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Mantis in the Monkey's Shadow
Mantis in the Monkey's Shadow
Actors: Chung-kuei Chang, Ping Chang, Yi Chang, Chin Hai Chen, Kuo Chung Ching
Director: Tso Nam Lee
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
UR     2003

Classic Martial Arts films for a classic Price! Featuring the finest stars of Hong Kong cinema including Casanova Wong (Drunken Master, Master Killer), Philip Ko (Invincible Pole Fighter, Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star), and ...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Chung-kuei Chang, Ping Chang, Yi Chang, Chin Hai Chen, Kuo Chung Ching
Director: Tso Nam Lee
Creators: Yung-chien Chiang, Chien-chi Chang, Sung Pe Liu
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
Sub-Genres: Martial Arts, Hong Kong Action, Indie & Art House
Studio: Videoasia
Format: DVD - Color - Dubbed
DVD Release Date: 06/17/2003
Release Year: 2003
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Cantonese, English, English

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Movie Reviews

Name of movie is phantom kung fu. last reviewer is correct,
morgoth | omaha, NE | 05/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"But their characters help round out a wonderful film.

Now if you aren't looking for a certain style, and just a great kung fu movie than this is for you . And only movie styles are used when people are fighting just so you know. Before they meet hands, they are usually posing as a crane, eagle, snake, etc., but it is really hard to keep up real styles for more than 5% fo the fight.

So anyways, chang yi has become my new favorite villian after this flick. I got this in the new and used section off of here for less than a dollar(so just over 3 with shipping), and really wasn't expecting anything. But man was this a great movie. i would pay at least 10 + shipping for this. I have seen it twice and can say that I will watch it at least another 3 times. Chang yi plays this great kung fu master who is hired to kill some ming patriots of course who have a secret letter that will get the people to rise up and overthrow the ching's(qing's). So the ching's get him to kill all these leaders, and the leaders go and like hide in a cave. And even though this is a lee tso-nam film, the costumes are actually period style costumes. Usually he just puts some rags on dorian tan and don wong tao and let's them go at it, but the costimes in this actually breath some life into the characters. And the hair and makeup is also done VERY well. Except chang yi of course, you are gonna say, that dude's mustache sucked. But that is what will suck you into the film. Luckily Lee tso-nam likes to put good stories and colorful characters in his films, no matter what budget he has. So you are not gonna see stupid wigs like eagle han's in deth duel of kung fu. And sorry tso-nam if you didn't make that movie, but I think it was you and I compliment you on the secret rivals style you used.

So with easily his most colorful costumes ever, and some of in my opinion tso-nam's most colorful characters, this gets to be a really funny movie. I was laughing my ass off for a good part of this. The drunken monkey and mantis style guys were brief, but hilarious. Almost as good as the five dragons. But , well, there is only 2 of them left, so they call themselves double dragons. Oh my god, I seriously fell out of my chair at this point.

So obviously ALL the characters are awesome and hilarious, but chang yi really steals the show. And usually I only talk about the fu, but I cannot recommend this if you only wanna see the best of the best like nam's film: shaolin vs. lama. Even in that movie, he put together a decent story. But this is truly EPIC. Where this movie really shines are the fights between yi and tao. When chang yi starts the killing at the beginning of the movie, he first goes to don wong's school. Don wong ain't gonna give up the secret letter so he fights chang yi. And yi uses the superior style of the death palm. OK, so after he like revs up his hands, they start smoking, and he is basically unstoppable. I have seen yi play this character a couple of times before(the one where he is invincible), but in this movie they gave him a character with some actual character. Like when he fights don wong the first time, it's a good fight. But when his hands start smoking, it is over quick. So somebody throws up a bird to distract him, yi sees the bird and has to jump in the air, catch it and rips it's head off. This allows don wong to get away, but he is dying. Right before he dies he tells his master something privately. We don't find out till the end of the movie what he said, but it is beautifully done. So don wong comes back from the dead and fights chang yi again, yi says he's not afraid of the dead and has another great battle. So since it seems evenly matched, he fires his hands up and kills don wong again. Even after he kills him he breaks his neck and punches him a whole bunch of times. So don wong comes back again and says he has learned the secret style of phantom kung fu and is invincible so yi will have to just keep killing him. Yi doesn't care and because he is actually becoming scared and wants to appear like he really doesn't care that he will have to keep on killing him over and over, he fights better than ever. So next is the best fight of the movie and yi kills don wong again. And also some more of the acting brilliance of chang yi comes in to play. When he kills don, his body falls in to a huge puddle because they are fighting on some sort of a marsh terrain. So yi immediately covers up his body with dirt and grass and stands on it, and yells, "you say I can't kill you, well I am standing on your dead body!" Or something like that, don't worry, when you watch the movie you will see I didn't give away too much, but I am telling you right now, the fights are really good, btu kind of chopped up, so don't buy this movie for just the fights or monkey and mantis style. The fights are unique, as is the movie, that is all the rest I will say.

Now this is really a true GEM, and I am glad to see that videoasia didn't give this the treatment they did with seven steps up kung fu. I would compare the quality to rebellious reign, it is full screened so I can't put this videoasia release up there with south shaolin master or the invincible armour, but those were better fighting movies. I actually don't mind the full screen in this like I really didn't in r. reign. So the picture is REALLY good. And it is video asia, so it will flutter and bleed sometimes, btu that is a trademark of theres. and also:

BEWARE:---like 45 minutes or so into the movie there is like a 5 second loud beep that really pissed me off, but I still have to say thank you videoasia for releasing this, this is a new all-time classic for me."
Could have been better
A. L. Adcock | b.d.a | 08/07/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"this movie could have been better.if it had more monkey&mantis
fighting style.lets start with the good.first the quility was
good,gordon lui hosted the movie,which was good.the fighting was o.k,but it could have been better.now the bad,notenough monkey & mantis,only five min,thats all. this movie a.k.a mantis& the monkey shadow.thats why i brought this movie.if you looking for mantis or monkey fighting don't buy this movie
i should know. i know kung fu!"