Bloody Monkey Master (1977)
User ReviewsReview this title
This is one of my favorite movie of his (Others being The Flying Guillotines, and Executioner From Shaolin), and also one of my favorite kung-fu movie.
He plays a rebel against the Manchus in this movie, but that's almost irrelevant. It's strait forward Chen Kuan Tai with him being at his best. I like this movie more than some of the other kung-fu movies that are considered "classics" such as "The Five Deadly Venoms". None of those characters has the appeal Chen has. In this movie, he's also the director.
One great kung-fu movie that's a classic in its own right.
This film was made while Kuan Tai was still under contract to the Shaw Brothers studio so he must have filmed it on the side in Taiwan. It looks a little cheap in places but generally provides solid entertainment, and it's a big help that the fight scenes are well-shot and relatively exciting. The opening sequence in which a monkey battles an eagle is quite memorable although the famed monkey style doesn't really come into it until the climax. Kuan Tai's version of the form isn't as showy as that of some other actors but it's definitely hard-hitting.
I've always liked Kuan Tai as an actor, even in his bad guy roles, so it was a pleasure to see him as the imposing hero here. The film is the usual mix of fight footage and training, with the villains getting away with everything until the final half an hour. The last 30 minutes provides an odyssey of fight action, building to a violent end fight in which the monkey style comes to the fore. It's solid stuff. Ka-Yan Leung (aka 'Beardy') stars in support as one of the bad guys and gets to battle our hero in one frenetic scene.