Flyer of Young Prodigal (Review)

Flyer of Young Prodigal

aka Xin An Ping Zhui Xiang Qu

1978HKMDB Link
Directed by Yueh Chien-Feng

Another crazy Taiwanese fantasy film, complete with some random kaiju, dragons, people puking gas, sexy women seducing heroes, evil rapists dudes, a midget, guys who turns into lizards, and an annoying flying kid.

Annoying flying kids seems to be a common occurrence in Taiwanese films, which is a shame because they are annoying.

The film follows standard video game format of rescuing the princess (Mom) and fighting all sorts of various baddies on a mission, including several boss characters and gaining a few helper dudes along the way. And you get weapons upgrades. The video game connection is solidified by actual video game sound effects used in Flyer of Young Prodigal, even though this is years before video games were rescuing the princess.

Not much info on this one. Chang Yeong Yeong is listed as a star, but I don’t know who that is. Most of the other names I cannot read thanks to them being chopped off due to the fullscreen framing. So if anyone wants to send me a widescreen copy, go right ahead! We’ve reconstructed as much of the cast as we possibly can in the Roll Call.

Sheau-long (You Shean-Long/Yu Shein-Long) – This kid is annoying, but aren’t all kids in these films annoying? He isn’t super-annoying, but he’s still pretty darn annoying. And he’ll be crying all the time. Oh, and since his dad was murdered and his mother kidnapped, he has been trained by his Sifu and sets out to rescue his mom, slaying monsters all along the way. He is credited as “Genius Chird Actor” You Shean-Long. Don’t you know about the Chird? Everybody knows the Chird is the word!
Lien-hua (???) – Sheau-long’s mom, who manages to get kidnapped because her husband Yann-chang can’t defeat some simple demons who come to kill him and steal his wife. Lien-hua becomes a slave and I guess just sits around while Cha-tien Devil tries to get it on with a different woman who is never explained. I don’t know the villain’s motivation. Maybe he’s mad he didn’t get the complete set of The Great Muppet Caper collectible glasses and decided to take it out on the world.
Lui Yuan-long (Tsung Hua) – Good guy who can turn into a dragon and joins Sheau-long on his journey because he wants to get it on with his sister.
Sister (???) – The unnamed Sister of Sheau-long, who is another orphan raised by Sifu and trained in martial arts for eventual revenge on her parents’ killers, except she doesn’t get to have revenge in this film as she is too busy chasing after Sheau-long. This brat just cost us some female revenge movie time! That jerk…
Sifu (???) – Sifu who spends his days saving almost killed kids and training them for battle so they can plot revenge years later. He’s only done it twice, I guess it is a slow couple of decades for child murdering. That’s probably good for society, but bad for those of us who like revenge movies!
Cha-tien Devil (???) – The Evil Dude who is totally evil and kidnaps moms and has lots of demon guys working for him. How does he pay them? Does he have health insurance? What about matching contributions for the 401K? None of those important questions are answered.
Head Evil Woman (???) – The head evil woman who works for Cha-tien Devil. Despite the fact that her M.O. is to seduce and destroy her enemies, Cha-tien Devil is shocked and enraged by her seducing Lui Yuan-long. Thus, she gets killified.

Opens with a book explaining some gibberish about magic weapons and stuff that comes in handy later, but I am too lazy to take notes so I fail the test and have to repeat Flyer of Young Prodigal 101. And tuition costs just got doubled this semester…grrr…! Next up is a young mother tattooing words on the back of her small son. She is Lien-hua and her son is Sheau-long, they are waiting for the husband/father Yann-chang to return home. As soon as dad comes home two random goons teleport in out of nowhere, grab the package he had, and then kill him and grab Lien-hua to take back to their cave for rapin’. And little Sheau-long comes out, he’s about to be killed when he is sucked up in a cloud of reverse-played smoke and a disembodied voice says the kid is going with him. Thanks, Disembodio!

Roll Credits!

The opening credits feature the kid walking up the side of the tree, and getting a Mary Poppins umbrella to float down. Very supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. The theme song plays during the credits, and one of the lines is “Super prodigy, you’ve got to think big.” Then the kid runs around on a rainbow. Yeah. Someone call Rainbow Brite. Or Pollychrome, the daughter of the Rainbow. L. Frank Baum reference. Booyah. This kid Sheau-long laughs a lot. All the time. I already hate this kid.

Sheau-long’s Sifu tells him to practice with his sister, whose job it is to shoot arrows at him. I like Sister because she shoots arrows at the annoying kid, and she’s also an adult so it isn’t creepy or anything. She reveals her parents were killed when she was eight, and her dying mom gave her the bow. This leads to the kid Sheau-long screeching for his mom again in a shrill voice for over a minute, making me wish Sister went back to shooting arrows at him. I’m about to shoot arrows at the TV.

