Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Honourable Mention: the Warrior From Shaolin

This was a film directed by Chia Yung Liu under the name Lau Kar Wing and was released in 1980 (according to IMDb, elsewhere listed as 1984). It was (primarily) a comedy set during the Japanese occupation of China with the comedic aspect drawn from the interactions between the main character, a Buddhist monk (Gordon Liu, Shaolin Vs Vampire, the Shadow Boxing, Shaolin Vs the Evil Dead & Shaoline Vs Evil Dead: Ultimate Power), and his two reluctant guides.

the spy
It begins with Japanese troops chasing after a spy. Shot, he manages to get to a Buddhist temple and pass on the map he has of Japanese encampments. It needs passing to an agent and the Abbott agrees to help but the Japanese are closing in. Eventually only one monk is left, and he finds himself getting help from a young man who is keen to make money out of the situation. The monk has a box (containing some relics, a prayer book and the map) and the man decides it must contain treasure. He has a friend nearby and they arrange for the friend to pretend to be a ghost and scare him into handing the box over.

corpse shepherd with kyonsi
It is during this scene that we get – inexplicably – the kyonsi. We see a corpse shepherd leading corpses for funeral. His master is unwell and so they lead the corpses into a cave to store for the night, whilst the younger man looks for medicine for the elder. The young guide mistakes the corpses for friends in on the scheme and removes their pacifying scrolls but accidentally gets another scroll stuck on to his back that they follow. There is a very badly lit scene with the corpses following him and some inadvertent kung fu. They do not do anything vampiric (barring their hopping and general animation) and after the corpse shepherd gets them under control they are not in the film again. The man who dresses as a ghost becomes part of the monk’s entourage at that point.

A really weird inclusion – as there is nothing supernatural included in the rest of the film. The edition I watched was really badly dubbed. The imdb page is here.

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