HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
   
 
Newest Articles
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
   
 
  Demon of the Lute Crazy kung fu for kidsBuy this film here.
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, Adventure
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 6183 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 do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: