1978 "Wandering Dragon" or "A Kungfuman, the Wanderer" from Taiwan with Pai Ying, Sek Fung, Miao Tan, Wong Goon-Hung and the ladies include - Elsa Yeung Wai-San, Tien Wah, Cheng Fei-Fei, and Chiang Ching-Hsia.
This is a mighty fine martial arts comedy. I am watching every martial arts movie ever made in chronological order from the golden era 1967 to 1984. 1978 was likely the most prolific of all these years. Many of these movies are still famous by title alone (The 36th Chamber of Shaolin). Some are famous not because of excellence because of how terrible they are (almost any movie from 1978 with Bruce Lee's name in the title). Many more have never been seen by more than a few thousand fans and likely never will be seen by any more (and the world is a better place because of that).
Then there is this movie. It is well done from start to finish and a hard core fan like me never even heard of it before I started my project. I rate this movie as an 8 out of 10 overall and I also rate it as one of the best martial arts movies of 1978. It has a simple story line some folks are just not interested in martial arts. That is the hero of this movie. Sek Feng's character simply states "We all have our own lives". His dad forces him to learn martial arts to no avail. Then he tries other methods such as sending him to live with monks, Taoist priests, and even becoming a scholar. But Sek Keng just doesn't fit in yet never gives up his attitude of tolerance and acceptance. It was such a relief to enjoy a character like that for a change rather than the dozens of stereotypes found in these movies. The humor is mostly lowbrow and physical but is really funny except for the parts where it continues even though the joke ended. The pacing and editing are perfect, the story flows smoothly never once is the fast forward button even considered. For an added bonus the girls are really hot too and show more than average amount of skin without total nudity.
Of course the fights are good. Every fight is above average with good choreography and staging, there is uniqueness and character to each fight and most of all every move is executed with above average power, focus and speed.
I am putting all fans of martial arts movies on notice that this movie is mandatory viewing and you have my promise that you will also find it above average.
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