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|Index||11 reviews in total|
Kung Fu Zombie is one of those rare gems. It does nothing special, or
well, but the speed at which things happen and the utter madness you
only get from a HK release make this very appealing. The titular kung fu
zombie is fun. He flies around pulls faces and, and this is the best bit,
every time he is seen the camera pulls a close up to the 'da da dah-da da
dah, da da d da da' part of the James Bond theme.
One for the late night stoner brigade. It worked for me and my mates (respect to jimmy for getting it in the first place).
Kung Fu Zombie is a charming flick loaded with fast paced martial arts fighting. The story is too over the top to try to explain here, but it's worth mentioning that this film has zombies, ghosts, a vampire, a wizard, possessions, an exorcism, paintings that shoot lasers out of their eyes and a healthy does of well executed kung fu! All of this is packed into a film on the short side of 80 minutes. Intentionally funny, Kung Fu Zombie is a hilarious, tightly edited, romp of a film. The big pay off is at the end of the film when Billy Chong fights an undead vampire martial arts master. The energy and absurdity of this scene is magnificent. If you're expecting a lot of zombies, you may be disappointed, but if you're looking for an entertaining ride on the wonderful roller-coaster of crazy kung fu films, Kung Fu Zombie won't disappoint!
Billy Chong has to fight villains, zombies, ghosts and a vampire, who all
knows the art of kung fu. All this because some low-life bad guy and a
part-time magician wants him out of the way.
As usual there is loads of fighting, slapstick comedy, and we also get some jumping zombies, stupid ghosts and a vampire who´s running around chopping heads. Funny and entertaining, but also quite exhausting. Not as good as the Mr. Vampires series though. Leave your brain in a bucket and enjoy.
Okay, so the only reason I ever saw this movie to begin with was
because I found the used DVD (the Black Belt Theatre version) on sale
for $2 in a local video store in the middle of nowhere. I honestly
expected it to stink to high heaven, and only bought it for the funny
title. To my surprise, I really enjoyed it! I'm pretty confused at most
of the reviews I see on the web for this movie calling it a "horror"
film, because this is a comedy pure and simple. Everything is so
ridiculous that it's absolutely hilarious, from the "wizard's" goofy
dancing whenever he casts "spells," to the scene where they're out
"shopping" for corpses, to the protagonist's complete indifference as
to whether his obnoxious father lives or dies. The dub is absolutely
hilarious (I've seen probably over a hundred dubbed movies/shows and
this is, no kidding, one of the most effective ones I've ever seen,
though it's obviously much easier to dub a goofy comedy than a drama),
and it makes excellent use of music at hilarious times. I also have to
give a hearty thanks to the editor for the Americanized version, who
clearly edited out at least half an hour of what was clearly dull
story, leaving absolutely nothing but kung fu and comedy scenes.
If you have the capacity to enjoy goofy, ridiculous movies and slapstick humor, I fully recommend this. The closest thing I can compare it to is a super low-budget version of Kung Fu Hustle. I only wish the DVD transfer were better (it's watchable, but the scenes in dark places can be hard to make out).
Like other reviewers said, Kung Fu Zombie lives up to its title, but
other than the character of the vampire, it doesn't go beyond
expectations. A rating of a 5 is usually used in the case of a boring
and mediocre film, but Kung Fu Zombie is not. It goes insanely back and
forth from being a genuinely bizarre (and entertaining) zombie story
and kung fu movie, to a pathetic attempt at film-making. The production
of the dubbed version is way below kung-fu-film average, with numerous
jumps in the plot (which is so ridiculous it's almost dull), hopeless
attempts at vaudeville-style humor, and problems in pacing which
sometimes makes it hard to sit through. Many of the attempts at humor
fail completely, and most of the laughs will come from what is meant to
be scary or strange. At the same time, though, Kung Fu Zombie has that
insanity and originality that makes it a "good bad film". For example,
a drawing on the outside of a jail shoots lasers out of its eyes at a
zombie- because, of course, zombies can't enter jails.
The fighting in Kung Fu Zombie is surprisingly good. Billy Chong is a terrible actor, but a great athlete. The editing throughout the film is confusing and convoluted enough to ruin several scenes, and although it's noticeable in fight scenes, it somehow doesn't manage to ruin them.
It's hard to pin down an audience for Kung Fu Zombie. It might not be best for kung fu fanatics; those who prefer the serious type of kung fu film will abhor it. Probably many of its viewers are people looking for a fun zombie movie (The mainstream 70's zombie flicks had little or no influence on Kung Fu Zombie- 100% Hong Kong horror), or those who are amused by the title- these are the people who are most likely to enjoy it.
This is a pretty entertaining movie, but not nearly the mindwarp that Chong's Kung Fu From Beyond the Grave is. This movie does have its moments, but the plot is not as interesting as it could be. Still, the villain is without a doubt the most butt-whuppinest zombie I have ever seen, and that includes the giant Mombie from Braindead (Dead-Alive). It's particularly fun the way he's always introduced with ripped-off James Bond music. Also the final fight is a doozie once the priest gets into the action. Worth a watch for Fu/Horror fans, but definitely not one to use an introduction to the genre.
