Mad Monkey Kung Fu (1979)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2006-06-08
Summary: I want to learn Monkey Fist kung fu!
After being duped into thinking he's committed the rape of the wife of a gangster (Lo Lieh), opera performer and martial arts master Chan (Liu Chia-Liang) and his sister (Kara Hui) agree to have his hands crippled and her to become a mistress in the gangster's brothel. Chan is forced to work on the street with a pet monkey for spare change until thugs start to shake him down for money. After they brutally slaughter his monkey, a local vagrant (Hsiao Ho), befriends him and persuades Chan to teach him the Monkey Fist style in order to exact revenge. Swearing that he will never fight again, Chan agrees and trains Hsiao for his mission. However, when Hsiao returns to report that the same thugs work for the gangster and his sister was injured, Chan decides to take matters into his own hands.

Mad Monkey Kung Fu is one of those films that makes you want to run away to China and take up exotic styles of martial arts. Liu Chia-Liang's films are a blast to watch, with exciting training sequences, clever plots that hook you quickly and fantastic fight choreography. Mad Monkey Kung Fu is certainly no exception as Liu tutors real-life student Hsiao Ho in the finer points of Monkey Fist kung fu. Although there is some silly slap-stick humor that doesn't quite work, the absolutely incredible final training sequence and climatic fight more than make up for it. Lo Lieh is also very menacing as the gangster Duan, especially in the scene in which Little Monkey (Hsiao Ho) is captured and nearly killed. Kara Hui also has a good fighting scene in which she can showcase her skills. It should be noted as well that there seems to be some sound effects added to the Celestial Pictures release of this film. There is a quick scene as Hsiao Ho fights San Sin in which his punches are accompanied by video game effects. A little distracting considering the film was released in 1979, only 2 years after the Atari debuted. Overall though, a very enjoyable martial arts drama/comedy that will live up to your expectations of Liu Chia-Liang.
Reviewer Score: 8