The Iron Fisted Monk (1977)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2000-10-17
Summary: Great stuntwork in a standard pointless revenger
They just keep churning 'em out. Silly tales which set up vicious cycles of pointless revenge. If not for some ripper fight scenes and nudity (yes, nudity, in a Samo Hung film !), this fu flick would be unwatchable.

Looking at the cast list is somewhat misleading. It stars, in cast order, Chan Sing, Samo Hung and James Tien. However, Chan Sing plays very much the second banana to then-first-time director and co-writer Samo, and James Tien appears only in the opening ten minutes. So, who's left ? Paul Chun does his usual good work as the tortured Miu and Fung Hak On does his regular turn as a rapist. There are two sex/rape scenes, both featuring topless women and even some discreet full frontal. Now, I may stand corrected on this, but I can't recall any other film where Samo Hung had creative control where nudity is featured. I had always assumed he shared Jackie Chan's prudishness about exposes breasts and such. Hmmmm.

Most of the fu is confined to the second half, and it's well worth sticking around for. Chen Sing and Samo make a terrific fighting pair. Fung Hak On squares off against Samo and holds his own pretty well. And the finale will leave you breathless, though I don't advise pondering on the underlying motivation too much after "The End" flashes on the screen.

A few things to watch out for. Lam Ching Ying makes an appearance, but it is for less than a second. You'll have to be quick, but it's definitely him, as one of the silk factory workers. Wu Ma puts in an amusing cameo as a fussy brothel client. And the courtyard featured prominently in Erotic Ghost Story even gets a look in. God, it must have been around the HK backlot for decades !

Overall, star-studded brilliant fighters killing each other over a very lame and cliche-ridden script.
Reviewer Score: 6