7.1/10
157
4 user 4 critic

The Spiritual Boxer (1975)

Shen da (original title)
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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yue Wong ...
Hsiao Chien
Chen Chi Lin ...
Jin Lian
...
Boxer #1 (Guest star)
...
Boxer #2 (Guest star)
Chung Tien Shih ...
Liu Deruei
Ching Tien
Yang Chiang ...
Master Chi Keung
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
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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

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Comedy | Drama | Action

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Release Date:

28 November 1975 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Naked Fists of Terror  »

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2.35 : 1
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Featured in Films of Fury: The Kung Fu Movie Movie (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Okay, but lacks a certain something
10 July 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

THE SPIRITUAL BOXER is as handsomely mounted as many a Shaw Brothers production, but the plot lacks a certain something. The hero of the piece is Wong Yue, playing a confidence trickster who employs various methods to convince audiences that he's possessed by the spirits of various gods, thus making a living from people's gullibility. After a while, he makes enemies of a gang of thugs while at the same time being asked to investigate a haunted temple.

The film is notable for being one of the first examples of the knockabout comedy genre later popularised by Jackie Chan. Wong Yue gets up to all manner of mischief with his tricks, but he lacks the genuine charisma of many of his peers. Still, there's much fun to be had with burning coals, red hot pokers and the like, although my favourite segment is the pure horror scene in a haunted building which is up there with the best of Hong Kong's black magic movies.

THE SPIRITUAL BOXER lacks the kind of well-choreographed action that we know so well from the studio's classics, but that's not to say that it's without incident. Scenes of Wong Yue getting possessed by the monkey god and the like are a lot of fun and neatly prefigure later movies like KNOCKABOUT or ENCOUNTERS OF THE SPOOKY KIND. Fung Hark-On has a meaty role as an antagonist and there's an odd opening sequence featuring Ti Lung and Chen Kuan Tai which has nothing to do with the rest of the movie. In the end, this is a watchable movie but it's not as funny as others and doesn't have the great action of others, so it's rather an odd, middling combo.


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