch the whole thing. the title, timeframe, and synopsis look promising. – zim May 16 '16 at 15:15
  • @Walt - No. He does some other hand-conditioning stuff though (punch walls and planks and the like), and the end sequence is quite similar. – user7812 May 16 '16 at 15:45
  • @zim - Full copy is here. I'm not sure what the copyright situation is with it, so I'll take the link down later. – user7812 May 16 '16 at 15:46
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    @Richard, first, thank you, that movie was excellent. unless my memory has faded that badly, i do not think this is the one i'm thinking of. the memory of rocks in the barrel is pretty strong, and i believe the setting was more desert-like, and not in the woods. i also recall closeups of his fingers plunging into the chests, and through the hearts of, several enemies. with accompanying cheesy special effects. But thank you for Five Fingers of Death, i really enjoyed it. – zim May 17 '16 at 3:41

I found it!

It is Deep Thrust (1972), also known as Lady Whirlwind, starring the excellent Angela Mao. But it was another character who is the one I remember.

His training takes part in the later part of the film, where he is learning Tai Chi, of all things, from an ailing Korean herbalist he met in the woods.

He trains in a demolished temple, driving his hands into barrels of sand (or ash), then rocks, then bigger rocks. He concludes by tossing a boulder into the air and catching it on his fingers. His enemies come, and he kills several of them by driving his fingers into their chests.

The final scene takes place on a beach with a rock wall. I was recalling a locale that was more desert-like than forest-like (as in Five Fingers of Death). It is here that he dispatches the boss, after having driven his fingers into the boss' abdomen.

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