Sister uses her magic powers to reverse waterfalls, which shows Sheau-long a vision of what his mom is doing right now: dodging a laughing would-be rapist dressed in a Chinese uniform that looks like a graduation cap and gown! As much as I hate this kid, forcing him to watch his own mom be raped is probably a bit too far. Just shoot him with arrows instead! At night Sheau-long’s mom Lien-hua teleports into his room for half a second to tuck him in, which just leads to Sheau-long crying more. Gah.

So Sheau-long sneaks out as the soundtrack plays a song about wanting to see your mom. That’s not really a genre of song common in the USA… The next thing you know Sheau-long is saving a mother and daughter from two thugs, one of which Sheau-long stabs dead and the other he kicks around until he runs off. Wow, this little kid is a stone cold killa! The Mom gives him a sword that can kill devils or something (stupid white subs on white backgrounds!) in gratitude. The evil guy who lived returns with more bad dudes, who get cut up by Sheau-long, including a giant guy who is killed when Sheau-long’s new sword jumps out of its sheath and stabs the giant guy, the sword then returning to the sheath.

Sheau-long gets on a ferry, but the ferrymaster is a mugger, and after the mugger is stabbed into the water, two guys leap out of the water to fight Sheau-long. Sheau-long defeats those two guys, but all of it is being watched on a crystal ball by Cha-tien Devil the Graduation Rapist, who is not pleased.

Then there is an awesomely FAKE alligator! So awesome! The fake gator turns into a dude with long black hair and white sideburn tufts. Sheau-long humiliates him and sends mosquitoes after him, so he turns into an alligator and runs off.

Then a giant dragon flies by!! YES!!! The dragon also turns into a dude. Dragon Dude makes a tree crash into Sheau-long which causes Sheau-long to fly into a lake. A lady from a temple appears, and turns herself fifty feet tall for no reason, and tells Sheau-long he has to stop monsters on his way to save his mom or he’ll have bad karma or something. Random giant ladies always give me advice, but it is usually tax advice. My wife says this is Guan-yin, so now you know, and knowing is half the battle. GI Joe!

Then there is a giant lizard by a pool. He is Slo-Mo-Godzilla! The monster pukes yellow liquid at Sheau-long. I think that’s illegal in most countries… Sheau-long stabs the monster in the neck. Nooooo!!! Not Slo-Mo-Godzilla! He had so much to live for. He was pals with those DSL commercial turtles, the Slowskys. So many children to puke yellow liquid on…
Flyer of Young Prodigal
The dumb Sheau-long is leaving his daggers in the necks of the dead dinosaurs he kills, luckily Sister is chasing after and can clean up after him. The Dragon grabs Sheau-long, but Sister puts an arrow in him and saves Sheau-long. Then another Dragon guy appears as a dragon and grabs Sheau-long (at this point it is obviously a stuffed dummy kid) and turns back into a guy holding Sheau-long and gives him medicine. Good Dragon Guy is Lui Yuan-long, as we mentioned in the Roll Call.
Flyer of Young Prodigal
The Bad Dragon Guy in human form attacks Sister, who is hurt until Lui Yuan-long appears to save her. Bad Dragon Guy is killed, but yells for his Chief Cha-tien Devil so loudly it wakes up everyone in the evil lair hideout. Cha-tien Devil has a whole host of female goons now. He sends Head Female Goon and her girl goon squad out to kill Sheau-long and the others. But Lui Yuan-long kills all of the Amazon girls, and the Head Female Goon turns into a fake Sister to lure Lui Yuan-long into a cave. She pukes knockout gas on him, then is soon stripping both of their clothes. Whether the movie shows anything or not sex-wise is unknown as there is a rough cut to more scenes of Sheau-long running.

Sheau-long is running around as mud starts attacking him as sound effects from the original Pac-Man video game play. Sheau-long blows up the mud and a lady comes out, who he calls ugly. So we’ll call her Ugly Mud Lady, even though she is only in this scene so there is really no reason to give her a name. Sheau-long beats her up and gets her hook-sword weapon.

Head Female Goon is all done whoring up and is back to walking around. She runs into Sheau-long, but her gas breath and magic cape do nothing, which probably saves this film from becoming super-creepy. Head Female Goon’s kaleidoscope dance moves sort of work on Sheau-long until the kid does…something…with a knife. Then he beats up Head Female Goon, who teleports back to base, where Cha-tien Devil is making out with another random woman he has. Head Female Goon is mad, but Cha-tien is mad she’s a whore (isn’t that her job???) and he blows her up! Wow, what a strange warping of a value system.

Sheau-long kills a bunny when a trap meant for him misses. I think they have a real dead rabbit, but it’s buried and that’s that. Then he’s attacked by a dude with stretchy arms that turn into vines, Sheau-long defeats him as well and spares his life, which embarrasses the guy enough he gives info on the next trap ahead, which involves a magic Gold Bell that can kill. The vine guy looks like he is played by Pa Gwoh, who was seen in Island Warriors.

