I Saw a Film

This is just your typical kung-fu zombie flick. Really nothing unusual except for the fact there’s momentary vampire where the director might have gotten confused over what attributes reincarnated and possessed dead bodies might have.

I am guessing that this film was made in the vein of previous Jackie Chan successes with comic kung-fu films (Emotional Kung-fu etc.). The dubbing is so hyperbolic silly, that if you close your eyes, it’s as if you’re listening to a bunch of school kids unleashed in the Bronx Zoo’s House of Darkness (an experience you won’t soon forget).

I’ll try to sort the plot out. A bad guy (reasonable from the extreme eyebrow applications to keep him looking angry all the time, I’m presuming this is a leftover from period stage acting) angry with Billy Chong’s father, over something we’ve not been party to, enlists a sorcerer to raise some dead to do his bidding. As one does. Unfortunately for our outrageous badguy, the trap he arranges totally backfires and turns him into a bumbling “ghost”. I say ghost in quotes because this particular “ghost” almost drowns in a pond, and seems as fragile as any mortal.

Meanwhile, Billy Chong and his dad are arguing and having amazingly violent fights about Chong wanting to take a break from his training and go out on the town to meet people. Father and son swipe at each other in the standard kung-fu format which is produced with lots of editing, speeding up of the film, and the addition of copious sound effects of the swoosh and pop sort. All their strikes are stiff-armed, and their footwork all linear so the camera can capture it all without moving. In so many ways the Chinese film industry “exploits” itself in these kinds of films, and sold to Western audiences as semi-authentic “culture”. This is especially the case with the sorcerer’s hokum, as he proceeds to express all manner of nonsense through his gestures. Still to Western eyes it is “chinesey” nostrum. No racism necessary here, the Chinese are a culture that requires no outside influence (since their shutting down of their Yongle treasure fleet exploration of the world in the 15th century. It didn’t take them long to figure out they had all the best stuff). I’m mostly joking here but mark my words these film-makers know exactly what they’re doing.

Soon enough confrontations are happening and when I stepped away to get some tea, another bad guy had been unleashed, this one a really scary one with extra-large application of knit eyebrows. Billy Chong still manages to fight off this transgressor as well (using his Horse training (apparently dad trained him like a horse?)), but then our comic “ghost” ends up inside Billy’s Father (who somehow keeps “dying” and coming back to life without any sorcery–narcolepsy?).

This film is really only good for a lark, and if you’re in any kind of irritable mood, you’ll never make it. The noise to action ratio is off the charts, and the Psychotropic drug/fantasy quotient so elevated that you could be forgiven for expecting basically anything at all to appear next in the film. In fact, the Close Encounters theme pops up at one point. I should also mention that a particular fanfare from James Bond movies was used every time the big bad guy appeared as well.

The good news is it’s pretty short, and if you’ve got patience, it’s at least rather unique. Billy Chong is a handsome devil, and there are at least a few acrobatic moments that lend to the amusement.

For nada on Prime.

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