I have an English dub and a subtitle version of this movie. The English
version is about 78 minutes and the subtitle version about 94 minutes.
Some of the differences include an extended graveyard scene, when Billy
leaves to go out he stops at a tea house before the grave yard, the
second Billy versus father fight is longer, an added grave yard scene
after Billy's dad recovers, longer attempted reincarnation sequence,
longer fight sequence versus the family enemy, and others. The only
disconnect between the versions involves the other two guys who
accompany Cheng Kei-Ying in the first scene. They disappear then
reappear after being long forgotten.
Either version is fabulous. The English dub is done by the A team so no complaints there. The fights are top quality. The humor is laugh out loud. Chiang Tao, villain par excellence, does a great acting job as Billy's controlling father in addition to his usual stand-out martial stunts. Chan Lau, known for that great funny face, gets the comedy act down perfect in addition to his stunts. Billy Chong still manages to steal the show from this great supporting cast.
This movie has my highest recommendation and not just for fans of the genre. Eight out of ten.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A wild and heady mix of knockabout comedy, horror elements, and
super-fast martial arts action make up this crazy combination of a
film, made during the period in Hong Kong when Sammo Hung's
supernatural successes meant that everybody jumped on the comedy horror
bandwagon. Despite a low budget and the crude special effects used in
the film, KUNG FU ZOMBIE is a thrill-a-minute ride which will be a hoot
for fans of the genre. The movie is packed with comedy throughout,
mostly of the slapstick variety, and as is the norm with these
productions there are a lot of guys screaming and shouting at each
other all the while. Invisible ghosts that pull chairs out from
underneath people and grope the town prostitute are here, as well as
irritating sidekicks named Hamster with fake freckles and a comedy fat
guy who eats a small, cute dog.
The simple plot is just an excuse to cram as much action, kung fu, and comedy into one eighty-minute film as possible and it works. Things begin, appropriately enough, in a graveyard, where an unlucky wizard manages to bring three rotting zombies back to life. The corpse makeup in this film is pretty yucky so plenty of macabre chills in that area. Things go wrong when the wizard's employer ends up falling in a spike trap he set for his enemy, and his ghost returns to haunt the wizard, demanding him to find another body. Into this mess comes martial hero Billy Chong, whose own father happens to pop off at the moment, thus providing a harmless vessel for the enemy to inhabit. Also into this mess comes an invincible vampire zombie who has a score to settle with Chong. The scene is set for a showdown.
Plenty of bizarre moments keep this film moving along nicely and its often surprising. Chong makes for a skilled and able fighter and although his character is less than engaging, he carries a natural charisma which combines with his talent to provide a worthwhile hero character. Chong is first seen jumping out of a tree and battling with his father in some frenetic kung fu action which is some of the fastest and craziest I've seen so far, making great use of props like buckets of water and tables and the like. Acting awards go to the guy playing the unfortunate wizard, who is magnificent in his part at playing a weaselly but inherently good character caught on the wrong side.
Things culminate in a fantastic battle sequence between Chong and this caped vampire zombie guy, who gorily bites people's heads off and drinks their blood messily. Just as Chong is losing, a Buddhist priest turns up to help him on and then the fight goes into overdrive, an incredibly fast sequence of hard punches, kicks, the vampire setting himself alight to defeat his enemy and his final, hilarious comeuppance. Incredible stuff which really is worth waiting for. Despite cheap production values, the film looks visually impressive throughout and the action, when it comes, is fast and furious and most importantly exciting. Although I wouldn't call this film a classic due to the shallowness of the plot and the sometimes overwhelming silly comedy on display, it's genuinely entertaining and therefore deserves praise.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Amusing Kung fu horror comedy about a guy seeking to get revenge on the
person who sent him to jail by using zombies. He ends up dead himself
and needs to have his spirit put into a suitable body. Meanwhile the
family of the person who sent the now dead guy to jail is having
problems since another family is out for revenge for other reasons.
Odd mish mash of genres is actually amusing in a completely less than serious way. The horror elements are creepy, the humor dopey but fun and the action is pretty good. I picked this up for a buck and it actually entertained me more than most films I paid ten or twenty times that amount for. If you can go with the shifting genres I recommend this.
Definitely worth a box of popcorn and a soda.
What a masterpiece! I still can't believe what I've seen. This is a classic of eastern cinematography. It belongs in every well sorted movie-collection. The director, the actors, the scenery and the plot are unique. I want to mention especially Billy Chong as Pang. His performance is so outstanding, it's really a thrill watching his acting. And director Hua I-Jung did a hell of a job. He's a brilliant director. Forget John Woo! Forget Tsui Hark! This one is ultimate!
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