HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
Disappearance at Clifton Hill
Sullivans, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
   
 
  Buddha's Palm Bow before Buddha
Year: 1982
Director: Taylor Wong
Stars: Derek Yee, Candice Yu, Kara Hui Ying-hung, Alex Man Chi-leung, Mary Jean Reimer, Lo Lieh, Shih Kien, Chen Szu-chia, Yum Yum Shaw, Cho Tat-wah
Genre: Martial Arts, Weirdo, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  10 (from 1 vote)
Review: In this madcap Shaw Bros. martial arts fantasy, Sung Dynasty monk Rulai Tianzun (Cho Tat-wah) spends seven years in meditation in the Cave of Ten-thousand Buddhas and creates the most powerful kung fu technique of all: Buddha’s Palm. Unfortunately, this tremendous effort drains his life, but student Gu Hanhun (Alex Man Chi-leung) mistakenly believes the old monk was killed by intruders. Taking the name, Flaming Cloud Devil, he goes on a revenge rampage across the Martial World until subdued by five mystical kung fu masters, Heavenly Foot (Shih Kien - Mr. Han from Enter the Dragon (1973)), Flying Bells (Chen Szu-chia), the Thunderbolt Devil, and Flying Loops (sexploitation starlet Yum Yum Shaw). Whereupon he vanishes into the magic mountains. Cue zany credits with cut-out comic book characters leaping about the blazing screen, while the soundtrack mimics an oriental arcade game.

Twenty years later, young swordsman Long Jianfei (Derek Yee - today a respected art film auteur, once a regular in crazy kung fu fantasies like this) tries to stop his childhood sweetheart, Ming-ying (Candice Yu) from marrying the sleazy, yet powerful leader of a rival martial clan. Even though kindly Jianfei was hideously scarred saving Ming-ying’s life, his clan care nothing for his feelings, since this marriage will ensure their prosperity. Poor Jianfei is easily bested in battle and seemingly falls to his death, but is rescued by a part flying lion/part dragon hybrid called Dameng. The monster works for the now-blind, cave-dwelling hermit, Flaming Cloud Devil who teaches Jianfei the invincible Buddha’s Palm.

Jianfei isn’t keen on becoming his new sifu’s instrument of revenge. Instead he quests for a magic pearl, spewed by a fire-breathing dragon, able to cure all illnesses. With this Jianfei restores Flaming Cloud Devil’s eyesight and heals his own facial scars. The magic pearl turns out to be one of several kung fu super-weapons sought by lovely sword maidens, Yu Hua (Candice Yu in a second role) and Yu Juan (beloved kung fu icon, Kara Hui Ying-hung), whom Jianfei helps retrieve the Orchid With A Thousand Diamonds from a psychedelic cave full of musical monsters and a flying, two-dimensional, golden Buddha that folds itself into various deadly shapes. The girls deliver the magic orchid to their chief, Flying Loops, who restores her disfigured beauty. Unfortunately, it was Flaming Cloud Devil who fried her face, so Flying Loops tries to take revenge on his student.

Our heroes find a friend in wacky, martial arts master Bi Gu of East Island (a scene-stealing Lo Lieh). In a reoccurring gag (with a poignant payoff), Bi Gu announces his name every time he enters a scene, but his buffoonery masks how skilful and wise he really is. Bi Gu, Jianfei and a reformed Flaming Cloud Devil negotiate a truce between all the warring clans, which proves short-lived when someone commits a string of murders. Prime suspect is Heavenly Foot, who tortures opponents with his spinning drums, and can stretch his leg into a giant-sized super-weapon. Using adorable, kung fu prodigy Little Dragon Girl (Mary Jean Reimer, later the star of Shaws’ Little Dragon Maiden (1983) - no relation) to steal all the treasures, he is out to rule the Martial World. Head-spinning plot twists spring from the final reel: Jianfei and Yu Hua turn detective; Ming-ying spurns her no-good hubby but births his baby; Yu Juan falls into a mystic cave and learns her own super-powerful form of Buddha’s Palm; and a mysterious masked superheroine reveals Little Dragon Girl is her long-lost daughter. Got all that?!

A monster box-office smash in its day, this ushered in an era of weird, psychedelic kung fu fantasies aimed at young audiences. Among numerous examples: Demon of the Lute (1983), Holy Flame of the Martial World (1983), and Descendant of the Sun (1983) from Shaw Bros, Miracle Fighters (1982), its four sequels and Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain (1983) from Golden Harvest. Both studios were out-weirded by the near-indescribable Hong Kong-Taiwanese co-production, Magic of Spell (1988), while director Taylor Wong later spoofed the whole phenomenon with his vastly inferior Kung Fu vs. Acrobatic (1991).

In actual fact, Buddha’s Palm movies with their strange beings, cartoon energy beams and flights of fancy ran from the silent era to the early sixties. Wong’s outlandish opus revisits the milieu for a modern audience, albeit one accustomed to its charming, pantomime-style special effects. Eye candy doesn’t adequately describe the gorgeous sets bathed in shimmering golds and rainbow colours, or the non-stop parade of Chinese mythological wonders whose only aesthetic match is the aforementioned Zu.

Fans of Far East fantasy will relish wild monsters; vast, mystical landscapes; clockwork traps; the Golden Dragon Dagger which looks and sounds suspiciously like a lightsaber (listen out for a split-second snippet of Darth Vader wheezing!); the Dragon Tumour Duo made up of a lanky zombie and little boy who spews acid from his giant zit; plus cameos from a plethora of veteran comedy actors. Exploding bodies and gory deaths galore, but also a clear message of camaraderie as enemies set differences aside and band together. It ends as only these things can, with five kung fu superheroes blasting cartoon energy beams at a giant foot. Great stuff.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 10869 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: