The Dwarf Sorcerer (Review)

The Dwarf Sorcerer

aka Magic Kid

1974HKMDB Link
Directed by Yu Hon-Cheung
Dwarf Sorcerer
Hey, look, it’s ANOTHER Taiwanese film about a boy whose parents are murdered/mom captured and he is rescued and taught kung fu in a weekend and then he fights for revenge against a bunch of demons and he can fly and do all sorts of crazy crap. It’s almost as if we have seen this before. 9 billion times.
I think it IS the same story as Flyer of Young Prodigal, the names are the same (or same as they can be with horrible subtitle translations) and the story is the same. It is the same story, no question, it is just achieved in a different way. It even has similar groovy music. Now, Dwarf Sorcerer/Magic Kid was first, coming out in 1974 (or 1969 if you believe a few other websites), but does that mean it was the best? Keep in mind this is like being the best pile of dog poo.

Director Yu Hon-Cheung helmed such genre films as Taiwanese kaiju film Monster from the Sea, Pearl Cheung Ling’s Burning of the Red Lotus Monastery, something called Mysterious Snake Women that I hope is awesome if I ever find it, and the somewhat common kung fu flick Revenge of the Shaolin Kid.
Dwarf Sorcerer

So the images look terrifying, because of the poor quality of the print. But this is the only way to see Dwarf Sorcerer at this time, so you got to get used to it. And this still looks better than some prints I’ve seen of new films made by independent filmmakers, who somehow can make even digital film look like it was dragged behind a bus and set on fire. This print is probably just a VHS dub of a VCD that got transferred to DVD. That’s my theory, anyway.

Buckle up, as this film is rare and ridiculous, we’ll be going in depth and this will be pretty long. Maybe you should go pee first so you don’t have to get up in the middle of reading. We’ll wait. Doo–doo–doo–
Dwarf Sorcerer

You back? Good! I hope you washed your hands! Hygienic or not, here we go!

Siao-Lung (???) – Siao-Lung is a Annoying Flying Kid, making this an Annoying Flying Kid movie! NOOOoooooOooOOooOOOoo!!!! Sadly, Siao-Lung doesn’t die the horrible death he deserves. I have no clue who this kid is played by.
In-Hwa (???) – Siao-Lung’s mom gets locked up. Her crime? Being a mom! Also not being a willing participant in Evil Bad Guy’s House o’ Rape.
Sifu (Cheung Kwong-Chiu) – Do most Sifus get their students by rescuing them via giant birds? Because that’s what we got here. Cheung Kwong-Chiu is also in The Lady Musketeer, The Angel Strikes Again, 13 Worms, Bruce, Kung Fu Girls, The Legend of Mother Goddess, and the awesomely named Spooky Kookies.
Evil Bad Guy (???) – Not just bad, evil bad! That’s even badder than bad. It’s badder than the Power Glove. Evil Bad Guy kidnaps women, forcing them to a life of rape and servitude. He’s also down with polyamory–for himself only! Even look at another guy while dating Evil Bad Guy and you die. Funny, he also looks like everyone I’ve meet who is into polyamory. Evil Bad Guy’s magic and gang is brought down by a tiny kid.
Little Girl (???) – Another of Sifu’s students who follows Siao-Lung and thus gets into trouble. Siao-Lung treats her like crap, meaning he probably has a crush on her. Or is a jerk. Probably a jerk.
Happy Gorilla Family (???) – The Happy Gorilla Family are the best gorillas ever! They show up, started off evil as Dad tries to kill Siao-Lung (getting my good side!) but before Siao-Lung kills him, Mom runs by to beg for the life of her husband. Then they help Siao-Lung at the end, even suffering horrible injuries when they’re blown up. The Happy Gorilla Family us the Dwarf Sorcerer Theme as their theme song, and it fits goofy monkeys better than some annoying kid. The Happy Gorilla Family might also be known as The Alp.
Karth Devil (???) – Karth Devil is a yellow ape monster thing that shoots gas from his armpits and teleports and does all sorts of other nasty things. Because he’s evil. Can turn into a tree, a pile of hair, and into flowers. Because he’s evil.

Dwarf Sorcerer
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The Boy and a Magic Box (Review)

The Boy and a Magic Box

aka Shen Tong Bao He aka Boy With His Magic Box

Directed by ????
The Boy and a Magic Box
Screw The Boy and screw his Magic Box, the only reason you should see this film is for all the freaking weird monsters that show up! We got dinosaurs, we got three-headed guys with swords, we got dinosaurs with beards, we got flying monkeys, and we got unofficial Japanese Kaiju cameos. Sure, most are defeated by some kid, but the monsters are the reason to watch because monsters rule and stupid kids drool. This is the THIRD Taiwanese film we have watched with giant monsters that has a kid running around like he is Kung Fu Superman (Flyer of Young Prodigal and Young Flying Hero are the two others) so I can only conclude this is a popular genre in Taiwan and there may be many more such films waiting to be uncovered. And many more annoying pseudo-Kennys. Oh, well. So let’s get to seeing these monsters!
The Boy and a Magic Box

The only evidence of the film seem to be a few entries on film databases, most of which is in Chinese. So what we have been able to find out is this is a 1975 Taiwanese production, and the two surviving prints (by prints I mean VHS tapes that have been dubbed to DVDR) have either subtitles in Korean or cropped off English subtitles that you can’t read. So, essentially, no subtitles. But at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles! I am guessing a widescreen remastered print is too much to ask for, especially since this is probably a children’s film. I hope some day 35 years from now a Chinese neo-blogger is reviewing Elmo’s Potty Time as if it is a serious film. Because, then, I win. TarsTarkas.NET victory!

The Boy and a Magic Box

Hey, no subtitles and a confusing script lead to confusing reviews. So just go with the names we made up for everyone, it will help you in the long run.

And this review got bumped up a bit to answer the challenge thrown down by Todd at Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill over Taiwanese kaiju films. Your move!
The Boy and a Magic Box

The Kid (Choi Foo-Gwai) – The Kid is the product of love, too bad for his parents who are torn apart by fate. And then royal guards try to kill him when he is saving his little brother, but he is rescued and trained in the martial arts, which come in handy when a batch of dinosaurs try to kill him. Everyone tries to kill him, but at least he has a magic box. Because otherwise, The Kid would be The Dead. Choi Foo-Gwai spends most of the film emoting with various pained faces of rage.
Wong Lau Yeh (Leung Sau-Geun) – The father of The Kid who can’t be with the mother Yeung, what with her being one of Monkey King’s brides. So he heads off to marry some other lady and then does nothing else.
Yeung (???) – Yeung is The Kid’s mother and the lover of Wong Lau, except she’s been promised to Monkey King! So she gets thrown into Heaven’s jail. Bet you didn’t know Heaven had a jail!
Old Guy (Cheung Kwong-Chiu) – Old Guy is Yeung’s dad and let’s his daughter get with Wong Lau Yeh after misreading a book or something. That turns out to be a problem when she gets knocked up. One of the few actors I identified.
Monkey King (???) – Monkey King is the Monkey King of Journey To The West fame. Has magic Pregnancy Detection Eye Rays.
Triclops (???) – Possibly named Ar-lang, Triclops guards Heaven from invading punk kids and pregnant fiancees. His magic third eye gives him the name I gave him, inspired by He-Man.

The Boy and a Magic Box
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