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
   
 
  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 13310 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: