HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Synchronic
Capote Tapes, The
Night, The
Show Goes On, The
Furnace, The
Tyrel
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
   
 
  Demon of the Lute Crazy kung fu for kids
Year: 1983
Director: Lung Yi-Sheng
Stars: Kara Hui Ying-hung, Chin Siu Ho, Kei Kong-Hung, Phillip Kwok Choy, Lung Tien-Hsiang, Jason Pai Piao, Chiang Kam, Yuen Tak, Yuen Tak, Kwan Fung, Hau Bing-Bik, Wong Lik, Lee Hoi-Sang, Siao Yuk, To Wai-Wo, Lee Fat-Yuen
Genre: Martial Arts, Weirdo, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Fondly “dedicated to all children”, this Shaw Bros. kung fu kids’ fantasy is 101 minutes of joyous insanity. Child acrobat Xiao Ding Dong (the amazing Kei Kong-Hung) performs a puppet show while her roguish dad Thief (Phillip Kwok Choy) picks pockets, but crowds scatter when masked monsters in crimson capes terrorize the town. They work for Demon of the Lute, a mysterious supervillain out to rule the Martial World using his “six-string demonic lute, forged from the ligaments of prehistoric monsters” - which sounds oddly like Pete Townsend’s guitar.

When the sagely Old Fairy (Kwan Fung) hears of this he summons super-duper kung fu chick Feng Ling (lovely martial arts icon Kara Hui Ying-hung) - who lives in an ipsy-dipsy fairyland full of huge magic mushrooms, fluffy bunnies and talking parrots - and sends her to retrieve legendary weapons able to destroy the lute: the Fiery Bow and Demon Arrows. Following the mystery trail, Feng befriends Thief and Xiao, who inadvertently stole a vital clue, and uses her magic powers and wild gadgets Batman would envy to battle an array of evildoers including Demon of Horn (To Wai-Wo) and the camp Hermaphrodite (Siao Yuk).

Meanwhile, disfigured swordsman Yuan Fei (Chin Siu Ho - who later found fame with Mr. Vampire (1985) and The Seventh Curse (1986)) toils away in his misty cave/workshop (where his faithful dog operates the furnace!), until a sudden noise draws him to the aftermath of a bloody massacre. Attacked by a flying horseless carriage, demonic trees straight from The Evil Dead (1983), and a giant rolling disco ball (no, really), Yuan barely escapes with his life, but discovers Demon of the Lute has secret reasons for wanting him dead. A chance encounter with Feng Ling leads him on a journey to Green Water Fortress, where he meets beautiful Mei Fa Er (Hau Bing-Bik), who can throw leaves like ninja stars, and whose foster dad (Jason Pai Piao) reveals Yuan’s true identity.

While Feng’s arduous quest uncovers her long-lost brother Old Naughty (Yuen Tak - with an enormous snowy-white hairdo and magical golden scissors), Yuan falls afoul of Red Haired Evil (Lee Hoi-Sang) - whose hair grows bigger the madder he gets and he rides a chariot drawn by Alsatian dogs - and Eagle Man (Lee Fat-Yuen), a flying loony in a giant bird costume. Knocked into a surreal parallel world (like you do), he encounters Skinny Elf (whose bizarre makeup resembles a monkey with a pulsating haemorrhoid atop its head) and Fatty Elf (Chiang Kam) whose magic beard transforms Yuan into a handsome superhero. Eventually the identity of Demon of the Lute is discovered and all the disparate characters reunite for a final showdown in a vast underground temple surrounded by huge stone beasties.

Kicking off with an insanely catchy rock theme song and dancing manga characters, this knockabout romp never takes its foot off the speed pedal. It was the first of only two movies written and directed by talented martial arts choreographer Lung Yi-sheng, the other being Long Road to Gallantry (1984) which also stars Kara Hui Ying-hung, and tells a typically complicated wu xia story where different characters serve as the focal point throughout the labyrinthine narrative. Propelled by outrageously inventive slapstick fu that showcases the acrobatic prowess of Ying-hung, Kwok Choy and little Kei Kong-Hung, the film features colourful cinematography of an exceptional standard and pantomime special effects that leap off the screen, but threaded through the mayhem is a surprisingly poignant message about children eluding the sins of their fathers.

Trying to summarise a Hong Kong kung fu fantasy is like trying to describe a crazy dream. It can only be experienced. Wait till you see Xiao Ding Dong flying around with her helicopter-like Dragonfly Blade, or Feng Ling wielding her silkworm cocoon device or the amazing Flying Rainbow Sword. How many double award-winning actresses can do this stuff with a straight face? That’s why everybody loves Hui Ying-hung. Further surreal delights include a love theme that is actually a disco version of Paper Moon, the moment masked monsters unleash a child demon to battle Xiao (who floors him with a “flying thunder kick”!), loads of animals doing bizarre tricks and a hilarious cameo from the normally stoic Lung Tien-Hsiang, as an all-powerful mystic martial arts master and coin collector who keeps a giant piggy bank. His gravity-defying duel with the Demon almost tops the one in Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain (1983).

How can you not love a movie that ends with a rousing speech delivered by a talking parrot (“The demon’s dream will never succeed. Now the world will be at peace!”) and a blast of rock and roll as the young heroes punch the sky in triumph?

Click here for kung fu action
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 6819 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: