Matching Escort/Fury of the Silver Fox (Review)

Matching Escort

aka Fury of the Silver Fox aka 金粉遊龍 aka Wolf Devil Woman 2

Written by Pearl Cheung Ling and Peng Wei-Wei
Directed by Si Ma-Peng
Planning Director Pearl Cheung Ling

Dances with Wolf Devil Women

If you are a fan of wolrd cult cinema, especial cult fantasy martial arts flicks, and are not familiar with the directorial works of Pearl Cheung Ling (aka Chang Ling), then you need to get educated! Luckily, TarsTarkas.NET is there for you! Not only are we working through Pearl’s films that she had her hand in creating, but there are also Infernal Brains podcasts featuring awesome background information about Pearl Cheung Ling and further discussion of her work (featuring fabulous Guest Brain duriandave of SoftFilm!) But if you don’t like hearing people talk, don’t worry, there are plenty of text reviews going around! Beyond the previously covered Dark Lady of Kung Fu, the other major Pearl films are each getting their well-deserved reviews on TarsTarkas.NET.

We’re putting half the budget into things that go in my hair!

Matching Escort is considered the second of Pearl Cheung Ling’s auteur films. Pearl Cheung Ling is best known in the west for Wolf Devil Woman, and to capitalize on that fact, one of the many release retitles of Matching Escort was Wolf Devil Woman 2, despite this film being made first! (Even worse, the film Miraculous Flower was made before both films yet also released as Wolf Devil Woman 3!) The hallmarks of Pearl’s style are all present, and she has more creative control for weird side plots that start to blur the traditional wuxia narrative, though it is still more cohesive of a film than Wolf Devil Woman, Dark Lady of Kung Fu, or General Invincible. This is probably due more towards the credited director, Sima Peng (if he’s an actual person!) Pearl is credited at the planning director, but based on her other films she probably was calling most of the shots for Matching Escort.

My Basement, the Motion Picture

Besides Matching Escort and Wolf Devil Woman 2, another common retitle is Fury of the Silver Fox. This title makes about as much sense as the others, which is not much. The dubbing, however, is ridiculous, as all of the dub jobs on Pearl’s films are. And I can verify that there are missing song queues in the dubbed version. Most notably, the film’s theme song sung by Pearl is gone. They lyrics were written by Sun Yi, legendary songwriter of classics like The Moon Represents My Heart. Venus the Ninja and Venus the Ninja Wolf are also listed as reissue titles, both seeming to be cashing in on a craze (ninjas or the Wolf Devil Woman film.) I don’t think this was reissued as Wolfen Ninja, though, as I know that is a retitle of Wolf Devil Woman (but I could be wrong, because there is a dearth of information on the reissues!)

People selling magazine subscriptions are getting pretty aggressive!

Pearl themes featured here include this being a revenge film featuring her father being murdered (to be fair, that is a fairly common plot devise in martial arts cinema), random bursts of goofy comedy, scenes featuring beggars, scenes featuring crazy old man martial arts masters, Pearl spending some of her scenes wearing fur, a handsome prince with a comic relief sidekick, Pearl “transforming” into a martial arts master, Pearl donning solid color outfits when it’s time to get down to business and slaughter the bad guys, lots of blood and gore, scenes that look suspiciously inspired by recent Western cinema blockbusters, and overly dramatic scenes of Pearl either flying into places or riding with purpose. One thing this thankfully doesn’t have is animal deaths, a sadly too common Pearl theme. In fact, there is a monkey and a parrot who both have minor roles and aren’t killed!

When Little Boy Blue became a man

Sadly most versions of Matching Escort are dubbed versions, and I am not aware of a widescreen version at all. Like most of Pearl’s films, it has falled into a state of neglect and forgotten history. Thanks to the awful dubbing, many of the character names are just decriptions as the dubbing decided that giving major characters names was too big of a hassle.

