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Buddha’s Palm (Part 2)

Buddha’s Palm (Part 2)

aka 如來神掌(二集) aka The Young Swordsman Lung Kim Fei Part 2 aka 如來神掌(下集大結局)

1964HKMDB Link
Written by Sze-To On
Story by Shangguan Hong
Directed by Ling Yun

Buddha's Palm
Buddha’s Palm Part 2, the adventure continues! When last we left our intrepid travelers, Lung Kim-fei had helped recover dragonroot to restore the sight of Suen. The first thing she sees when she regains her sight is his uniform, the same uniform as his sifu, Master Ku Hon-wan the Wicked God of Fiery Cloud and enemy of Suen. So she blasts Lung in the chest!
Buddha's Palm
This edition is unique in it is the only one of the Buddha’s Palm series that does not have the iconic opening credits sequence of Lung Kim-fei shooting palm blasts at a Buddha painting every ten seconds. But don’t fear, it will return for the next two parts of Buddha’s Palm. Part 2 finishes the story began in Part 1, while Parts 3 and 4 are their own story. Some of the monster costumes from the prior film return, along with a new surprise.
Buddha's Palm
Burdened by the story, there is less quest adventuring going on, and more of running and fighting adventuring. The next two chapters will attempt to balance the questing and the fighting, but for now we got a stream of action sequences. The plot is largely propelled by Suen’s anger, while Master Ku is given a moment to act all cocky like his character’s back story is supposed to be. But oddly enough, that saves the day. So the lesson is to be cocky, but explain yourself? Sure, whatever Buddha’s Palm!
Buddha's Palm

Lung Kim-fei (Walter Tso Tat-Wah) – This zero became a hero and got blasted in the chest for it! Luckily he’s saved by Kau Yuk-wah and his friends until things are set into motion and clans prepare to battle, unless Lung Kim-fei helps bring peace.
Kau Yuk-wah (Yu So-Chau) – Kung fu sister who falls for Lung Kim-fei and tries to save him. Spends part of the film racked with guilt when she thinks her sister died. Helps Lung rescue Luk Yu and then tries to help calm down the feuding clans.
Kau Yuk-kuen (Patricia Lam Fung) – Kau Yuk-wah’s younger sister who is believed killed early in the film, but is actually rescued by Master Ku and trained in the Buddha’s Palm Technique. Her being saved and welcomed helps calm the feud between Master Ku and Master Suen.
Master Ku Hon-wan (Ling Mung) – The Wicked God of Fiery Cloud, his sight was recently restored by Lung. Trains Kau Yuk-kuen in the Buddha’s Palm technique after Condor saves her.
Condor (Man in suit) – Master Ku Hon-wan’s magic condor who saves people all the time. And you can ride him!
But Ku (Ko Lo-Chuen) – The helmsman of the Cheung Lei Sect. Always announces himself via incredibly loud offscreen yelling. Helps rescue Lung and tries to calm the clan feuding that’s going on.
Luk Yu (Kwan Hoi-San) – Friend of the Kau sisters, a guy who gets kidnapped a lot and Lung Kim-fei keeps saving. Does he get kidnapped in this movie? Yes!
Suen Bik-ling (Yung Yuk-Yi) – Matriarch of the Kau’s clan. Was blinded in duel with Master Ku Hon-wan long ago, and just regained her sight. Wears a mask to hide her disfigured face. Is willing to start a war to get revenge on Master Ku.
Auyeung Ho (Siu Chung-Kwan) – A jerk guy who bullied Lung, but not he gets shown up by the kung fu trained Lung. So suck it, bully!
Auyeung Ho’s wife (???) – Auyeung Ho’s wife, she gets to watch her jerk husband be humiliated…again!

Buddha's Palm
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - February 14, 2013 at 11:40 am

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Buddha’s Palm (Part 1)

Buddha’s Palm (Part 1)

aka 如來神掌(上集) aka The Young Swordsman Lung Kim-fei Part 1

1964HKMDB Link
Written by Sze-To On
Story by Shangguan Hong
Directed by Ling Yun

Buddha's Palm
In Kung Fu Hustle, Bruce Leung’s The Beast character’s name translates to Dark God of the Fire Clouds. While that name is awesome in it’s own right, it’s also borrowed from Buddha’s Palm (and the pulp wuxia serials that Buddha’s Palm is based on.) That is an example of the lasting influence the Buddha’s Palm films have had on Hong Kong entertainment, particularly wuxia and martial arts cinema.
Buddha's Palm
Though far far far from the first wuxia pian tale to be translated to the screen, the Buddha’s Palm series heavily influenced later films with the fantasy effects and memorable tales. Having seen about a dozen of the old black and white Cantonese wuxia films, I can say that the Buddha’s Palm series just feels bigger than the others. It’s like Star Wars compared to one of the cash in scifi flicks that finished out the 70s. Though some of the later wuxia films attempted to be as creative, they didn’t have the resources available to compete, and soon the whole deal was eclipsed by Shaw.

