The 36 Crazy Fists (1983)
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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
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.
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.
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.
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.