An orphan who has been raised at a kung fu school, where he is treated as little more than a dogsbody and practice target for the students, has a life-changing experience after helping an old peripatetic beggar.
Drunken Master is a film that, following Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978) (made with the same ensemble cast and director Yuen Woo Ping), consolidated Jackie Chan's position as the new Hong Kong kung fu action star of the late 1970s. Set in the late 19th century, Chan plays the great Chinese hero Wong Fei Hung as a loveable young rogue who is always getting into fights or embarrassing his family. Eventually his father decides the only way to make a man of Chan is to send him for training with an old drunken drifter played by Yuen Siu Tien. Just as they did in Snake in the Eagle's Shadow, the pair make a fine double-act, though this time there is much surreal entertainment to be had from the older man teaching the younger the fine art of drunken kung fu. Learning to fight like the Eight Drunken Gods before the final confrontation with Hwang Jang Lee causes Chan considerable problems, though Yuen Siu Tien simply fights better the more he drinks. Yuen Siu Tien would reprise the role in his final film, Magnificent Butcher (1979) yet with Chan he finds a perfect blend of slapstick comedy and creatively staged action which makes Drunken Master a genuine kung fu classic. On the DVD: The picture is generally strong though inevitably there is a fair amount of grain. Unfortunately the original 2.35-1 film has been reformatted to 1.77-1 widescreen TV ratio. This has been done more skilfully than usual but is still a misrepresentation of the original cinema release and does mar both the landscape photography and the fast moving action scenes. The sound is perfectly acceptable mono. Soundtrack options are the original Mandarin with English subtitles, or an English dub. Extras include the original English language theatrical trailer, Hong Kong Legends' own trailer, plus promos for further releases and a photo gallery. There is a detailed text biography and filmography of Jackie Chan, a biography of Yuen Woo Ping and a text interview with producer Ng See Yuen. Also included is a text biography of Hwang Jang Lee linked to a kicking showcase which is another short fight scene. Most of these features are identical to those on the Snake in the Eagle's Shadow DVD. --Gary S Dalkin
Fan favourite Sam 'Drunken Master' Seed is back in another great kung fu comedy. Watch and be amazed by the high energy antics as he trains his students in Drunk Swallow boxing to defeat the infamous Horse Boxing Killer.
Director Yuen Woo Ping's The Red Wolf is, like Under Siege (1992) and Speed 2 (1997), essentially Die Hard on a ship. However, rather than being "inspired by", this movie is virtually a Hong Kong remake of the Bruce Willis action classic, right down to the jump-off-the-roof crash-through-the-window highlight. The setting is New Year's Eve on a cruise liner which happens to be carrying a consignment of plutonium. Gangsters hijack the ship and it's up to an unnamed security officer (Kenny Ho) and tender-hearted pickpocket Lai (Christie Chung) to save the day. Budget limitations are revealed by only having about 60 passengers, and by an almost complete absence of shots of the sea, but the director manages to pack plenty of extremely violent action and by playing things straight generates considerable suspense from the formulaic story. Helping immensely are strong turns from Elaine Lui and Wing Cho as the psychotically ruthless main villains. Some of this film is very nasty indeed, so a tension-shattering detour into slapstick by Chung is simply bizarre, and the finale goes laughably OTT. The dubbing is mediocre but the blend of furious marital arts and Terminator-style slaughter is still a winning combination for hardcore action fans. --Gary S Dalkin
Martial arts expert Jackie Chan sets out with his deadly weapons namely his hands and feet to seek revenge against the murderer of his father.
A revenge-fuelled Hong Kong martial arts flick! This Korean Kung Fu flick has become a culkt favourite across the globe ever since its release back in the 80's. Now for the first time fans can get this world exclusive on DVD. Benny Tsui stars as a young martial artist out to make a name for himself against the White Tiger gang.
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