Thursday, June 30, 2016

Honourable Mention: 8 Masters

This was a 1977 Kung Fu movie directed by Joseph Kuo Nan-Hong and was the third of the 18 Bronzemen movies (though not a direct sequel thereof).

In many respects it is a foreshadowing of the Kenny Rogers hit Coward of the County. It begins with 8 Masters of Kung Fu coming for Chu Shiao Chieh (played young by Ching Lap-Wai). His father, now dead, has managed to anger the masters and they are coming for the young song to get their revenge. A colleague of the father rescues the son and gives his life to get him to the Shaolin temple, where the boy is taken in and trained.

Carter Wong as Chu Shiao Chieh
Chu Shiao Chieh (played as an adult by Carter Wong, Big Trouble in Little China) becomes a kung fu expert but wishes to become a monk. His request is refused as he has a debt to pay – his rescuer having wanted him to go out into the world and do good. He is left with the philosophy, “Keep the peace. Have patience. Forgive offence.” On hearing he has returned to his family home the 8 masters demand he accept a challenge to fight them all, he denies this due to the philosophy until he is pushed too far. Even then he defeats but doesn’t kill the masters in a riot of Kung Fu action.

kyonsi attack
So, where are the vampires? Well they are there but only briefly. They are kyonsi kept in a hidden chamber below the 8 masters’ base and we can tell what they are due to their greyed faces, arms out and hopping gait. They also rise up to the vertical in a swift movement ala Count Orlock. These kyonsi have blades attached to their hands and are killed through Kung Fu rather than mystical means.

A fleeting visitation. The imdb page is here.

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