This spa sucks

Chu (Pearl Cheung Ling) – Just a girl born into a martial arts world. Her father is killed along with the rest of her family and she’s forced to flee for her life, to seek revenge at a later date. This is the story of that revenge.
Prince Cao Tien (Mang Fei) – A wandering Prince on a mission agains Wan Ching’s martial gang. His true reason for undertaking the mission is not revealed until the end of the film. Often called Young Master by Peanut.
Peanut (???) – Cao Tien’s sidekick and loyal servant. And famed comic relief player. He’s not a woozle, thank goodness, because Jeff Dunham is awful awful awful.
Wan Ching (Peng Kong) – The man who ordered the killing of Pearl’s father while looking for the Jade Amulet of the Emperor, which he wanted to gain control of the army. I guess the army listens to anyone wearing a jade amulet. Maybe they should look into better army chain of command practices. Wan Ching has a magic power glove that he throws that rips off heads like flying guillotine, and a parrot that condemns people to death!
Shiny Guy (Chan Gwan-Biu) – The man who killed Pearl’s father thanks to his shiny ring blinding him during the swrodfight. Because he wears a jeweled ring, he has red streaked hair and another jewel embedded in his forehead. It’s the law. The law of giant jeweled rings.
Old Man (Sek Ying) – Pearl’s crippled master who lived in a hole for 20 years while making a potion to get revenge doesn’t get a name, though his evil twin brother gets a mouthful of a name – Tse Ma Bai Yuen. Teaches Pearl more martial arts techniques in exchange for her killing his brother.
Yu Mei (???) – The female member of evil gang, she uses her feminine charms to invite people to dinner where she poisons them. This never works for the entirity of the film, though it’s interesting to see a female suductress character not using seduction for murder during sex but during a nice sit down dinner.
Anyone for handball?

Don’t give out my private Twitter account name!

Chu is a happy young girl forced to wear incredibly heavy shoes by her father (Wang Hsieh) for reasons not stated at the time. She grows up into Pearl Cheung Ling, and because of that situation we know her parents are toast. Lo and behold, they get slaughtered by an invading horde of evil goons. Before that happens, there is some food humor (as usual in Pearl films) and she briefly encounters handsome prince Cao Tien and his sidekick Peanut. After that, the slaughter begins, and soon everyone is dead, including Chu’s Uncle Wan all killed because they wouldn’t betray the kung fu sect leader.

Hey, guards, I’m raising the roof!

Chu manages to escape because the idiot goons let her take off her iron shoes, which then let her jump up and fly around in the trees without the shoes weighing her down. The main baddie Wan Ching then kills the men who let her escape, his goal was to eradicate the entire family. I’m sure the fact the bad guy is named Wan Ching and the fact Pearl has a murdered uncle named Uncle Wan is a coincidence. Wan Ching tasks his goons and female member Yu Mei to hunt Chu down. Wanted posters go up throughout the kingdom. Though they look nothing like her, it’s enough that she panics and smears dirt all over her face. and chops off her hair. She then causes strife when she breaks into the home of the beggar gang, eats the dinner of the King of the Beggars and sleeps in his bed. This Goldilocks and the Six Dwarves scenario plays out with the enraged beggars beating the tar out of each other while trying to capture her, then trying to fore her to kiss the very stinky feet of the King until Prince Cao Tien shows up to save her. But she runs off in embarrassment before he recognizes her.

I’ve drawn more accurate portraits of Pearl on Draw Something!
Not only am I wanted, I think I left the stove on!

The villains track her down, chasing her over a cliff where she falls down a well into a cave where a crazy old man and his monkey live. The cave is decked out in giant flowers all over the walls, with big black mushroom seats with white spots, a skeleton, and a smoking pond. All poisonous, of course, and lit by a blacklight. It’s like a creepy Alice in Wonderland on acid. So like Alice in Wonderland. Old guy rants about her ruining 20 years of his hopes and dreams, as when she landed she smashed the secret brew he had been working on for 20 years and he won’t be able to take revenge.

He agrees to teach her kung fu! But she must do Masters revenge as well, which is good, because he dies at the end of the montage! But first he transfers his memory into her mind because I guess someone just saw Star Trek 2? It gives her all the kung fu powers, though the montage was her training by getting things put into her eyes so she’ll be immune to the guy with the shiny ring.

And Pearl quickly and forcefully stabs those responsible for fast-tracking a Twilight reboot
Someone mixed up the casting call sheets for Snow White and a Nativity scene!
This is why you should support local wrestling!