For some of this background information, I am handicapped by the lack of information in English about wuxia tales and their authors. So some of this is conjecture, and may be inaccurate. Feel free to drop some knowledge on me if things are wrong. That’s how we all learn.
Buddha's Palm
The tale is largely taken from two sources – Taiwanese author Liu Canyang’s Heavenly Buddha Palm (天佛掌) and Cantonese author Shangguan Hong’s Thousand Buddhas’ Fist. The general plot seems borrowed from Liu’s tale, while the characters are from Shangguan Hong’s stories (and he is the name listed in the credits.) Thousand Buddhas’ Fist was serialized in Ming Pao Daily, which was the place to be a serialized wuxia tale. It was founded by Louis Cha Leung-yung, better known to wuxia story lovers as Jin Yong (the author of the Condor Trilogy) How much the movies’ “borrowing” from Liu was legitimate, I cannot say, as there do not seem to be translations of the stories available. Some of the original stories have been adapted into comic novels.
Buddha's Palm
The Buddha’s Palm films work because they are a grand adventure. There are battles, but there are also a enormous amount of special effects. One of the memorable features are the hand-drawn effects as characters blast away at each other, or control rings and chains and beams that battle in the air. Art director Lo Ki-Ping was the man responsible for the look of the series and most of the hand-painted effects. He also designed the various monster costumes that help spice up Buddha’s Palm. While obviously men in suits, they have a level of B-movie appeal that lame CGI creatures will never match. The effects action enhances the choreography done by action director Simon Yuen Siu-Tin.
Buddha's Palm
Series director Ling Yun went on to direct the three followups The Furious Buddha’s Palm (1965), Buddhist Spiritual Palm (1968), and Buddhist Spiritual Palm Returned (1968). The latter two feature a largely new cast. The Buddha’s Palm franchise was updated in 1982 with Shaw Brother’s Buddha’s Palm, and there has been at least two television series based on the stories. Kung Fu vs. Acrobatic was also a detailed love letter to this series and similar films. With the current trend of remaking everything, I would not be surprised if someone dusted off the Buddha’s Palm tales to bring back to the big screen.
Buddha's Palm
The wonderful DVD set comes complete with no English subtitles. But here at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles! Some character names I used are taken from synopses that may or may not be a good translation. But that just adds to the fun!
Buddha's Palm

Lung Kim-fei (Walter Tso Tat-Wah) – A scarred loser largely abandoned and mocked by his former master and fellow martial arts students. Until one day he’s rescued and trained by Master Ku to learn the Buddha’s Palm technique! Now this zero has become a hero!
Kau Yuk-wah (Yu So-Chau) – Kung fu sister who gets involved in the intrigue with Lung Kim-fei and his Master. She soon is also getting involved romantically with Lung Kim-fei. But first he has to save her and her sister a few times.
Kau Yuk-kuen (Patricia Lam Fung) – Kau Yuk-wah’s younger sister who often does more brash and brave deeds, partially because she’s just a more do-it-yourself person and partially to help her sister.
Master Ku Hon-wan (Ling Mung) – The Wicked God of Fiery Cloud who lives high in the mountains. Long ago, Master Ku slaughtered the heads of many martial arts schools during a sparring match, and has since lived in seclusion with his loyal servant, Condor. He was blinded in a duel with Suen Bik-ling long ago. Trains Lung Kim-fei in the Buddha’s Palm technique after Condor saves him.
Condor (Man in suit) – Master Ku Hon-wan’s magic condor that you can ride and knows kung fu.
But Ku (Ko Lo-Chuen) – The helmsman of the Cheung Lei Sect. Always announces himself via incredibly loud offscreen yelling. He teaches Lung the invincible Seven Spinning Gash after the two become friends via randomly encountering each other in the forest.
Luk Yu (Kwan Hoi-San) – A guy who gets kidnapped a lot and Kau Yuk-kuen and Lung Kim-fei keeps saving. He’s not really introduced, he’s just suddenly a main character after Kau Yuk-kuen stumbles across the first of his many kidnappings.
Suen Bik-ling (Yung Yuk-Yi) – Matriarch of the Kau’s clan and the grandmother to the sisters. Is called the Capricious Flying Ring. Was blinded in duel with Ku Hon-wan long ago. Wears a mask to hide her disfigured face. Is full of rage and thirst for vengeance.
Auyeung Ho (Siu Chung-Kwan) – A jerk guy who bullies Lung. He’s married to the woman who scarred Lung’s face.
Auyeung Ho’s wife (???) – Auyeung Ho’s wife, a kung fu student who scarred Lung’s face and then joins in on the mocking of him.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - February 13, 2013 at 11:09 am

