1970HKMDB link Directed by Tong Chim
Written by Poon Lui
Young Flying Hero is a rare Taiwan film. It is so rare I even wrote a Rare Movie Time!!!! post about the film, thinking I would never get to see it. But, rare Asian films have been falling out of the sky recently, and one of those films just happened to be Young Flying Hero! There are no subtitles except for permanent Chinese subtitles, so that’s no real help. But this is TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles!
Young Flying Hero achieved semi-legendary status as hard to find among collectors, due to a painted poster that appeared regularly on ebay and some lobby cards with giant monsters. But hardly anyone could get a hold of the actual film. Thus, people began to wonder just what kind of monster action happens on screen. Having now seen the film, I can tell you it is actually a children’s film, with a young boy as the main character. The giant monsters appear briefly in the film despite their prominent place on the poster art, with less than five minutes of screen time at the very end. There are too few Chinese giant monster films (other notable films are the equally as rare (or even lost) Devil Fighter and rare War God.)
Taiwan fantasy is rapidly becoming one of my favorite subgenres because it can be both insanely bizarre but amazingly entertaining at the same time. There are about a dozen more Taiwan fantasy films in the pipeline, many of which are responses to the Shaw Brother’s epic movies. But I’ll save a history of those films for one of the other Taiwanese fantasy films, because I haven’t finished writing it yet. One interesting thing is the alternate title for the film is Return of Magic Serpent, which may be a reference to the Japanese film Magic Serpent!
Enough background, let’s get on with the show!
Brother (Pa Gwoh) – Our Young Flying Hero! The son of a family captured by the Evil Warlord, and trained by a mystical sifu who gives him flying powers. Then he frees the kingdom and becomes a bored kid general. His name might be Tee-Sho.
Sister (Hong Ling) – Sister of the Young Flying Hero and the maker of some food that wakes up the Sleeping Beauty. Doesn’t do much except get captured repeatedly.
Goofy Hair (???) – Goofy Hair is the son of the guy who turns in the family of our hero to the Evil Warlord. Unlike his father, Goofy Hair isn’t a greedy idiot, even if he doesn’t have the best hair stylist. He is the Piggy of Young Flying Hero.
Evil Warlord (Chiu Keung) – Evil Goofy Mustache Black Wolf symbol on outfit. He is so evil he takes over the kingdom, but doesn’t kill the rulers right away because of politics. Eventually, the Young Flying Hero kicks his Evil Warlord butt. He reminded me of Phantom of Krankor from Prince of Space.
Scorpion Guy (???) – Scorpion hat and dual claw blades that look like weapons straight out of Battle Beasts.
Centipede Guy (Yeung Fui Yuk) – Have you ever seen a dude with a centipede hat and a centipede weapon? Because you have now.
Spider Woman (Tin Mung) – Special power includes creating giant spider webs and the power to pull people into said spider webs.
Frog Guy (Lu Wei) – Has tiger stripe clothing but his hat is a goofy frog hat and the dude is fat like a frog.
Lizard Guy (???) – Has a snake-themed crown, lizardy weapons and a costume that looks sort of like scales.
Giant Frog (Himself) – He’s a big naughty frog who shows up and smashes some castles but he doesn’t have immunity to little kids flying down his throat and chopping stuff up. Is probably Frog Guy in Giant Frog form.
Giant Dragon (Himself) – A Giant Dragon shows up because we need giant dragons doing…stuff… and then he dies. Yeah. Way to be a dead giant dragon, Giant Dragon. Is probably the Lizard Guy in Giant Dragon form.
An ancient kingdom of women fight for survival in the brutal sea, facing a rival male tribe as well as marauding pirates. Along the way they learn to love men and not be Amazons, but until then we have plenty of scenes of women fighting guys, which is the kind of thing I enjoy on my TV screen. There are things I don’t enjoy, namely castration, but as the film seems to think you have no ill effects besides turning gay it is less difficult to watch than films with blood spewing everywhere. Island Warriors is a Taiwanese production, most noticeable with the cast names in the beginning, and a few Taiwanese actors who pop up.