It’s transformation time, and Chu is dressed in all flowy white. In a Pearl Cheung Ling film, when she dresses monocolor, you know it’s on, and she’s running around slaughtering evil dudes. She charges into her late master’s evil brother’s and throws down a white tablecloth and a jar that has the body of her master. Revenge is gotten.

Prince Cao Tien has been targeted by the villains throughout the film, and he avoids latest attempt on his life when Peanut takes the poisoned wine. He uses his kung fu powers to de-poison Peanut, but soon after the villains attack again. Now it’s Chu’s turn to save the Prince and Peanut from goons. And she gets revenge against the man who killed her father, the Shiny Guy with the ring that he blinds people with, thanks to her new super eye powers. But Shiny Guy has goons with tridents, and Wan Ching arrives and hurts her and mocks her. Prince Cao Tien saves her once again.

Ring Pops, bitches!

Chu and the Prince have a talk on a boat in the middle of a lake while she recovers. But she’s too focused on revenge at the moment to worry about anything romantic. She leaves early in the morning for revenge, and the boat is ambushed with Prince Cao Tien and Peanut attacked. The Prince is captured and Peanut left for dead in the water.

But Chu has returned and saves Peanut (she gets there via a delightful scene where she’s leaping and running across the water), and the two set out to save the captured Prince. First Chu kills a few of the minor goons, including a poison showdown with Yu Mei that features logic tricks rivaling Princess Bride and Harry Potter.

Punk Rock Monkey is cool
Oh, man. What did I do last night? Alice sure throws one heck of a bender!
Freaking Hipsters dressing like me ironically!

Wow, the bad guy’s secret lair is straight out of Star Wars! Wan Ching is dressed similar to Darth Vader, and the hallways are lined up with goons dressed in white with black trim, looking like Stormtroopers. Wan Ching reveals to Prince Cao Tien that he’s really Uncle Wan, Chu’s thought-dead uncle! The shock of this reveal is beyond description. Chu bursts in with swords flying and we see just how Stormtrooper-like the guards are as they’re all slaughtered (and so are some women who were just standing there!) Some of the guards try to run, but the baddies threaten to kill them if they run so they’re dead either way. If you are wondering if these deaths are bloody, yes they are!

Prince Cao Tien then exposes a blue dragon uniform and the Crown Sword, showing he is the Crown Prince and not just a random Prince or The Artist Formally Known As Prince. Which is bad because if there is one thing this ending could use, it’s the song Seven playing in the background.

Now I’m Ming the Merciless! Take that, Flash.
These guys are going to complain about splitting headaches…

Time to fight the bad guy! The best part of the battle is the very awesome demon statue in the background. Despite Wan Ching’s power glove and other advantages, he doesn’t have the advantage of numbers and is slowly and bloodily worn down. But he’s not killed, because he must be brought to trial! They aren’t barbarians here. Sure, they ripped out his eyes and blew up his base, but they didn’t kill him like some sort of amoral monsters. Now let’s step over the bodies of the hundreds of guards who were killed without offer of a trial and head home!

The end!

I’m still raising the roof, guys!
Exclusive shot from the stage production of Matching Escort!
Great, do you know how many OSHA forms I’m going to have to fill out now??

The was pretty cool, and a pretty neat Pearl flick. Filled with the wacky wonderful things that make her films so charming. Her films are the type of movies you won’t see anywhere else. Fun times for all.

Rated 8/10 (daddy, shoes, mushrooms, skulls, flies, poison trick, Emperor clothes, sprays of blood.)

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The finals of the World Marble Championships are broadcast annually on ESPN3
Yes, yes, I love it, it’s so bad, let’s get on with the killing!
Fury of the Three Stooges!
Remember. Also this scene totally has nothing to do with Star Trek 2!
I’m a traveling gravedigger!
They call me Pearl because I know Oyster style kung fu. That’s where I jump into the ocean if you try to attack me.
You take that back! Aquaman is the best Justice Leaguer!
Look, if I’m going to be Darth Vader here, none of you guys can wear masks!
And as the third hour of Charles discussing Ron Paul began, leaping into the sea became a viable option.
I have the fury….to put a bow in my hair!
Look, you’re just a bit too ridiculous to kill!

One thought on “Matching Escort/Fury of the Silver Fox (Review)

  1. Pingback: Matching Escort aka Fury of the Silver Fox | Mysterious Order of the Skeleton Suit

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