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The Furious Buddha’s Palm (Review)

The Furious Buddha’s Palm

aka 如來神掌怒碎萬劍門

1965HKMDB Link
Directed by Ling Yun

Welcome to another adventure down 1960s Cantonese cinema lane! There are no subtitles, of course, unless you count the Chinese subtitles. But we don’t need no stinking subtitles! The character names are translated by my wife. They may not perfect, but all information about the film is in Chinese so this is the best you will get in English.

This is the 5th film in the Buddha’s Palm series, takes up right after the previous films (Buddha’s Palm 1-4.) For an overview of the Buddha’s Palm series, read this article I wrote that accompanies this review. That’s what happens when I get efficient and do research on the films, they spawn additional articles. The film is only sold in a vcd boxed set, but my wife’s parents managed to get a copy from a Chinatown video store that was selling off stock, thus they have this one but none of the other ones. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea. I should try to acquire the set, photos on the internet show that Buddha’s Palm (Part 2) has robot-looking guys, a bird character, and a guy with metallic paint on his face. There is not much other information on the other three parts so I don’t know if they have cool visuals as well.

One highlight of the film is it has both of the teen queen sensations of 1960s Cantonese cinema, Connie Chan Po-Chu and Josephine Siao Fong-Fong. We also have Sek Kin as his usual role as being the villain. This is a Cantonese film in the 1960s, mind you! The rest of the regular players from 1960s Cantonese cinema are present, many of which popped up in How the Ape Girl Stole the Lotus Lamp or Lady Black Cat. Since the last go-round with 1960’s Cantonese cinema, Sek Kin has passed on. He will not be forgotten, nor will this be the last thing he shows up on TarsTarkas.NET in (considering he made hundreds of films, we could be reviewing his films until the end of time!)

Lung Kim-Fei (Walter Tso Tat-Wah) – His father was a great kung fu master who defeated Half-Metal Face and a bunch of other bad guys. He may be the subject of the other four films, I haven’t seen them. Husband knows the 9 Buddha Palm technique, but refuses to use it to harm people after an oath to his departed father/master. This oath gets tested when old family rival Half-Metal Face returns wanting revenge.
Kau Yuk-wah (Yu So-Chau) – wife of Lung Kim-Fei and master of magic rings. She can capture people and fight off flying swords with the rings. Doesn’t want her husband to be branded a coward. Is captured by the evil Half-Metal Face, but saved by Monkey Kid and Dragon Girl.
Monkey Kid (Connie Chan Po-Chu) – Connie Chan is the half-ape child Monkey Kid. We could not figure out if she was supposed to be a boy or a girl, but since no one in their right mind would think Connie Chan was a boy, we’re going to just use “she” as the pronoun. Monkey Kid likes causing trouble, eating fruit, and being loyal to her saviors, Husband and Wife, who adopt her after her parents die.
Dragon Girl (Josephine Siao Fong-Fong) – Student of Half-Metal Face who begins to realize her sifu is a very bad man. Her attempts to turn him good only result in her being tortured by centipedes in her body and sent to do even more evil stuff. Luckily she makes a friend in Monkey Kid and is helped to turn good. Dragon Girl is armed with magic swords that multiply and fly around under her command. Her kung fu powers are so good her master fears her.
Half-Metal Face (Sek Kin) – Sek Kin dons long white hair all over to be evil baddie Half-Metal Face. HMF (as his friends call him) lost a leg battling Husband’s father years ago, and has spent all this time planning his revenge. Now with a giant foot, Half-Metal Face will dominate the kung fu world, unless Husband stops him.


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - June 24, 2009 at 1:09 am

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Clan of Amazons (Review)

Clan of Amazons

aka Xiu hua da dao

1978
Lau Wing as Lu Xiaofeng
Ling Yun as Jin Juiling
Yueh Hua as Hua Manlou
Ching Li as Xue Bing
Shih Szu as Jiang Qingxia, 3rd Sister
Cheung Ying as Serpent

This Shaw Brother’s epic features no Amazons, instead you have red shoed women, police inspectors, blind kung fu, sword fu, needle fu, embroidery fu, burning boat fu, and prostitutes getting paid to look out a window.
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 19, 2005 at 6:25 pm

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