MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 65,065 this week

The Spiritual Boxer (1975)
"Shen da" (original title)

7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 130 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 2 critic

A con artist uses Kung Fu to swindle villagers for money by pretending to be possessed by angry gods. However, when the villagers are later threatened by bandits he must use the same skills for good.

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1299 titles
created 19 Nov 2011
 
a list of 374 titles
created 15 Mar 2012
 
list image
a list of 624 titles
created 20 Dec 2012
 
a list of 35 titles
created 17 Sep 2013
 
a list of 7877 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Spiritual Boxer (1975)

The Spiritual Boxer (1975) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Spiritual Boxer.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The Shaolin Temple is the last place to resist defeat by the Manchu Dynasty, mostly because of their unique fighting style. Men from far and wide come to wait outside the temple, hoping ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang
Stars: Sheng Fu, Kuan-Chun Chi, Lung Ti
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The Yang family was the loyal strong-arm of the Imperial army. But a jealous General betrays the Eilte Spearman and their father to the opposing Mongol army. After an ambush of a battle, ... See full summary »

Director: Chia-Liang Liu
Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Sheng Fu, Lily Li
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Cheh Chang
Stars: David Chiang, Lung Ti, Kuan Tai Chen
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Tells the story of the 108 Heroes who stood up against a corrupt government. Each hero has his own unique fighting skill, but they are all willing to die to uphold justice.

Directors: Cheh Chang, Hsueh Li Pao, and 1 more credit »
Stars: David Chiang, Lung Ti, Kuan Tai Chen
Action | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Ying Ke-Feng, head of Peerless Manor, is an expert swordsman whose escort business transports 200,000 taels of silver to the capital each year. This year, however, he is afflicted with an ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang
Stars: David Chiang, Lung Ti, Ching Lee
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Hwang Jang Lee is a corrupt Ming guard who frames John Liu for murder. A wanted fugitive, John hides out with a teen who is an expert in the infamous Iron Armor technique, a technique that ... See full summary »

Director: See-Yuen Ng
Stars: John Liu, Jang Lee Hwang, Chiang Wang
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A town is taken over by a brutal gang, which has taken a safe in a robbery of another town and needs to find someone who can open it for them. They terrorize the townsfolk, beating up and ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang
Stars: David Chiang, Lung Ti, Kuan Tai Chen
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Kung Fu master finds out that an opium den is destroying the lives of the town he lives in, and vows to put an end to the den, but first he must try to defeat the strongest enemy he has ever faced: his addiction to the drug itself.

Director: Chia Tang
Stars: Lung Ti, Te-Lo Mai, Hsueh-Hua Liu
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The anti-Ching patriots, under the guidance of Ho Kuang-han, have secretly set up their base in Canton, disguised as school masters. During a brutal Manchu attack, Lui manages to escape and... See full summary »

Director: Chia-Liang Liu
Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Lieh Lo, Chia Yung Liu
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

When fellow operatives (and childhood friends) Matthew Johnson and Melvin Johnson disappear during an undercover mission in Hong Kong, Cleopatra Jones (Tamara Dobson) travels there to find ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Bail
Stars: Tamara Dobson, Stella Stevens, Ni Tien
Shanghai 13 (1984)
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Cheh Chang
Stars: Kuan Tai Chen, Sheng Chiang, Feng Lu
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Director: Hark Tsui
Stars: Lieh Lo, Chen Chi Lin, Albert Au
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yue Wong ...
Hsiao Chien
Chen Chi Lin ...
Jin Lian
Yang Chiang ...
Master Chi Keung
Lung Ti ...
Boxer #1
Kuan Tai Chen ...
Boxer #2
Chung Tien Shih ...
Liu Deruei
Ching Tien
Shen Chan ...
Master Lin
Lao Shen ...
Bun / Noodle stall boss
Hark-On Fung ...
Liu Deruei's man
Fei Ai ...
Ah Jin
Mei Hua Chen ...
Lin's daughter
Ping Ha ...
Lin's wife
Han Chiang ...
Liu Yung
Hang-Sheng Wu
Edit

