HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
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
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
   
 
Newest Articles
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
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
   
 
  My Young Auntie It's all relative
Year: 1981
Director: Lau Kar-Leung
Stars: Kara Hui Ying-hung, Hsiao Ho, Liu Chia-liang, Johnny Wang Lung Wei, Yuen Tak, Wong Ching-Ho, Gordon Liu, Robert Mak, Tso Tat-Wah, Wilson Tong Wai-Shing, Kwan Yung-Moon, Lam Fai-Wong, Sai Sin, Tai San, Mak Wai-Cheung, Ng Yuk-Sue, Aai Dung-Gwa
Genre: Comedy, Martial ArtsBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: An ailing martial arts master marries dutiful student Jing Dai-Nan (Kara Hui Ying-hung) so as to prevent the family fortune falling into the hands of his no-good younger brother Yu Yung-Sheng (Johnny Wang Lung Wei). Entrusted to pass the fortune to her master’s beloved nephew, Dai-Nan journeys to Canton where Yu Jing-Chuen (co-writer, director and fight choreographer Lau Kar-Leung a.k.a. Liu Chia-liang) is shocked to discover his “auntie” is a beautiful kung fu genius barely out of her teens. She clashes with his son Charlie Yu Tao (Hsiao Ho), whose westernized ways keep getting him into trouble, but the pair learn from each other and develop a grudging respect as, young and old, the family face down Yung-Sheng’s assassins.

Lovely Kara Hui Ying-hung won the Best Actress award for this movie at the very first Hong Kong Film Awards held in 1981. Her amazing kung fu skills, combined with co-star Hsiao Ho’s jaw-dropping acrobatic prowess, and veteran Liu Chia-liang’s ingenious fight choreography make My Young Auntie a showcase for some of the most amazing martial arts you will ever see. Chia-liang has scores of Shaw Brothers classics under his belt yet, aside from the spectacle, what makes his films so special is they open a window into Chinese culture.

A series of knockabout gags poke gentle fun at filial loyalty, morality, traditional etiquette and the ongoing tensions between “modern” and “old-fashioned” values. Chia-liang flirts with seeming conservative by caricaturing Charlie’s western ways, which include an impromptu pop number featuring hilarious cameos from Gordon Liu and Robert Tak as his long-haired, guitar strumming best friends (sort of a kung fu answer to Simon & Garfunkel), but ultimately lambastes both ignorance and insensitivity on both sides of the age divide. Out to show off his kung fu skills, hot-headed Charlie inadvertently trashes the family shrine. A pair of dimwit detectives suspect him and his friends of trafficking opium, largely because they dress and talk funny (Charlie speaks a mishmash of English and Cantonese). While Jing-Chuen pays lip-service to traditional values, he can’t bring himself to administer forty lashes as punishment for his son’s misbehaviour, and fools Dai-Nan by padding Charlie’s buttocks.

Eventually, the film settles on a pleasing mix of “traditional” decency married to a progressive outlook, as embodied in Dai-Nan. Though Dai-Nan quotes rigidly from her book of “family law”, she can’t resist the allure of lipsticks, dancing, Italian shoes and fancy frocks. Her youthful exuberance is constrained by a need to adhere to traditional values. Mocked as a “bumpkin”, she undergoes a Cinderella transformation, and emerges gorgeous in heels and an figure-hugging dress slit to the thigh - which then leads to the astonishing set-piece wherein she fights off a gang of lechers in full evening wear. Similarly, Charlie initially comes across as a spoiled brat used to getting his own way, but loves his dad and proves a capable, dutiful son.

The turn of the century setting stretches Shaw Brothers’ costume department and imparts a strangely winning surreal flavour, which culminates in a fairytale costume ball that finds Charlie dressed as Robin Hood and Dai-Nan in a bubbly blonde wig. Amidst a pop culture mishmash, ransacked from bits of Romeo & Juliet, The Three Musketeers and Carmen (?!), characters tango and jitterbug across the dance floor with infectious abandon, until the night erupts into an amazing swordfight where Hui Ying-hung wields her Chinese sword against western foils. The star actually takes a backseat during the last thirty minutes, wherein Liu Chia-liang and a gaggle of elderly relatives (amusingly, the old guy who specializes in “controlled breathing”, is always out of breath) storm the bad guys hideout. It’s a riot of exploding mines, flying missiles, killer scarecrows, villains with supernaturally strong stomach muscles, and Liu unleashing his trademark mad monkey kung fu. “Hey kid, this is real kung fu.”

Click here for the trailer

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3264 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Lau Kar-Leung  (1934 - 2013)

Chinese director and actor and one of the most influential martial arts film-makers of the 1970s. Kar-Leung joined the Shaw Brothers studio in 1965 where he worked as an actor and fight choreographer, before making his directing debut in 1975 with the kung fu comedy The Spiritual Boxer. A series of martial arts classics followed, including 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Shaolin Mantis, Dirty Ho, Mad Monkey Kung Fu and My Young Auntie. Kar-Leung was a strong believer that fight sequences should be shot in single, wide shots to showcase the natural skill of the martial artists, which was at odds with those directors who prefered wirework and fast editing.

Kar-Leung continued to direct throughout the eighties, with period films like Shaolin Temple, starring a young Jet Li, and modern-day action flicks Tiger on the Beat and its sequel. In 1994, worked as fight arranger on Jackie Chan's Drunken Master II, but was controversially sacked from the production when his methods clashed with Chan's. In retaliation, he directed his own Drunken Master 3 later the same year. Kar-Leung's last film was 2002's old-fashioned Drunken Monkey, once more for Shaw Brothers.

 
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: