|Milton Berle and Sean Garrison.|
There's a lot going on in Seven in Darkness. When the survivors aren't crossing a treacherous bridge with rotted wood, they're bickering among themselves and fending off wolves. Although the characters slip into stereotypes at times, a veteran cast keeps the film on course. Milton Berle, in a rare dramatic role, gets better as the story progresses and Sean Garrison makes a good stalwart hero with a secret. Garrison is perhaps best remembered for his short-lived TV series Dundee and the Culhane, in which he and John Mills played lawyers on the Western frontier. Other cast members include Arthur O'Connell and a blonde-haired Lesley Ann Warren (who gets to sing).
Director Michael Caffey directs with a sure hand, using sounds and images to remind us of the perils faced by the blind survivors. The whistling winds and the distant howls are particularly effective, as is a shot that shows us (but not the characters) that a railroad track being followed leads to a precipice. Incidently, Caffey is the father of Charlotte Caffey, who played in the all-female rock band The Go-Go's.
|Katie Saylor gets ready to rumble.|
Yes, there's not much to the plot of Men of the Dragon--but it provides an adequate framework for the many fight scenes. David Chow, who served as the "technical adviser" on the Kung Fu TV series, choreographed the kicks and punches. The fights may seem pedestrian compared to Lee and his peers, but they're convincing enough and wisely avoid the over-reliance on slow motion employed in the Kung Fu series.
|Wiseman in his better known role.|
Jared Martin, Katie Saylor, and Robert Ito look respectable in the fight scenes. I couldn't confirm that any of them practiced martial arts in real life. Martin, who was Brian De Palma's roommate at Columbia, did appear in the 1987 film Karate Warrior. He and Saylor also starred together in the short-lived 1977 sci fi series The Fantastic Journey. Robert Ito is probably best-remembered as lab assistant Sam Fujiyama on Quincey M.E.