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鬼馬天師 (1984)
Taoism Drunkard

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/25/2010

Led by Yuen Cheung-Yan, the Yuen Clan collaborates on this release which, like some of their previous efforts such as Miracle Fighters, combines kung fu and fantasy elements into a package that is undeniably bizarre, yet still extremely entertaining, even if you haven't been imbibing a few adult beverages yourself.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: kiliansabre
Date: 12/11/2007
Summary: More weird fun from the Yuen Clan!

The Yuen Clan's third crazy fantasy film following Miracle Fighters and Shaolin Drunkard is a treat. Full of bizarre characters and visuals with some decent fantasy fight scenes mixed in. Here we have 'King of Hell' (Yuen Shun-Yi) receiving a sentence of having the skin burnt off his hands and being expelled from the Taoist community for trying to steal a writ. Surviving this, he sets his sights on Chiu (Yuen Yat-Choh), a young Taoist who lives with his grandmother (Yuen Cheung-Yan) who is the inheritor of the writ. Meanwhile, a drunken Taoist (Yuen Cheung-Yan again in a dual role) is sent out to find a virgin to relieve his position at the temple when he gets in a fight with a group of bandits lead by a Starry Devil (Hilda Liu Hao-Yi) who attacks with a deadly extending cloth. Chiu intervenes to help the old drunkard who thinks Chiu is perhaps the virgin he is looking for. Chiu however takes a disliking to the drunkard from the start and spends much of his time trying to avoid him while trying to court his love interest (Jue Hoi-Ling). When the King of Hell finds a way to use Starry Devil to help him in his quest, Chiu and his family and friends find their intertwined paths will have their lives on the line to protect the writ.

If you have seen either of the aforementioned films you should know that you are in for a strange journey with this one. Some of the challenges on the way to the writ are great including a path of fire with moving walls and a 'banana monster' which is a giant black metal ball with chomping teeth. The fight scenes in this are very fantasy oriented where characters fight with strange weapons while punching each other across the room or walking backwards up a wall while fighting. Obviously wires are used frequently though in this setting they aren't distracting but rather add to the interesting visuals. However some of the effects do look outdated such as a scene where a character is aging rapidly by way of time lapse makeup application. There is a lot of attempts at humor here and though earlier on they are mostly silly, towards the end they strangely make a couple jokes about the fact that they are in a movie that seemed a bit out of place, but were hilarious none the less. If you are a fan of the other two films you will enjoy this one, perhaps more so if you are looking for some decent and vicious looking fantasy based action.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 03/22/2002
Summary: Totally insane!

Just what was going through the Yuen clan's head when they made this movie and MIRACLE FIGHTERS may forever remain a mystery. Some of the most bizarre, inexplicable scenes ever commited to film certainly. I don't think I could summarise the plot, or that it would serve much of a purpose if I tried. For the most part the movie just wanders on from scene to hallucinogenic scene being utterly utterly strange.

It's all kind of fun if you let yourself just marvel at the insanity, just don't try and take it seriously as a movie.

There's not all that much kung fu going on here, but the few fights that do occur are of a very high standard. Quite a lot of wire trickery though, which may bother the purists.

Reviewed by: paul
Date: 10/26/2001
Summary: Old Granny played by Yuen Chueng Yan

Quick Note: "Old Granny" is played by Yuen Chueng Yan, not Yuen Wo Ping. Chueng Yan also plays the drunken Taoist.

Reviewed by: nomoretitanic
Date: 02/12/2001
Summary: A crazy movie it is

I have not seen the other Yuen Clan movies but wow this movie is crazy. The screen is contantly filled with Watermelon Robots, an armoured car that looks like a pig's head, Yuen WoPing (I think that's him) dressed as a grandma smoking opium, a man in an ambiguous banana/penis suit, a fat lady defying gravity, a villain with a "porcupine back" and two big balls that spit out eight little ones...etc.
This movie is camp zaniness at its best, even better than the Evil Dead series--this is just four brothers having fun making backyard 8mm movies with high production value, great choreography, bad dubbing (which just adds to the greatness) and a lot of eye-openers.
Even better when you're high.

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Yuen clan movie with all the usual elements, although not verymemorable apart from some especially bizarre characters, situations and "monsters". (BTW, a "Tien Shi" is a folk healer/diviner with supernatural powers.)

[Reviewed by Iain Sinclair]