Should've used a human to play " little monkey"
Mantis Lake | Detroit, MI USA | 11/24/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While I'm not a HUGE fan of this movie I am a fan of Hsiao Ho and his performance is worth the price of admission. Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad movie. If it were just based on the last 20 minutes and the cast it might well be the best kung fu movie ever made. You have the director, Lau Kar Leung as the protagonist, the lovely Kara Hui as his sister, and Lo Lieh as (surprise!) the bad guy.
Chan (Lau) is a performer with the opera and master of the monkey fist. When Duan (Lieh) sees Chan's sister, he gets Chan liquored up and after he passes out, he puts him in bed with his (Duan's) wife and gets her to corroborate an accusation of assault. In an effort to save Chan, his sister agrees to become Duan's concubine. Chan gets his hands smashed and is then released.
Years go by when Chan meets Little Monkey (Hsiao Ho) and the two become friends, though Chan is still quite melancholy. Little Monkey eventually learns Chan's monkey fist to defend himself against local thugs, who work for Duan. When Little Monkey tangles with Duan it is Chan's sister who helps him escape. Upon learning this, Chan decides it's time to get her back and take his revenge.
This movie has great fight and training scenes but has some rather slow stretches. It often plays as a comedy yet the story is depressing, and some of the scenes are mean-spirited. Many of the fights (though well performed) involve more jumping around than striking. Until the last fight, that is. The finale is also some of Lo Lieh's most convincing work. You get to see Hsiao Ho's unbelievable acrobatic display. The guy does back hand springs so fast he looks like an oscillating fan.
This DVD has the typical flawless, gorgeous picture of remastered Shaw Bros. films. Though this is far from the best of their productions, it is still a good flick and has enough fantastic moments to make a pleasant addition to any martial arts collection. It's hard for me to believe that Gordon Liu isn't in this. Was he too good for it? Maybe Lo Lieh was sick of fighting him at the end all the time.
Robert Lowe | 10/12/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I did not like this because it is a bootleg. The film is great, but Red Sun is a bootleg "company" who are stealing the remastered versions from IVL DVDs made in Hong Kong. If you want the films, get the Thai releases that are all region or the HK IVL DVDs and don't buy the boots. Anyone that buys these discs are supporting the very reason why the US hasn't seen quality releases of these films for all these years ie bootleggars selling in legit stores. I honestly can't believe Amazon would allow this to be sold on here due to the chance of lawsuit by the Wienstein Company."
Still can't decide if I like this or deadly mantis more.
morgoth | omaha, NE | 04/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well with lo lieh and Lau kar leung both in my opinion in one of their top 2-3 performances of their careers, I would have to go with this one.
Now the whole monkey kung fu thing didn't have to go to this extreme, but it still works and you have a true master at the helm both directing and starring in this one. He is such a great martial arts master he certainly makes any film he performs in an instant classic. The kid little monkey is the one who shines in this one. i don't really want to tell you the story at all btu I did want to mention that there is a very gruesome scene but they actually used a bloody puppet so I it didn't leave a bad taste in my mouth or nothin. The fights in this one are not as plentiful as some fu films but there are like 5-6 REALLY REALLY good fights, including an ending you are that is the best definitely.
Now the picture for the red sun release that i am reviewing is BREATHTAKING. The remastered uncut(109 min.) version is rich in color, and letterboxed. The english dub is perfect except for Lo Lieh and Kara Hui's voice that seems to be a bit hollow in the first half. If ANYBODY freaking reads this then I urge you to type in red sun searching in the dvd's on the search engine here on amazon. And all the old school fu movies that say red sun NOT RED COMPANY(like killer army), these are movies like Fists of the White Lotus REMASTERED beautifully. You people need to check this stuff out cause for fu fans like me, these are the very best version you can get. They must be affiliated with celestial(red sun), cause their trailers are only for remastered shaw flicks and also I saw five venoms under the red sun label so freaking check it out people. It is a lazy way to buy dvd's cause we ALL should get a region free dvd player, but I can continue to be lazy until I sbnatch up all of these."