Drunken Master (1978)

Posted in Reviews by - January 12, 2013
Drunken Master (1978)

This is a really great movie, the kind of thing you would recommend to a distant cousin. Brought to us by the Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow team, Drunken Master is a slightly superior film and undoubtedly the quintessential kung fu comedy.

Credit due to all involved: Woo-ping’s stylish direction and choreography, Simon Yuen’s synonymous ageing beggar, Hwang Jang-lee’s dastardly evil adversary. Yet the real delight here is Jackie Chan, strikingly confident from his new found fame and looking better than ever.

Woo-ping retraces the early years of Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hung, who is sent as a punishment by his father to learn kung fu from his torturous Uncle Sam the Seed (Simon Yuen), a bummed out alcoholic famous for crippling his students. The film’s villain Thunderfoot (Hwang) – a hired assassin who is good with his legs – kicks a little sense into the rebellious youth, and Sam is quick to teach the boy a few drunken kung fu techniques.

The training scenes are awesome, and you’ll have to go some to find a better brawl than Hwang and Jackie’s final punch up, in which our young hero resorts to camping it up with his new style of lady-like kung fu.

This movie caused a storm when first released and it still holds an impact today. A kung fu classic if ever there was one.

AKA: Drunken Monkey in the Tiger’s Eyes; Eagle Claw, Snake Fist and Cat’s Paw; Story of the Drunken Master

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a keyboard in London, UK.

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