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Buddha’s Palm (Part 3)

Buddha’s Palm (Part 3)

aka 如來神掌(三集) aka The Young Swordsman Lung Kim Fei Part 3 aka 如來神掌(三集大結局)

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

Buddha's Palm
It’s a whole new chapter in the Buddha’s Palm saga as Part 3 takes us into new intrigue and adventures. A joyous celebration becomes a tragedy when murder is the special guest. Lung Kim-fei and his new bride Kau Yuk-wah must find out who killed Suen. The rest of the crew is also searching for answers, and we run across arrogant martial arts masters and evil jerks causing trouble. But most excitedly, there is a brand new monster!
Buddha's Palm
Buddha’s Palm (Part 3) goes more into the details of the world we were introduced to in Part 1 and Part 2. We meet some new schools, and find out that part of the reason there are so many problems in the martial world is a mix of rash accusations and arrogant school heads. Of course, everyone stopping to chat around some tea doesn’t make good cinema. Unless you’re really good at writing dialogue…
Buddha's Palm
Once again, the effects and monster costumes are what make the Buddha’s Palm films. Though we only get one new monster, there are a lot of new martial arts effects – waves, blasts, explosions, giant bells. The increase in effects in Parts 3 and 4 is very evident. Once again, there are not subtitles, but at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles!
Buddha's Palm

Lung Kim-fei (Walter Tso Tat-Wah) – The Buddha’s Palm hero is set to be wed, but an untimely murder ruins everything, including his honeymoon! Now he has to hunt down murderers.
Kau Yuk-wah (Yu So-Chau) – Kung fu sister whose marriage is marred by the murder of her matriarch. Spends her time with Lung hunting down clues. They are much more polite about accusing everyone they meet of murder than her sister’s group.
Kau Yuk-kuen (Patricia Lam Fung) – Kau Yuk-wah’s younger sister who sets out to find out what happened to her matriarch. Is kidnapped twice during this film. Also finds the most best clues. And causes the most trouble with people who aren’t keen on being accused of killing people.
Master Ku Hon-wan (Ling Mung) – Is gone for most of the film, but returns to Earth to find out about the murder and surmises who is responsible rather quickly. But it may be the death of him…
Condor (Man in suit) – Master Ku Hon-wan’s magic condor is still giving rides and rescuing people!
But Ku (Ko Lo-Chuen) – The helmsman of the Cheung Lei Sect doesn’t let a murder investigation stop him from loudly yelling before he enters a room.
Luk Yu (Kwan Hoi-San) – Friend of the Kau sisters, a guy who gets captured a lot and Lung Kim-fei keeps saving. Does he get captured in this movie? Yes!
Suen Bik-ling (Yung Yuk-Yi) – Matriarch of the Kau’s clan. No longer hides her disfigured face, which is beginning to heal. Is murdered by a mysterious weapon, and much of the film is spent trying to figure out who did it.
Auyeung Ho (Siu Chung-Kwan) – A jerk guy who bullied Lung, and now pals around with the Three Devils. He’s graduated to being more evil than before!
Ten Thousand-hand Lohan (???) – Just a guy who can identify rare weapons, which makes him a target of friends and foes. Gets foed. Despite having ten thousand hands, this is one Lohan who never goes to jail!
Three Devils (Cheung Seng-Fai, Hoh Siu-Hung, Lee Sau-Kei) – Three evil dudes who conspire to cause trouble in the land of kung fu while solidifying their power.
Lau Piu-piu (Chan Wai-Yue) – The helmswoman of Heavenly Fragrance Sect, she’s initially suspected of Suen Bik-ling’s murder, but is cleared when she claims to be a sworn sister of Suen.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - February 15, 2013 at 11:47 am

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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!

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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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Little Devil (Review)

Little Devil

aka The Devil Warrior

1969HKMDB link
Directed by Chan Lit-Ban
Written by Sze-To On

Taiwan has been a source of lots of rarities, but for once let us look at a Taiwanese rare film that doesn’t have giant monsters in it. Sad, I know, but we’ll have more Taiwanese giant monster flicks soon enough. Instead, we got a sort of fantasy film that has a demon dude and funky kung fu powers, but only goes over the top in various parts. There is good fight choreography, best I have seen so far from a Taiwanese production back then. There are also lots of blood sprays and blood packs that make the sword kills rocking good fun.

Little Devil is also known as The Devil Warrior. It does not look like it was ever released in the US, so get your butt to the rare tape circles if you want a hold of this one!

Now, TarsTarkas.NET doesn’t need no stinking subtitles, and we especially don’t need no stinking subtitles when the subtitles are only in Korean! The language spoken is Mandarin, which my wife can understand but not well. So even though I scored a coup by actually getting her to watch this one (probably due to her recognizing Bobo Fung) the words were flying by too fast to catch all the small details, but we should have all the big ones. Most of the rest is a guess based on what is happening onscreen and the plot synopsis off of the HKFA.

Yeung Siu-fung (Petrina Fung Bo-Bo) – Despite being a boy, Yeung Siu-fung is played by a girl! Totally unheard of in Chinese cinema. I mean, totally normal in Chinese cinema, the weird films are the ones where everyone is the correct gender. Fung Bo-Bo was nicknamed “Shirley Temple of Hong Kong” as a child star, the daughter of actor/director Feng Feng. Her most recent role that Western audiences will know is 1992’s 92 Legendary La Rose Noire (unless you recognized her cameo in All’s Well Ends Well 2009.)
Chui Yuk-wah (Nancy Sit Ka-Yin) – Speaking of weird gender stuff, Yuk-wah is a girl played by a girl who disguises herself as a boy. Nancy Sit was a teen movie queen who retired to be married, raise kids, and get divorced. Oops! Thus, she returned to show biz in the popular Auntie Ho tv series and made mad money, and even popped up in The God of Cookery and Black Rose II.
Pak-chuen (Chiang Nan) – Yuk-wah’s father and evil dude. He hate orphans so he kills Siu-fung. He’s so evil his daughter runs away, and then he uses his magic eye power kung fu to attack Sound Devil.
Sound Devil (Gu Sam-Lam) – Sound Devil is a crazy devil guy who always has a weird look on his face, flies around, spends his spare time being buried in snow, and also rescues murdered orphans and trains them in kung fu. Just like the real devil! Gu Sam-Lam is also known as Ku Sum-lam
Mui Yau-tang (Adam Cheng Siu-Chow) – Owner of an inn with his sister. Yau-tang longs for some action in his boring life, but he can’t even get the guests at the inn to pay their bills. Gets more than he bargains for as the film progresses. Adam Cheng is probably best known to cult movie buffs for his role in Fantasy Mission Force as the boss of the female tribe, and he also appeared in The Eight Hilarious Gods.
Mui Fung-kei (Sum Chi-wah) – Sister and co-owner of the inn that Siu-fung and Yuk-wah end up at, and thus she and her bro get dragged into the drama going on.


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 28, 2010 at 9:21 pm

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