The 36 Crazy Fists (1983) Poster

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5/10
First Jackie Chan film without Jackie Chan!
gridoon15 February 2006
I usually come on this site before I rent / buy a movie, but this time I actually rented "Jackie Chan and the 36 Crazy Fists" without reading anything about it, only to discover that Jackie is nowhere to be seen; he just choreographed the fight scenes! Anyway, when you get past this initial shock, the film is pretty close to most people's idea of a typical mid-70's martial arts flick: minimal plot, no production values, bad dubbing, poor picture quality, cartoonish sound effects, acting that mostly consists of twitching and eyeball-rolling, and lots and lots of action (one thing that's not so typical is the brief female toplessness). The action itself is a bit too choreographed, too "coordinated" for my tastes (the fighters seem to want to demonstrate their kung fu techniques more than to actually fight), but for old-school kung fu fans it will be a treat; others beware. (**)
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Don't look for Jackie Chan...
groovycow8 September 2003
36 CRAZY FISTS, while directed and choreographed by martial-arts legend Jackie Chan, doesn't feature him in any recognizable role. One is inclined to feel cheated because of this, and I would generally have to agree; 36 CRAZY FISTS may've been a great film if it had starred Chan, but as it stands, it is simply a mundane movie.

It features the overly-typical revenge plot, along with the old master, the bumbling sidekicks (complete with trombone "waaahh" sounds!) and the clever-yet-flighty girl we've all come to know and love (?) from the kung-fu genre. The fight scenes are not all bad, especially the final few between the old white-haired guy (a sure sign of martial-arts mastery, apparently) and the young student. Also along for this final fight sequence are the student's two (count 'em, TWO!) teachers, a fellow disciple of the old man, and at least three other guys who just throw around insults. Wow, that's some fight!

Maybe the most notable thing about 36 CRAZY FISTS (and this isn't a good thing) is its title; it suffers from PNS (Poorly-Named Syndrome), in that the 36 "crazy fists" are only one of dozens of technique the student learns. Moreover, they aren't even fists but sweep-chops! Oh well.

In short, this movie doesn't have anything special going for it...move along, move along. My rating: 5.5/10
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10/10
Traditional Fare
bg2585722 May 2001
Even though Jackie Chan is not in the movie, it is quite enjoyable. It is a very traditional chop sokey film. It's a treat for people who enjoy the broad humor and lack of special effects used in old school kung fu films. In other words, "Their Kung Fu is very good!" Many of the characters (especially the two old male lead fighters) are frequently seen in better known films. This is just a notch below "Twin Dragons" and "The Legend". The dubbing is in Cockney English, a sure sign this is old style and not a new film. There is some gratuitous nudity, which comes across and gratuitous silliness. I recommend it strongly for people who like good fighting, enjoy the cultural traditions of China and enjoy the robust humor typical of this genre. Thumbs up!
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3/10
Some half-decent choreography and that's about it
Leofwine_draca20 January 2013
36 CRAZY FISTS is one of those cheap and cheerful kung fu efforts that were all the rage in the '70s. This one is a lot poorer than most, with an absolutely bottom dollar budget that means we only get a handful of different sets and actors throughout the movie. Most of it takes place in a field someplace where guys fight for what seems like an age. As well as the bad production values, this one suffers from an absolutely appalling dubbing job (one of those jobs by the 'Cockney boys'), rubbish editing, even worse acting and a director whose idea of comedy is to speed the film up and have his characters speaking gobbledegook.

In fact I reckon this film would be totally forgotten about today (and with good reason), if it wasn't for the participation of Jackie Chan. There are dubious claims that he helped out with the direction and fight choreography here, although he's uncredited for both; personally I can believe the latter but am not so sure about the former! To be fair, the fights aren't too bad, and in particular the extended final bout is a good one – lengthy, hard-hitting, against one of those white-haired supervillains so beloved of the genre.

Although some of the cast are familiar – including the master guy and Fung Hark-On as a typical thug – for the most part they're undistinguished. Kuang Hsiung is just another Chan or Lee imitator. The plot is the worst part of the film, a simple, boring amalgamation of all the themes that were popular in '70s period kung fu flicks, from drunken beggars who turn out to be kung fu masters, to the evil clans, the Buddha-praising monks and the pretty girls (one of whom strips off for a cheesy/sleazy topless bedroom moment).

Sadly it all feels false and by-the-by and you never really understand the main character's motivations. Worse still, there's little excitement to be had from the seen-it-all-before feel of the film, and there's nothing here which hasn't been done better elsewhere. 36 CRAZY FISTS is one to avoid, unless you're a real completionist.
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3/10
36,000 clichés!
mstomaso9 October 2005
Jackie Chan directed this fairly typical parodic plagiarism of several of his own films (and a few from before his time). A few Chan's regulars show up, including the master from the masterpiece Drunken Master playing essentially the same role, but Jackie himself is nowhere to be found. I got the feeling that this film was tossed together as a vehicle for one or two of the younger actors in it. The plot is not very clever, and though some of the characters are interesting (particularly the male lead and his two masters), they all dissolve into not very clever and not-as-funny-as-they-could-have-been stereotypes once the central plot comes into focus. Thankfully, there is very little pseudo-philosophical pretentiousness here.