Storyline

A con artist uses Kung Fu to swindle villagers for money by pretending to be possessed by angry gods. However, when the villagers are later threatened by bandits he must use the same skills for good.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Action

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 November 1975 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Naked Fists of Terror  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Followed by Spiritual Boxer II (1979) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

THE SPIRITUAL BOXER – the kung fu of the "gods"
18 December 2004 | by (Bronx, NY) – See all my reviews

THE SPIRITUAL BOXER (1975) marks the film directing debut of Lau Kar Leung who had directed action scenes for most of Chang Cheh's martial arts epics up to that point. Fans should not expect from this film a kung fu extravaganza along the lines of Lau's later films, CHALLENGE OF THE MASTERS, EXECUTIONERS FROM SHAOLIN, THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN, DIRTY HO, LEGENDARY WEAPONS OF KUNG FU and 8-DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER. This one differs not only from Lau's other films but from the standard Shaw Bros. martial arts adventure in general. I would almost hesitate to even call it a kung fu film since it is less about martial arts and more about the kind of Chinese folk superstitions that enabled the ill-fated Boxer Rebellion to gain so many followers at the turn of the last century. It's all about a con artist, Siu Chien (Wang Yu) who pretends to be a master of "spiritual boxing" and invoke gods in elaborate performance routines that fool townspeople in his travels to shower him with gifts, free food and money. When real martial artists see through his tricks, he is generally forced to flee.

The film opens with an elaborate prologue showing off the original Boxers as they demonstrate their powers to the Empress Dowager. Shaw Bros. kung fu stars Chen Kuan Tai and Ti Lung appear in cameos as the Boxers here. The action then shifts to a series of vignettes showing "Master Siu" and his varied encounters with merchants, police, wealthy nobles and assorted villagers before he settles in a town suffering from the harsh rule of a local crime boss whose loansharking activities have put a lot of farmers in his debt. Along the way, Siu has picked up a female sidekick, Jin Lian, who dresses as a man and helps him out with his tricks. Eventually, Master Siu becomes so confident of his own powers that he stands up to the loanshark and his gang and teaches the people kung fu to defend themselves. When a pair of wanted outlaws, both kung fu experts in their own right, come to town to help the crime boss, they expose Siu's trickery and put him in a real bind.

There are few genuine martial arts thrills in the film. Instead, the fun is in watching Siu interact with ordinary villagers, particularly children and the various farmers and merchants he helps. The film captures numerous details of everyday life in small-town China 100 years ago and appears to have been shot in Taiwan, far from the familiar backlot of the Shaw Bros. Hong Kong studio where Lau shot most of his films. If anything, the elaborate kung fu finale makes for a curiously unsatisfying ending, partly because it is somewhat unconvincing given everything that's come before it.

The lead actor is Wang Yu (aka Wong Yu, star of DIRTY HO, YOUNG AVENGER, HE HAS NOTHING BUT KUNG FU and many others and not to be confused with Jimmy Wang Yu, star of ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN, Chinese BOXER, et al). There are a few familiar Shaw Bros. regulars, but not as many as normal for a high-profile Shaw film. The lead actress, Lin Chen Chi, is spunky, funny and quite beautiful, even when dressed as a man, but she's someone I've never seen before and apparently left the film business after a handful of films. Perennial kung fu villains Fung Hak On and Lee Hoi San, more familiar to viewers of Sammo Hung's films, are on hand to provide formidable opposition to the hero.

Lau Kar Leung's later films would focus more on genuine martial arts styles and skills and elaborate training scenes. This one is simply a treatise on how a skilled and clever trickster could exploit villagers' superstitions and profit from it but, in a strategy common even in Hollywood, eventually turn his con artist skills to the public good. A follow-up film by Lau, THE SHADOW BOXING (aka SPIRITUAL BOXER 2, 1979, also reviewed on this site), is not a sequel but deals with a similar theme, although much less effectively.


11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Spiritual Boxer (1975) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?