Despite the warning, the Gold Bell flies over Sheau-long and traps him anyway. How stupid… Oh, and Liu Yuan-long and Sister are alive and went all the way back to Sifu’s place. But enough about them…Sheau-long is being tortured by Gold Bell. MuHAHAHAHAHAAHAH!!!

Sheau-long just meditates like it is a cave, and the Gold Bell turns back into a dude who is beaten up. What kind of lame kung fu power is turning into a bell? Bell guy attacks with an axe now, but eventually has coins thrown into his face
then he is stabbed when he tries to disguise himself as a statue. So a bell guy got defeated by coins. This is an actual movie and not a crazy video game.

Cha-tien Devil can only be killed by combined short and long sword from opening book. I knew I should have paid attention!

Sheau-long runs into a huge fat guy who was hiding in a bowl of water, and the fat guy spits exploding water at Sheau-long. Yes, exploding water. Have you figured out Sheau-long is facing people from each element now? (Earth, Wind, Gold, Water, Fire.) Sheau-long punches the Water Guy around until water comes flying out of him and he turns into a giant balloon. Water Guy begs to be let go and will give up evil, so he does…NOT! Wate Guy tries to kill Sheau-long as soon as he turns his back. Sheau-long sucks him into a canteen!’

Later there is a random fire, which of course is controlled by a Fire Demon, and Sheau-long lets Water Guy out to put out the fire and Water Guy warns Fire Demon not to mess with the kid, but Fire Demon doesn’t listen. They never do. Ever have a Fire Demon take your order at McDonalds? They never remember to make the burgers with just ketchup and forget the apple pies every time.

Fire Demon loses as well. I guess wind is next? No, a hopping vampire zombie is next. Then who the hell was wind? Gold Bell was gold, water, fire, earth…Tree guy can’t be wind, can he? Luckily, Sheau-long bangs a handy gong he has to help the vampire hop, which works only for a bit. Sheau-long stabs the vampire and it hops off to his coffin, and Sheau-long puts one of those yellow papers with red writing on the coffin…and the vampire is trapped forever. HAW-haw!

The next obstacle is a whole tribe of leopard skin dudes. Are these the angry husbands of the Amazon women?

Meanwhile…Sister and Liu Yuan-long run across a little person who is probably the same little person who was in all those Taiwanese films back then including Little Hero and Lady Iron Monkey. It is sort of fun watching them beat him up. The little guy runs away and jumps into a lake, turning into a turtle.

Sister and Liu Yuan-long catch up to Sheau-long, who is now killing the two guys who killed his dad, including killing one who is running away by throwing a dagger in his back. Way to fight like a man, kid! The best part is watching this 10 year old kid say he has sworn to avenge his father’s death in a serious tone. He’s too cute to be menacing, even though he kills people and stabs them in the back. Sheau-long stops a laser trap, and now gets to fight Cha-tien Devil himself.

Cha-tien Devil’s devil-headed staff can do a trick where multiple heads float around the heroes and they start to fade away while he laughs, but the trick is thwarted if you wave your sword. Lame trick.

Sheau-long is joined by Sister and Lui Yuan-long in his fight against Cha-tien Devil. Remember that only a long and a sword sword mixed together beat Cha-tien Devil. So as Sheau-long has the short sword, the long sword that matches starts to call Sheau-long. So Sheau-long goes after it while the other two fight Cha-tien Devil.

Sheau-long gets the matching sword and devil head on the staff Cha-tien Devil has explodes. But Cha-tien Devil is still stabbing at the two with blade on end. Sheau-long is flying back, and also a random dragon head pops up and laughs. Huh. That was random.

The swords are combined like the swords from the Masters of the Universe toyline, and Cha-tien Devil tries to turn invisible. That fails, and Sheau-long blows off his arm, but Cha-tien Devil just puts it back on. Eventually, Sheau-long stabs Cha-tien Devil while stock shots of volcanoes and tidal waves play. Cha-tien Devil falls into lake dead and turned into a dead black dragon.

It is simple to go inside and kill what is left of the guard to rescue mom. Then Sheau-long starts crying again. Sigh…

Let’s fly away, mom, and leave my two friends behind to fend for themselves in this land of crazy monster attacks! Weeee!!!!

And we’re done. Let’s see…Sister never got a name (nor revenge for her family). Sifu never got a name or an explanation. And no one seemed bothered that guys were turning into dragons. Okay. Too bad Cha-tien Devil’s dragon form was wasted as just a dead dragon. I demand more dragon fights! This film was packed with promises that never paid off, but it wasn’t short on random guys who showed up for a few minutes and then died.

Rated 3/10 (Grrr…, Klingons???, The Rainbow Disconnection)

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Written by Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas

Runs this joint!