"Fighting Fool" - above average "B" class kung fu comedy
This is a strange film out of the Shaw film studios. Not in the film itself but that it somehow has fallen between the cracks enough that it's almost completely unknown. While listed here as directed by Lo Mar, the credits give the duty to someone called Yuen Ho Chuen who has no listing anywhere except for this film. While the superior quality of the film leads me to strongly believe that Lo Mar was not involved, many of the people involved with his other films are present in this production.
An impish Eagle Claw student played by Meng Yuen Man is studying with his teacher, Old Eagle in a remote cabin. They are attacked by Old Eagle's evil training brother who wants the legendary "retractable pole" of Eagle Claw. The bad guy and his henchmen are too strong and Old Eagle is kidnapped while his student is thrown into a river. The student vows to free his teacher from "Eagle Mansion" but gets arrested along with a burly bank robber while stealing food. The two escape and team up but the relationship is wobbly as the bank robber is really looking for loot and couldn't care less about Old Eagle's fate. The two infiltrate Eagle Mansion and the story goes on.
First of all, it must be mentioned that this film is full of inspired martial art routines. The quality is up to some of the best films from Liu Chia Liang or Chang Cheh. Right after the martial arts in quantity is a lot of Cantonese style broad humor. Some gags are funny, some... well, they are typical of Cantonese film humor of the time. Some very kooky things happen which I will let you be surprised by. This is one of the few films to have Eagle Claw good guys although there's little real Eagle Claw mostly a lot of wild acrobatic style kung fu, similar to "Crippled Avengers". Meng Yuen Man is a wonder at times.
Well shot and edited, the kung fu fan should look out for this one. Recommended.
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