Posted on July 4th, 2009 in Brick Prior, Movies, SHAW-A-DAY-A-THON by Brick Prior

Who put this snow in my kung fu movie?  And… holy shit, is that some sort of 17th century shotgun?!  WHAT THE FUCK SERPICO.  Let’s get to work.

THE OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS

“Master swordfighter Cheng Pei-Pei is known for her deadly skill wielding a powerful whip, but when her weapon of choice is used in a series of murders and a robbery, she becomes the most likely suspect. Whether single-handedly fighting sixteen bandits or avenging her father’s brutal death, she demonstrates, she decimates the competition against beautiful winter landscapes in one of the most rousing and entertaining action films from the classic Shaw Brothers library!”

THE TRAILER

 

THIS IS WHAT I THOUGHT HAPPENED SINCE I HAD TO READ SUBTITLES AND WATCH ACTION AT THE SAME TIME, HAR HAR HAR

Okay, so THIS is what all the Cheng Pei-pei hype was about back in the Year of Our Lord two-ought-ought-ought when “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” came out, and that old lady pretty much stole the show.  I was wondering what was going on there.

Now I finally GET IT… because Cheng Pei-pei is a bad-ass.

Unfortunately!

This movie starts out with singing… we’re on Day 4, and I’ve had three days of singing in my movies, so I’m officially on edge.  Get to the fighting already, I am sick of the songs!  This dude is named Ersha, and he promptly almost get run off the road in his little carriage due to not concentrating on the road and singing- the other folks are so pissed at him that he gets whipped for his trouble.  Our giant midget is seething, and once they arrive at the local inn, he tries to pick a fight with the guy that whipped him, but since he can’t fight, it’s a horrible mismatch- so horrible in fact that the fight never starts due to a guy named Wang getting involved.  He’s on the hunt for the Shadow Whip, a legendary murderer and robber, and rumor has it that Yun (Pei-pei) has a link to him.

NEWSFLASH!

She does because she’s his niece!  WHAT.

Yun knows her uncle did no such thing, but why has he been hiding out for so long?  Hrm.  Add in a mysterious guy dressed in black named Dapeng, who leaves no footprints in snow, and you’ve got all sorts of crazy shenanigans going on! Wang confronts a bunch of dudes named the Serial Bombs, and good lord… THEY’VE GOT SHOTGUNS.

There’s a bunch of exposition that Jai Ho would sing a song about, and pretty soon Yun is headed back to the village wondering why Ersha is out in the cold.  There’s no one around, so he can’t be getting ready to break out into song, so… wait.  There’s blood trickling from his mouth.  Yun investigates, and there’s a huge goddamned spear stuck in his back, which means… he’s dead!

Ersha!?  ERSHA?!  NO!  NO, NOT YOU, YOU GOOFY FUCKING BASTARD!  I THOUGHT ONE OF THE OLD GUYS OR THAT GOOF IN THE YELLOW WOULD GET IT FIRST!  I TAKE IT ALL BACK!  YOU CAN SING AGAIN, YOU DAFFY BASTARD! YOU ARE WISE AND FUNNY AND THE STARS ARE LUCKY TO HAVE YOU UP IN THE HEAVENS…

Wait, this is going to be a revenge flick now.

SWEET.

Yun walks right into the inn, finds out that everyone was killed in order to lure out her Uncle Fang, and proceeds to beat the shit out of everyone with her whip, going so far as to snatch their weapons from them and whip them through other folks- no, you do not want to cross this woman.  Fang shows up to even the odds, and there’s more fights, as they split up and hook up with Wang, and even more fights, and fights, and fights, and undercranked fights which make everything look sped up and silly, Dapeng gets killed by neck breakage via Uncle Fang’s whip, and finally our heroes regroup for the true meat of the matter, namely WHAT’S CAUSIN’ ALLA DIS, ergo Uncle Fang’s true history.

You see!

Uncle Fang was Batman.

Long ago, he was in the village when a poor family was murdered… but he did something honorable!  He saved their surviving daughter and raised her as his own, meaning… DUN DUN DUN, YUN IS THE SURVIVOR OF THE MASSACRE!

UH OH WHO DONE DID THE MASSACRE?!

WHO KNOWS?!  LITERALLY, NO ONE KNOWS BECAUSE THE LAST PAGE OF UNCLE FANG’S LIST OF ENEMIES IS MISSING!

Yun’s got her hunch, so she heads right towards Chief Yang, who showed up during one of the fights in the snow as an Important Figure, so you know that either this shit is crazy, or I did not pay attention and am merely trying my best to recap this thing.  Anyway. Yun confronts Hong about his role that fateful night, telling him how she saw his face emerge from the shadows before he murdered everyone, and his response is legendary.

To paraphrase:

“That’s impossible!  There’s no way you could have seen my face or know what I did!  First off, I had two swords, not one!  Second, I did NOT take your mom’s clothes off before I killed her- your dad did that, and I interrupted them in the act of coitus.  You see, if I didn’t kill your parents, you would have learned about SEX from them.  Sex is when a man and a woman… wait, you’re innocent, so I’m just gonna say that storks drop off the babies when it’s time for a family to love them.  You don’t need to know about the ins and outs of things, because sometimes, lemme tell ya, I’ve seen things I thought I’d never see covered in hair.  WHOO!  Frightening stuff!  Anyway, bullshit to you seeing my face that night, because I wore a fucking mask, you big dummy!  HA!  …SHIT."

All of Hong’s men gasp, so he take the time to killify all of them that approach him on the matter.  Wang and Uncle Fang show up, so someone (hint: it’s Chief Yang) got hit with a handicap match to close the night out.  It’s three on one, and if the good guys fight together, then they surely can’t be defeated, right?!

CUE THE TEN MINUTE FIGHT SCENE TO WRAP THINGS UP!  There’s some back and forth action, and Chief Hong decides to get to higher ground to even up the- oh wait, there’s a whip around his neck!  He gets yanked off the wall, and yep- stabbed through the back in mid-air by Wang!  That only took five minutes! Our Heroes ride away over the snowy hills and through the woods, but they ain’t going to Grandma’s house!  THIS MOVIE IS OVER!

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS MOVIE

This was a very fun film, as the action delivers and it’s fairly serious all throughout the runtime.  I’ll be honest- I’ve got “Come Drink With Me” is in the Stack for this month, but I like Cheng Pei-pei’s role in this better.  It’s a tad bit more accessible than the stoic badass she is in the earlier film… then again, that could be due to the brief inclusion of Ersha.  Ersha’s pretty much the big retarded goof in “The Golden Child”, only he has the pipes of an angel and the staying power of a Keith David cameo in an action film.  And he’s quick to fight people when he has no martial arts skill… sadly, due to this, he’s also quick to die.

Goddamnit Ersha, why’s it gotta be like this?!

All this sentimental stuff is making my eyeballs rain.  Time to conjure up some movie stills.

THIS CUTE LITTLE ESKIMO IS GONNA WHIP THE SHIT OUT OF YOU

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BIG UPS TO THE LITTLE MAN THAT COULD NOT

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TOMORROW

Time for a classic, and a  staple of my middle school years long before I actually saw the film thanks to the Wu-Tang Clan.  That’s right, it’s time for “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin”.  OL’ BALDHEAD FTW.