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神通術與小霸王 (1983)
The Weird Man

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 08/20/2006
Summary: Shoud of been called, what NOt to do when on drugs

Mr Booth, i feel is extremely generous to give his score.
It really made no sense and thats the most frustrating thing about this movie.
IS this some real story about a Taoist?
IS this related to the death and rebirth of Jesus Christ?

The answer is, no idea!! The action is over the top, the bad guys dont listen (hey we aint going to kill that guy because our master said not too) but the villian continues to yap away about doing it. The disciples are obviously deaf despite there master saying TRUST ME I KNOW WHAT I AM SAYING
And the master says i cant blame you, you re loyal to me, yet they don't listen to him!!

As you can see i am frustrated with this movie, it has no plot, it makes no sense, so what is the kingdom is going to someone else and then the movie ends, YIKES

Watching this on drugs may be the ONLY reaso you would watch this

Reviewer Score: 1

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 08/07/2006
Summary: 6.5/10 - Weird indeed!

I don't know what cocktail of drugs Chang Cheh was taking when he came up with this film, but I would love to try them some day! The plot is barely discernable, but essentially there is a taoist hero (with a touch of Jesus H to him) who is killed by the leader of one of the Three Kingdoms, but this is barely even an inconvenience as his spirit hangs around being mischievous and acrobatic, with some rather ambiguous plan to put right the kingdom's problems... or something. Frankly I didn't follow the story too much, as it seems to have been a minor concern here anyway.

Basically the film is all about taoist magic and kung fu, with the ugly but remarkably acrobatic Cheng Tien-Chi causing all sorts of chaos as he goes around possessing people and making them fight each other, often for reasons that remain obscure. I think Chang Cheh must have been extremely bored of making martial arts film after martial arts film for the Shaw Brothers by this point in his career, and really was more concerned in what interesting and innovative action he could put on camera than telling yet another story of macho heroism.

I've observed a few times that Chang Cheh's films seem to get "cheaper" as his career progressed, and this film is no exception to that. I've no idea if his budgets really did keep getting cut, or he just became less concerned with production values. Sets and costumes are mostly very generic, and there's a sense of sloppiness in places that puts the film at the opposite end of the spectrum to his epics of the early 70's. Really the film only survives on the strength of the action and the bizarre ideas that its writer/director comes up with. As such, it's hard to call it a "good" film, but it's certainly an interesting one and reasonably fun to watch.

Moderate recommendation ;:-)

Reviewer Score: 7