Young Flying Hero (Review)

Young Flying Hero

aka Return of the Magic Serpent

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.

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