HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Deadly Snail versus Kung Fu Killers Don't mess with a mollusc
Year: 1977
Director: Heung Ling
Stars: Candice Yu, Wong Yuen-San, Unicorn Chan, Tin Ching, Wu Jia-Xiang, Wang Lai, Yeung Sai-Gwan, Simon Yuen Siu-Tin, Ho Hon-Chau, Kong Keung, Steve Mak Fei-Hung, Ho Kei-Cheong
Genre: Martial Arts, Romance, Weirdo, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: One day handsome farm boy Cheung Fu (Wong Yuen-San) happens upon a sea snail surrounded by some angry snakes. He revives the stricken snail with a few drops of his own blood, little suspecting she is really the beautiful Sea Snail Fairy (Candice Yu) who dwells in a kitschy underwater kingdom full of floating bubbles and pretty girls cavorting inside giant seashells. Poor Fu leads a rather downtrodden life, routinely bullied and abused by his nasty Uncle (Wu Jia-Xiang) and Auntie Chow (Wang Lai), and their weedy, lecherous son Wang Chow (Tin Ching). What Fu doesn’t know is his relatives are living off the fortune his late father bequeathed him. So they shunt him off into the woods before he learns the truth. But the Sea Snail Fairy has fallen in love with Fu. Aided by her loving sisters - who watch the action unfold on their seashell/satellite surveillance television screen - the fairy descends to Earth where she cooks him a hearty meal, does his housework and brightens his life with her stop-motion animated magic powers.

Grindhouse distributors tried to sell Deadly Snail versus Kung Fu Killers as a bare-knuckle fight fest, when it’s actually a fairytale romance closer to those European oddities that used to pop up on children’s TV. One can only wonder what 42nd street patrons made of it all, but if you imagine a gender-switched Cinderella with bits from The Little Mermaid and I Dream of Jeannie thrown into the mix, you’ll get the idea. Quite charming in parts, the film is hampered by haphazard editing, complete with missing reels (sometimes the screen goes blank for thirty seconds!), and the fact that by 1977 this sort of movie was old hat. Fantasy films would get a lot funkier come the Eighties, one example being Buddha’s Palm (1982) which also features this film’s lead actress Candice Yu.

Yu is easily the most personable among the leading actors, a Shaw Brothers veteran she also appeared in the groundbreaking Swordsman II: Invincible Asia (1992) and still works to this day, with notable roles in Jackie Chan’s recent hit Rob-B-Hood (2006) and the film industry satire My Name is Fame (2006). Lookout for a brief cameo from Simon Yuen Siu-Tin, the veteran character actor/fight choreographer who went onto belated screen immortality in the following year’s Drunken Master (1978).

Episodic, the film gets caught up in sub-plots involving a servant girl with an unrequited crush on Cheung Fu and Wang Chow’s ongoing attempts to abduct and ravish the fairy bride. Cheung makes an especially gormless hero, often standing aside while his wife does all the work, except for one instance where she turns him into a kung fu dynamo. Traditional values demand he endure ongoing violence from his elders without fighting back. Chinese viewers will appreciate why, but the rest will find it tiresome.

Things pick up when an evil scaly-faced Snake Master (Unicorn Chan - also this film’s fight choreographer and a frequent Bruce Lee collaborator, e.g. Way of the Dragon (1972)) arrives to help the Chow family get rid of the Snail Fairy. The weirdness factor gets cranked up a notch via the monk eating forty-nine live frogs to strengthen his powers; some pretty good monster makeup; a glow-in-the-dark plastic skeleton; fireballs on wires; those ever-present cartoon lasers; and a big rubber snake. Strangely, the lovers have nothing to do with the climax. It’s the Snail fairy’s cheerful sisters who battle the bad guys and save the day. All in all, this is closer to watching a pantomime or a community play, slapdash but enthusiastic. But where else can you see a snail crucified and surrounded by a ring of burning snakes; a man dressed like a giant tree stump; or two fairies fighting a gold-painted hippie with ginger hair in a seaweed kilt? I could go on, but you get the idea.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4868 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
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: