The Silent Flute
Time Out saysMade in Israel with predominantly Israeli money and technicians, this is a berserk attempt at a martial arts fantasy, somewhat in the vein of Conan the Barbarian. Cooper plays the monosyllabic Cord, who wins a martial arts contest by what are considered foul means, and is disqualified from participating in a quest for a book of knowledge. He goes anyway, and meets a variety of bizarre challenges on the road, as well as a variety of foes, all played by David Carradine except for the man who is dissolving his penis in a barrel of oil, who is played by Eli Wallach. Eventually, having learned that man cannot live by brawn alone, he reaches the cloistered isle where a cowled Christopher Lee guards the book... It may sound, well, different, but Richard Moore's cumbersome direction reduces everything to the pedestrian or the banal. The storyline is credited to Bruce Lee and James Coburn (it was actually no more than the ghost of an idea dreamed up during Lee's days as a martial arts instructor in Los Angeles), but it's more significant that the script is credited to Stirling Silliphant, the 'versatile' writer lately responsible for the script of The Swarm.