A hot headed young butcher, who is also a kung fu disciple, gets embroiled in a feud with a rival shaolin temple.A hot headed young butcher, who is also a kung fu disciple, gets embroiled in a feud with a rival shaolin temple.A hot headed young butcher, who is also a kung fu disciple, gets embroiled in a feud with a rival shaolin temple.
So why do I only give it a 7 when the fight scenes are so great? The fight scenes alone are 9-10 points worthy and I was entertained all the time a fight started. The story however was shifting in tone all the time, from light-hearted comedy to brutal murder. Growing up with film from US and England, I guess I have a limited view of how comedies and actions should work. Although, I've seen quite a few Hong Kong action comedies from the 80s and they did get less violent for the next decade. Just like the other films in the Sammo-box, there's some deaths that just doesn't feel necessary compared to what the rest of the story is.
The film also take place in an alternate universe where people are slow-minded and easily fooled. Obviously it wouldn't have been a film if people would've explained stuff to the end, instead Sammo beats up a stranger because someone else called that person a thief. That person then tell his master that's a kung fu fighter that Sammo called him a "phony" and lots of other bad things about his school. The Kung Fu master then goes to Sammo's Master and begins to fight him even before asking if any of it is true. Sure, we get an amazing fight scene involving a brush. But looking through the film, there are so many liars that get away easily while some other people end up in brutal fights because of them.
I really loved the relation between the drunk beggar and Sammo's character and reminded me of Drunken Master (same director). His comments during the fights as well as his silly grin made me chuckle a lot throughout the film. I also think that the titles of this film and another film from the box, The Iron-Fisted Monk (1977), had some strange titles to them. We didn't see Sammo do much butchery at all in this film, just carrying some pigs in the beginning of the film. And the Iron-fisted monk, there wasn't really a specific iron-fist through the film, just lots of normal punches. At least this film had some more special fists/palms to it and would probably make more sense if it was called "The Iron-fisted butcher" or something like that.
A slight spoiler ahead - but was the father of the rapist/murder son really a bad guy? All he wanted was to avenge his goddaughter and son for their deaths, and it looked to me that he never really got anything explained to him what really happened.
Don't think too much about the story while watching the film, enjoy the fights.
- Jul 7, 2020