Friday, July 4, 2008

Kung Fu Arts (1980) (aka Hou fu ma)

Throughout the month of July, I plan on reviewing (in a slightly smaller format) the films in this collection released through Mill Creek Entertainment. There are 50 films of wildly varying quality, all of which have slipped into the public domain. These budget releases are a staple of cheap-o DVD bins, but is there any fun to be had within? Well.. let's take a look.


Carter Wong (Big Trouble In Little China) is King Chee, framed for the murder of the emperor, and accidentally poisons the princess (also his fiance) in the process of escaping. The king decrees that anyone who can cure his daughter can marry her, and she ends up being saved by a trained monkey(!!!!) who the king then forces her to marry before sending her off to die on some boat to avoid embarrassment. I swear this is the plot. Jesus Christ. She ends up on an island where she has a child (Carter Wong's, not the monkey's) and 10 years later the child grows up into some sort of kung-fu Mowgli hybrid. Chee comes out of hiding to get his revenge, but the King has been assassinated, leaving his murderer in charge. There's some monkey business, as you can well imagine, and eventually Chee beats the ursurper into submission. The end. Carter Wong's head does *not* explode.


Pitiful and boring kung fu comedy with a brutal pan and scan hack-job hiding anything fairly interesting. The trained monkeys are unimpressive, and the kung fu is few and far between. The final battle between Carter Wong and Sing Chen has some fine moments, mostly due to an acrobatic double for Wong, but the other fights are unwatchable because of darkness or cropping. The plot is completely nonsensical (though possibly based on some sort of Chinese myth), and it seems like the film was designed mostly for children with some potty humour thrown in for good measure. A guard yelling about his "wedding tackle" being bitten gives a few laughs, but this one isn't worth your time.


Ash said...

You're a braver man than I.

Doug Tilley said...

It came out of a desire to explore this HUGE list of films that I mostly know nothing about. I mean, there has to be a *couple* of gems in here. Right? God, I hope so. At least THE STREETFIGHTER is in there eventually.

The current one i'm watching (Called SHAOLIN DEADLY KICKS) is at least a lot better than KUNG FU ARTS.