Starring : Cheung Lik, Hwang Jang Lee, Jeanie Chang,
Director: Joseph Kuo
36 Deadly Styles
Old School Kung Fu is back in this 1979 film from Taiwanese Director Joseph Kuo ( 7 Grand masters, Mystery of Chess Boxing) , Now one of the big draws of Mr,Kuo's films has always been their good story-lines ( for a Kung Fu Movie that is) and he always showcased great fighters and his regular stars where Jack Long and Mark Long,
These two Kung Fu legends often provided hours of hard core hitting action with intricate manoeuvres.
Now with this film ,Jack Long and Mark Long are listed as stars ,but they really are just cameo appearances in this venture ,which evolve around a sub-plot which actually looks like it's from another film.
Our main Protagonist is a young man called Wah Chee ( Cheung Lik) and his uncle who are on the run from some nasty men who basically want them dead, ( Why you may ask,so did I) anyway they take refuge at a Buddhist temple where a un-ordained monk who you can see knows the Uncle.
But of course unfortunately our pursuers have found them and break into the temple, with no choice but to fight ,the Monk named Huang (Yeung Chak-Lam) protects Wah Chee and his uncle and ends up Killing the men ,or so he believes as one has faked his death and gets away,when they decide to dump the bodies.
Now Wah Chee has been injured as has his uncle ,unfortunately His Uncle dies and Huang decides Wah Chee should stay at the temple and help with the chores , It's the safest place he can be.
Now the remaining thug that has got away is one Mien Tsu-Mun (Chan Lau ) is actually the 4th brother of a clan that wants Wah Chee and all his family members dead.
Now Wah Chee is made to do errands for the temple and one such task is to fetch Soy Bean Milk from the local seller, it's here that he will meet Tsui-Jee the Soy Milk seller , he ends up getting into a dispute with her as he no money for payment . But when her father finds out he from the temple he lets him go and pay next time.
Now Mein Tsu-Mun messages his 3rd brother to help him find Wah Chee,When the two brothers arrive in town they quickly spot Wah Chee ,at the Soy Milk store on one of his other visits. When they try and enter the stores lodgings Tsu-Jee gets into a fight with them ,humiliating Mein Tsu-Mun in the process.
Unperturbed by events the two brothers contact there 2nd Brother ( Bolo Yeung Sze) ,now this has got to be the craziest thing, what did they say to Bolo ? ,it must have gone something like this. Hey Bolo we have this part for you in this film ,it's by Joseph Kuo. Bolo: OK THAT SOUNDS GOOD. Oh by the way you got to wear this Long Rasta wig which is permed in places, it's going to make you look really Stupid. Bolo:Yeah cool can't wait.
It's a bit like they ran out of suitable wigs as everyone else seems OK ,well apart from 3rdBrother who sports a nice Long Blonde wig to match his Black Beard..
Suddenly I'm watching a Comedy .Any how poor Wah Chee comes face to face with the three Brothers and attacks them ,he inadvertently gets covered in some flour and stuff and well they just don't recognise him and brush him off as a lunatic.
Fed up with taken as a dogs body at the temple Wah Chee decides to leave ,but over hears plans to kill Huang at the temple , Rushing back to help a fight ensues that will see Huang give his life . Wah Chee is saved by Tsu Jee's father ,and it's here that His own father was killed by A white haired fighter (Hwang Jang Lee) connected to Mein Tsu Mun and his brothers.
Going into hiding Wah Chee finds out about his past and his Father and Uncles of which Tsu Jee's father is one ,so no getting of with Tsu Jee for Wah Chee ,she's your cousin mate.
Both Tsu Jee and Wah Chee know a fighting method called the 8 fairy Fist ,but their techniques are different ,this is because one knows the Offensive and the other Defensive moves, In a bid to train Wah Chee to know all parts of the style Tsu Jee's father comes up with a rigorous training regime.
But when Tsu Jee's father needs medical wine for a blow he took of the White haired fighter some years before ,Wah Chee runs into such a man ,he is the first brother of Mein Tsu Mun ,though intent on killing him ,Wah Chee runs away as to get the medicine to his uncle. Of course he will be followed .
And the showdown will begin. As the fight begins and our heroes engage in combat with first brother and 2nd brother . It's also here that the sub-plot will engage and we see a confrontation about and another member of the offending clan is out to find the book on the 36 Styles . And this sets up a fight between Jack Long and Mark Long which really does seem like your watching another film.
So in short this won't go down as one of Joseph Kuo's best. It's to disjointed in places and those crazy wigs do ruin any effect of creating the persona of this evil clan that wants the book and the annihilation of Wah Chee's family.
Though of course the end fights are entertaining to watch it does take a hour to get to the riveting part where Wah Chee engages fists and feet with First Brother (Hwang Jang Lee) , I'm not saying it's terrible it's just a bit boring in places as the film covers story lines done in many other films of the genre and does not improve on any of them in the process.
Definitely a Beer and Pizza Movie ,but that's No Bad thing anyway.
Score out of Ten= A Plain Rice with No spices 5
Reviewer : JB
Review Date : March 2012.
Joseph Kuo Nam Hung
Joseph Kuo Nam Hung
Action Director :
Max Lee Chiu Jun
| Cheung Lik|
Jeannie Chang Wing Wing
Hwang Jang Lee
Fan Mei Sheng
Mark Long Kwan Wu
Jack Long Sai Ga
Bolo Yeung Tze
Yeung Chak Lam
Mau Ging Shun
Cham Siu Hung
| Lau Kwok Shing|
Max Lee Chiu Jun
Ma Chung Tak
Pak Sha Lik
Sham Chin Bo
Wong Biu Chan
Wong Chi Sang
Wong Wing Sang
|Hwang Jang-Lee||...||1st brother|
|Jeannie Chang Yung-Yung||...||Yu Ti [intro]|
|Nick Cheung Lik||...||Wai Chi|
|Jack Lung Sai-Ga||...||Kwong Wu Chan [cameo]|
|Mark Lung Goon-Mo||...||Yuen Cheng Tien|
|Pak Sha-Lik||...||Shaolin Abbot [uncredited]|
|Fan Mei-Sheng||...||Yu Ti's dad|
|Bolo Yeung Sze||...||2nd brother|
|Lau Kwok-Shing||...||3rd brother|
|Chan Lau||...||4th brother|
|Yeung Chak-Lam||...||Huang, the unordained monk|
|Sham Chin-Bo||...||Huang, defeated fighter|
|Max Lee Chiu-Jun||...||Wai Chi's Father [cameo]|
|Cham Siu-Hung||...||Yu Ti's uncle|
|Mau Ging-Shun||...||Yu Ti's other uncle [uncredited]|
|Wong Wing-Sang||...||Fighter [uncredited]|
|Ma Chung-Tak||...||Monk with mole on face|
|Ma Hon-Yuen||...||Thug [uncredited]|
No Retreat No Surrender 2 -1987 - A host of stars in this NgSee Yuen Production
Where's Officer Tuba ? -1986-A Sammo Hung classic with Hwang Jang Lee .
Millionaires Express-1986- Sammo Hung's Epic Fight fest with every major fighter.
Buddha Assassinator - 1980 - A real find ,Meng Hoi and Hwang Jang Lee lock horns .
Snake in Eagles Shadow -1978 -Jackie Chan's breakthrough film, Master Lee is his Nemesis.