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迷拳三十六招 (1979)
The 36 Deadly Styles

Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 09/18/2019
Summary: Should have been better than mediocre...

Wai Chi (Nick Cheung) and his uncle are on the run from a group of thugs who are looking for some sort of revenge. They find refuge in a Shaolin temple, but the thugs manage to locate them and a battle ensues that results in the death of the uncle and a majority of the antagonists. Wai Chi is allowed to stay with the monks in the temple, but his bad behaviour eventually gets him kicked out, and he crosses paths with Chan Lau (the leader of the thugs) and the rest of his crew. A dairy merchant (Fan Mei-Sheng) and his daughter Yu Ti (Jeannie Chang) get wrapped up in the fights as well, as it turns out that Fan fought the thug group in the past, along with one of the monks in the temple (Yueng Chak-Lam). Wai Chi and Yu Ti both know one half of a secret kung fu style, and when combined, they take on the top brother of the thugs (Hwang Jang-Lee) to avenge the death of Wai Chi’s father a decade before.

Given who is in the cast, The 36 Deadly Styles should be much better. Unfortunately, Hwang Jang-Lee has only a couple fights, including the final one. Even stranger, Mark Long and Jack Lung’s characters are basically throw-aways that are only there to have a fight near the end. The fight is good, but essentially had no connection to the rest of the movie. The bad guys are either incredibly annoying (Chan Lau), or have the worst wigs I’ve ever seen in a kung fu film. Bolo Yeung seems like he spends most of his fights making sure the enormous braided wig doesn’t fall off, and Hwang Jang-Lee’s hairpiece is almost as offensive. The main problem with the film though are the fights. They can be classified as shapes, but they are done in the most unexciting way. After every move there is a distinct pause before the next, and it makes the choreography look like practice sessions. The only one that keeps up a good pace is unsurprisingly Mark Long vs Jack Lung, who have fought numerous times on celluloid. Nick Cheung is a fine martial arts actor, but his fight with Hwang at the end is silly and contrived. Hard to recommend this film, even with the abundance of quality action stars involved.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 11/15/2005
Summary: Not quite deadly dull

The story wanders around with a couple of uncles who get killed, before finally settling down to be the story of Wa Chi (Nick Cheung, billed as Wai Lung). This makes the first quarter hard to follow, but things improve from there on.

There's heaps of great fu talent, but the fights vary from very good down to dull. Hwang Jang Lee was given top star credit but his character is unfortunately stunt doubled for most of his on-screen time. How handy it is to put an actor then a stuntman in a long grey wig ;)

I think the fu talent could have been used to better effect, but the result is okay viewing. Fine if you're a bit bored.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 02/04/2004
Summary: 2/5

Found a copy of 36 Deadly Styles lying around in my bedroom the other day (yes, that sort of thing happens to me a lot) so I gave it a go. It wasn't very good

I actually watched it in two sittings - the first hour I was not having a lot of fun, largely because I couldn't get past Bolo's ridiculous wig, but then I fell asleep and watched the last half hour the next day, when I was able to enjoy it more in a "this is stupid, but entertaining" sort of way.

The production values in the film are so far below the Shaws of the same period it's really hard to look past them... or perhaps it's just that there wasn't much there to look past the production values at?

Who is that guy with the red nose, btw, who is the single most annoying person in HK film? He almost single handedly ruined the first half of The Master too (again with assistance from a stupid wig, this time on Yuen Tak's head).

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 04/19/2002
Summary: Average

Oh this looks bad, it really does. The quality of this video I have is bad enough, but the filmmaking is very poor most of the time, and overall production values remind me of Chinese 60’s cinema. However, when the story gets going, it gets quite entertaining enough for me to forget all the problems. Not to say that the story is particularly interesting anyway, but this does end up not being as bad as it looked at the beginning.

The fights are actually very well done, although most of them are ‘comedy kung fu’ fights, like the old Jackie Chan films (Drunken Master, Fearless Hyena, etc). The acting…forget it. It’s not a film that you should go and see if you just want to see Hwang Jang Lee (as most people would), because what he does is limited, and stupid. But it’s Jack Lung and some of the others are the ones that really make it work.

All in all it’s not too bad, but it seems very dated, even for the 70’s. Probably impossible to find this one now, you might pick up a dubbed one somewhere, but not worth paying good money for, but if you do find it at a reasonable price (less than $10) and you like comedy kung fu movies, it’s well worth seeing. Otherwise might as well avoid it. I would rate it higher if the film making had been more up to scratch, but as that looks so bad I can’t rate it higher than I have, otherwise it would have been higher because it’s quite a fun film when it gets going.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: mpongpun
Date: 03/28/2002

Atrocious. Ridiculously bad. This flick has to be Joseph Kuo’s worst. The plot is incoherent and doesn’t make use of good talent such as Hwang Jang Lee, Mark Long, and Jack Long. The flick is about two different plots (if you want to call them this) that do not even mesh. The main plot, the gist of the movie, deals with some kid name Wai Chi (Cheung Nick), who learns the 8 Gods fist to revenge the death of his father to some cruel badly wigged guys played by Hwang Jang Lee (mostly doubled) and Bolo. The secondary plot is about some gung fu master named Kwong Wu Chan (Jack Long) who supposedly has on his person the notorious book of the 36 Deadly Styles that a rival named Yuen Chin-Tien (Mark Long) wants to get his mitts on. Ultimately, the two square off in a battle to the death. The whole movie is roughly 88 minutes but the whole plot concerning this 36 Deadly Styles and our two fighters comprises about 15 minutes. Go Figure.