Posts tagged "Shaw Luo-Hui"

The Evil Karate (Review)

The Evil Karate

aka 鬼門太極

1971HKMDB Link
Written by Joseph Kuo Nan-Hong, Tyrone Hsu Tien-Yung, Lin Yu-Yuan
Directed by Joseph Kuo Nan-Hong

The Evil Karate (鬼門太極) is a great Taiwanese kung fu fantasy with all the common revenge and secret kung fu instruction elements you need to ensure a simple but action-filled story. Taiwan’s martial arts spectacles focused on crazy action, and they weren’t afraid to have every character have a gimmick. This film is no exception, beyond every character having their own specific weapon, we have a lady who wears a snake (and uses it as a weapon), a guy who fights with a fishing pole, and everyone teleporting and zooming around in the trees like they’re flying squirrels. The not afraid to try new and fun things is part of the joys of Taiwanese kung fu films, and makes up for the often awful condition we have to view the treasures in. Even getting this in a subtitled print is a minor miracle, usually I’d be forced to deal with a substandard dub where everyone has a random British accent.

The Evil Karate is a mix of man-on-the-run/girl-fighter/revenge films, complete with a character whose talent seems to be getting everyone who helps him horribly murdered. Luckily, the villain is even more comically evil than you would think, and his pack of goons are pretty hilarious even as they die by the score. It is set in a kung fu fantasy world where people can fly, smash boulders, train at secret techniques from childhood, and evil gangs control vast territory for decades without anyone bothering to stop them except the now-grown children of people they murdered. But the real reason to bother with The Evil Karate doesn’t show up until almost halfway through the film, and that is actress Cheung Ching-Ching.

Cheung Ching-Ching was active for about a decade as a martial arts actress, kicking butt all over Taiwan in a variety of movies, most of which are either not available anywhere or only on beat up VHS tapes, bargain DVDs, and grey market specials. Which is sort of a shame, because she’s pretty good, and has a high-energy charisma that you want to see in a goofy film like this. The actress who plays the young Chen-chen (for around half the film) is also pretty good, and is really into all the physical work required for the job. I almost though this would turn into an Annoying Flying Kid movie, but thankfully we had a montage where she turned into Cheung Ching-Ching. Director Joseph Kuo helmed the two 18 Bronzemen films among his 63 films, most of which were done in the 60s and 70s.

No one does karate, evil or otherwise.

Chou Chen-Chen (Kai Pao Yu) – Little girl whose parents are murdered and is raised by Lo Tien Hung and trained for revenge. She grows up into…
Chou Chen-Chen (Cheung Ching-Ching) – The grown up Chen-Chen is now a master flyer, fighter, dart thrower, and kung fu girl. She kicks more ass by 6am than you do all day, unless you are also a kung fu girl who seeks revenge, of which we have several dozen as well on TarsTarkas.NET.
Lo Tien Hung (Shaw Luo-Hui) – Lo Tien Hung holds the secret of a jade manuscript that reveals the location of an awesome kung fu technique, and he gets many many MANY people killed over the course of the film because of this. If you see this guy coming, run away and take your entire family with you. He’s dangerous! Eventually trains Chen-chen to seek revenge, but not before getting the entire country murdered as the Seven Monsters seek him out. Shaw Luo-Hui is also in Ape Girl
Fisher (Kang Ming) – A fisherman who uses Fishing Pole Fu. The first time I’ve seen in used in film. Probably the last time, because Fishing Pole Fu isn’t very effective. One of Lo Tien Hung’s many dead helpers, along with Farmer Kung, Master, and Chen-chen’s family.
King Hades Yen (O Yau-Man) – Hades Yen is the Devil who gave Devil’s Gate the name. Often runs around with a gold face white hair. Leads the Seven Monsters Of Poison. Can survive multiple daggers shoved into his neck. O Yau-Man is also a big villain in The Dwarf Sorcerer.
Snake Lady (Kong Ching-Ha) – I never caught her character’s name, because the Seven Monsters of Poison weren’t granted names, only vague personality stereotypes. But she’s evil, has a pet snake, and is totally into poisoning people. Kong Ching-Ha also appears in The Eighteen Jade Arhats
Ghost’s Shadow (Gam Man Hei) – When the Seven Monsters of Devil’s Gate are incompetent, King Hades Yen outsources tracking duties to Ghost’s Shadow, who despite having a cool name also has cool tracking abilities. He’s like the Boba Fett of The Evil Karate. And like Boba Fett, he dies.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - February 12, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lady Iron Monkey

Lady Iron Monkey

aka The Ape Girl aka Zui Hou Nu
Lady Iron Monkey
Starring (This is guesswork)
Fung Ling Kam as Ming Ling Shur (the Ape Girl)
Lap Bo Au as Drunken Monk
Sing Chen as Prince Yan Shing
Man Tai Lee as Evil Advisor
Lo Lieh as Assassin Millenrapen
Directed by Chi-Hwa Chen
Lady Iron Monkey
Lady Iron Monkey (or The Ape Girl as it was known before producers tried to cash in on Iron Monkey getting a theatrical release in America) is a pretty fun flick that takes us to a world where a girl is raised by monkeys, and uses her monkey abilities to become a master of kung fu. She beats up plenty of people along the way, and her monkeyness gets her into several spots of trouble. The films doesn’t take itself too seriously, bordering on campy, but is serious enough that they don’t do any of the annoying “acknowledging that they’re in a movie” type stuff. The goofiness allows the movie to flow quickly and to the point, and you get disarmed from questioning the logic of certain events. In addition, some of the plot is centered on actual Chinese history, though that is prevalent in many Chinese Kung Fu films, some of which is ruined by terrible dubbing. Even if this is just a response to Charlton Heston demanding damn dirty ape stinking paws off him, it’s still pretty entertaining. Actress Fung Ling Kam/Gam Fung-Ling (or Kim Fung Li as she’s billed as) wasn’t in many films, IMDB has this as her sole credit and I only found two more that even listed her (thanks to Google) titled Iron Bridge Kung-Fu and The Gloomy Tower (aka Shaolin 36 Beads, which was released on DVD – UPDATE: I recently saw The Gloomy Tower and Gam Fung-Ling is nowhere to be found) IMDB being incomplete regarding Asian cinema? I never!! At least they even have a listing for this film. Lady Iron Monkey also has early roles for Lo Lieh, who plays an assassin and would go on to be a very famous martial arts star; as well as Chen Sing, who also had a long career despite not reaching the level of fame as Lo Lieh. With this information here, we will seemingly become the leading resource for information about The Ape Girl/Lady Iron Monkey

The opening credits is the traditional 1970’s kung fu movie opening with the star posing different stances as the credits run by. We get Ming Ling Shur, the Ape Girl, dancing around doing her monkey style kung fu, and who is she joined by? A chimpanzee! Chimpy is flipping around, doing some of the same flips and jumps Ming Ling Shur does as well. The print is pretty scratched up, but it’s suddenly clear as day when the title appears (because it’s a retitle.) Ming Ling Shur is a hairy girl, with hair on her arms and monkey makeup on her face. She’s also pretty good at acting like a monkey, with big, exaggerated movements. It adds to the charm of the film, as does the Ape Girl Theme which plays during the lighthearted moments. This is a film about an ape girl, it isn’t going to be the most serious thing in the universe.

Lady Iron Monkey

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - November 13, 2006 at 1:50 am

Categories: Bad, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,