Thanks to El Rey Network on Sling TV, I've been watching a ton of Kung-Fu movies lately. And in doing so, realized I haven't really reviewed one here.
This classic Shaw Brothers film includes some of the most important elements of any great kung-fu movie. Sure, you expect great fight choreography. Maybe you also expect a bit of comedy (like the many great Jackie Chan films, you know...before they weren't so great anymore). Well, this one has all the right elements of entertainment, without going full-on comedy throughout. Though, you WILL laugh...
To hit all the appropriate notes of a great kung-fu film, this one features:
Super-shiny metal weapons!
|The elaborately choreographed intro is a given.|
...and students sacrificing themselves needlessly!
|Yes, that guy suicided by ripping out his own crotch.|
Sadly, though, the movie does not include a White-Haired Evil Dude.
What I'm getting at is this kung-fu flick is all kinds of the awesome type of weird. It's got Gordon Liu making his students invincible to everything (except bullets).
He puts paper on their wounds to...heal them, I guess?
Anyway. The premise finds members of a secret society competing to kill a traitor to keep him from exposing their big bad secret: the society's magic and supernatural kung-fu arts can't, in fact, stop bullets. The inclusion of this magic stuff adds some of the best, weirdest elements of the film.
|Voodoo Kung Fu, anyone?|
But there's also little nuggets of strange translation, like how they say "pugilism" instead of "kung-fu" quite a lot throughout the film.
|My Shoulder-Blade Pugilism Style is STRONG!|
Or where two people spit on Gordon Liu's hat to simulate rain.
What I'm getting at is: this movie has it all. Great fight choreography. Absurdity galore. Gordon Liu. And all the "legendary weapons."
Seriously, the last thirty minutes are insane kung-fu awesomeness. So many weapons, with such a mixture of choreography. Everything prior is just a build-up to the last two fights, and because of that, this is a Shaw Brothers gem.
Legendary Weapons of China can be seen regularly on El Rey Network's rotation of Thursday's "Flying Five Finger One Armed Exploding Death Touch" line-up. Or purchased cheaply on Amazon.