Most of the names are just guesses, thanks to the ambiguous credits and terrible sound quality from the VHS tape (Restored DVD for Island Warriors? Why bother when Into the Blue 2 and Bratz Babyz are taking their place on the shelves! EDIT – I guess now there is one!) The worst part of explaining movies like this with 18 or so main characters is setting up who is who. No matter how organized the beginning section is, half of the time I get confused and I’m the one who writes the review! The confusion is doubled when the credits fail to say who the actors play, and character names become guesses or nicknames given due to them never being named on camera. Oddly enough, it is also one of the best parts of explaining these films, as even if I am completely wrong it is the movie’s fault and not mine. Taiwanese films around this time are one of the worst offenders on having dozens of semi-famous people popping up in the film that I feel obligated to recognize, and mixed up with several different ways of translating Chinese names so you will see a familiar actor running around with a completely different name. So the Roll Call will be long, confusing, but the best we can get with what information we have. If you see something that looks like an error, or know more information, feel free to shoot me an email or drop by the message board. I had help through *Kung Fu Films* and the HKMDB
Queen Nadenwa (Elsa Yeung Wai San) – Queen of the island, and keeper of the tradition that men need to be purged. With the island under constant attack by pirates, no wonder. Queen Nandenwa rules with an iron fist, but isn’t unreasonable. Knows the island needs better defenses against the pirates. Elsa Yeung Wai San was in a bunch of kick-butt movies from Taiwan, including Fight for Survival, The Challenge of the Lady Ninja, Pink Force Commando and the semi-sequel Golden Queen’s Commando, Deadly Silver Angels, The Deadly Angels, and Golden Ninja Warrior. I mention those because I have copies of them and they will be showing up here, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Princess Jung Chi (Fong Fong-Fong) – The Queen’s Sister and easily swayed by handsome men from Men Island. She spends most of the film trying to hide Lu Tin Yi so he doesn’t get Bobbittized. Fong Fong-Fong was in Monkey War, but I don’t remember which part she played.
Princess Pan Hueng Chi(???) – Practices Virgin Kung Fu, a school not too common today. Is over 100 years old, then she dies due to loss of virginity. And you thought your first time was bad! She trains the troops on the island and generally beats up a lot of pirates.
Chen Chi (Ng Haau Ling) – Part of a lesbian couple with Su Chi. Chen Chi turned in the male lover of another girl named Yen Chi, causing him to be castrated and die. The two would later fight over it. Chen Chi is aggressively anti-male. She is probably cutting off someone’s wang right now. Her character name might instead be Ching Gei. Unbelievably, Ng Haau Ling may have made only one other film.
Fanny (Teresa Tsui Jun Jun) – Whip Girl who is among the most anti-male members of the island. Teresa Tsui Jun Jun was also in Pink Force Commando and the semi-sequel Golden Queen’s Commando
Su Chi (???) – Lesbian lover of Chen Chi, in the bath as Ping tries to seduce her. I have no idea who played her, it may be Yue Fung.
Unknown Prim girl (Mary Wong Ma Lee) – This unknown prim girl was present with most of the royal cast but never did or said much. She doesn’t even get a name said for me to misinterpret. Mary Wong Ma Lee shows up in Fantasy Mission Force as the leader of the Amazon Women.
Unknown Other girl (Hsia Kwan Li) – Another girl who never got a name, this one is a good fighter, but didn’t seem included in the big group of royal people. But with so many deaths by the end, maybe she got a promotion. Hsia Kwan Li was in Zu: The Warriors from the Magic Mountain
General (An actual tiger) – A Tiger who is Queen Nadenwa’s bodyguard. He thinks islands of women are Gr-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-reat!
Ping Da Hi (Hui Bat Liu) – The guy who supplied a treasure map to a lost treasure on Women Island, then convinced two of his friends to go with him. They are all captured, and Ping Da Hi has to lie through his teeth to keep everyone alive. It doesn’t keep his crotch alive, as he is castrated for being too much like a horny guy. Hui Bat Liu is best known in the US for playing Stone in Fantasy Mission Force, he is also in Pink Force Commando and Golden Queen’s Commando.
Ha Li (Pa Gwoh) – called Dr. Ha by Ping Da Hi in an effort to save everyone’s lives. Thus the women think he is a real doctor, and he has several “humorous” scenes doing doctor things and bumbling into the right answer. Pa Gwoh is also in Wolf Devil Woman.
Chan Ping (???) – Is a Cannon Maker, but only in told-to-the-women-so-they-wouldn’t-die form. So not a cannon maker, but has to make cannons. Is almost killed when a cannon explodes, but is saved by sex. I got no clue who played him.
Pirate Leader (???) – Leader of the pirates who raid the island for fun and profit, then sell bootleg DVDs of them raiding the island under the name Spiderman 4.
Big Pirate (Cheng Fu Hung) – A rather large pirate who is captured by the women, then leads a breakout in search of treasure. Cheng Fu Hung also shows up in Fight for Survival, The Zodiac Fighters, and Fantasy Mission Force.
Wan Tin Yu (Yun Zhong Yue) – Men Island Chief and a wise leader. Doesn’t want animosity with the women. Helps them against the pirates.
Lu Tin Yi (Don Wong Tao) – Friend of Lao who falls in love with Princess Jung Chi after he goes to Women Island to complain of their constant castration, putting himself next in the queue for castration. Princess Jung Chi saves him.