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Spiritual Kung Fu

Reviewed by: ororama
Date: 06/14/2022

The forbidden manual of the Seven Deadly Fists is stolen from the Shao Lin Temple, and insider involvement is suspected in Spiritual Kung Fu. The Five Style Fists, capable of countering the Seven Deadly Fists, appear as spirits and begin training goofy student Jackie Chan and lead him to their long lost manual. Leading martial artists are killed by a mysterious rival, and some of the monks begin to investigate the connections to the theft of the manual.

The comedy is mostly limited to the scenes involving the spirits. The tests of skill where Chan has to prove his worthiness are well done, and his fight choreography is considerably better than in Half a Loaf of Kung Fu, including some large scale fights. His acrobatic skills make him the stand out physical performer.

Spiritual Kung Fu offers a familiar plot, but there are some good action scenes and the mischievous spirits add some weird comedy that makes the movie memorable, if not exactly good.

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 08/31/2012
Summary: 5/10 - no classic but worth a look

Jackie Chan is an orphan being raised at Shaolin Temple, when a forbidden manual for a particularly vicious kung fu style is stolen and the thief begins using it to take over the Martial World. Unfortunately the manual for the only style that counter it has been lost for centuries - until five oddly costumed spirits appear in the temple and reveal its location.

Spiritual Kung Fu is quite an odd early Jackie film, in which he plays a frankly rather unlikeable fellow who it's not always easy to root for even when he's the only one capable of stopping a disaster. The script is a bit ramshackle, with odd interludes that serve little benefit to the plot, but in a round about way it gets to delivering a basic but adequate story.

There is a fair amount of comedy in the film, some of it making quite creative use of split-screen and multiple-exposure shots to allow the spirits to do spirity things. It is unfortunately blighted by the kung fu comedy curse, aka Dean Shek, but not to an overly destructive degree.

Action scenes are pretty good, as you'd expect from Jackie, though they fall well short of the elaborate and innovative choreography he would become known for not long after this film was made, when he was finally able to part company with Lo Wei.

One for Jackie fans only, I guess, but worth a look if you've seen all of his Golden Era films and still want more.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 10/01/2009

Producer/director Lo Wei certainly tried to squeeze as much as he could when he had Jackie Chan under contract during the mid to late 1970's. Like most of Lo's other efforts with Chan, Spiritual Kung Fu is a low-budget mess that looks like it was slapped together to make a quick buck. Even Chan's helming of the fight scenes can't save this from becoming a sub-standard entry in his filmography.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: SteelwireMantis
Date: 07/10/2003
Summary: Below Average

This film was not that great (Lo Wei). As a fan of Jackie's I wish that he didn't make this. The humor was rather vulgar than funny and just like the SFX- VERY CHEESY! The kung-fu demo with the monks before he leaves the temple was probably the highlight of the whole film, other than that the fights were too slow and not very impressive.


Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 03/07/2002
Summary: BAD!!

i can see why Jackie chan's career would of gone down the toilet because of Lo Wei.

the special effects, compared to what you can see today is just so low budget you feel it's too chessy to watch!!
Stay away!!


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/13/2002
Summary: AWFUL

I must admit, that when it comes to even the worst Hong Kong movies, I very rarely will turn it off half way through it, however, this is one of them.

I could not bare to watch after the first 30 minutes, it was just terrible. The 'story' was not very interesting, it was not funny, and the martial arts looked very fake. It might have helped if I wasn't watching an English dubbed version, but even in its original form I think I would have done the same.

Maybe it gets better later on in the movie, so I might be wrong on what I've been saying, but anyone who sees the first 30 minutes will probably agree with me, even hardcore Jackie Chan fans!

Rating (of 5): 0.5

(This rating is based on the year & genre, so don't think it's based as a comparison on new releases etc.)

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

The Seven Fists, a style of kung fu resurfaces after the manual was stolen 30 years earlier. It is being used by someone to become the leader of the clans. Chan discovers the only counter to it known as "the Five fists" and releases ghostly warriors who train him in the technique. Chan must use his new talents to not only prevent the challenger but he must also stop a traitor amongst the Shaolin priests. A fairly standard but nonetheless enjoyable tale with a fair amount of kung fu.


[Reviewed by Dave Warner]

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Another Jackie Chan blend of comedy and mayhem,but this time with a supernatural flavour as he finds himself battling ghostly warriors.


[Reviewed by Elliot's Guide to Films on Video]