The plot is a story of family revenge - where a hopelessly sensitive tiny young man (smaller than Bruce Lee, even) wants to exact revenge on s band of thugs who have terrorized his village, leaving him and his sister orphaned. So he seeks a master at a Kung Fu gym and is treated ruelly for a while, until he meets another master (a drunken old vagabond in the woods), and suddenly starts to show some promise. Plenty of poorly realized comedic opportunities arise and there is some good fighting (and some miserably acted fighting as well). ho hum. Bottom line is - it took me three nights to get through this and I only laughed a couple of times.

For fans only.
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The Most Overrated Movie of All Time
My gosh, you can't go anywhere without hearing about how great this movie is. Everyone feels that they need to point out the greatness of this movie, 36 Crazy Fists, but I just don't get it. The climaxic battle scene between the hero and the "gray monkey man" seemed flat and lifeless, (not to mention long) and the training scenes were neither "genius" or "inspired." Some people have told me that this movie had changed their lives, but I really have trouble believing that after finally watching the film.

Overall, the film is good, but not all that I thought that it would be. You probably should see it if you want to, but don't do it solely out of peer pressure. Thank You.
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3 out of 10 *spoilers, maybe*
dragon ma young25 July 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Wow, this movie was TERRIBLE! The plot goes somewhat like this: A young man learns kung-fu from a shoalin master to avenge his father's death(he was killed by gangsters). I liked Drunken Master, which this movie reminded me a lot of, but this movie wasn't funny. It tried despretly to be funny, but never got close. Every single time someone fell down or made a stupid face, it would make this loud WA WA WAAAAAAAAAAAAA sound, that was so annoying, i wanted to hit the screen. Another thing that made me mad is that Jackie Chan was on the box and the back of the box said he was IN the movie, but he wasn't in it AT ALL! Oh,and I hate that drunk old man with a stick. The young man(I never can remember his name)always walks down the road carrying water for his master, and this drunk old man with a stick jumps out of no where and starts to beat him up. Every time he does, The young man gets better at kung-fu. If I was a better fighter every time I got beat up, I could kick ANYONE's a$$!The young man does learn kung fu,and avenges his pop's death. I just feel so cheated out of the 2 bucks I payed for this terrible flick i wanna puke. NOTE: this movie really isnt as bad as i say. just because jackie isnt in the movie, doesnt mean it cant be good. and i dont hate the drunk old man with the stick(R.I.P), i was just angry. see it if you dare folks.
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The Worst Movie I have EVER seen!!!*spoilers,maybe*
americanpie700031 December 2000
Warning: Spoilers
Wow,this movie was TERRIBLE!The plot goes somewhat like this:A young man learns kung-fu from a shoalin master to avenge his father's death(he was killed by gangsters).I liked Drunken Master,which this movie reminded me a lot of,but this movie wasn't funny.It tried despretly to be funny,but never got close.Every single time someone fell down or made a stupid face,it wold make this loud WA WA WAAAAAAAAAAAAA sound,that was so annoying,i wanted to hit the screen.Another thing that made me mad is that Jackie Chan was on the box and the back of the box said he was IN the movie,but he wasn't in it AT ALL!Oh,and I hate that drunk old man with a stick.The young man(I never can remember his name)always walks down the road carrying water for his master,and this drunk old man with a stick jumps out of no where and starts to beat him up.Every time he does,The young man gets better at kung-fu.If I was a better fighter every time I got beat up,I could kick ANYONE's a$$!The young man does learn kung fu,and avenges his pop's death.I just feel so cheated out of the 2 bucks I payed for this terrible flick i wanna puke.
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10/10
good movie
horizontrans22 June 2002
Good movie! Bad DVD source. :) Jackie Chan yet again. Seems like this guy couldn't have anything more to do with the Kung Fu Movie scene and then i find about 10 more DVDs. If you like Jackie Chan then this is a must see movie. Not one of his best but definitely an original work of Kung Fu Art!
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5/10
You are kung pu fupil?
Arlis Fuson8 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
So many people whine that they got this and it wasn't a Jackie Chan movie, although he's on the box...He was in the first part of the movie with the other guy as the credits start, but he's not in the actual movie. I love martial arts films, and most are lost and forgotten, so if putting Jackie Chan on the box makes it sell then more power to it. I am not a huge fan of Jackie Chan's movies anyway, but I love kung-fu cinema.

This movie is pretty much your cliché typical movie. The directing is basic, the acting is OK and the fights are pretty good, but nothing too spectacular. The old drunk man is the best thing abut the movie.

When a young man's village is destroyed by bad guys he seeks help from a great kung fu master, but his real lessons come from a drunk old man, he basically learns kung fu by accident and seeks his revenge.

As I said, I enjoyed the film, but it's not that great as far as kung fu goes. One guy wrote a review that he kept hearing how this was the best martial arts film from everyone, and I personally have a lot of friends who worship the genre and we all agree it is mediocre at best. These old movies focus a lot on comedy and this one went a bit overboard..

It's worth a watch only for fans of the genre, but it's not a great film, I give it five stars out of a possible ten cause I like the genre and some of the fighting was okay.
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