Taoism Drunkard (1984)

Posted in Reviews by - September 07, 2015
Taoism Drunkard (1984)

In the absence of Yuen Woo-ping, his brother Yuen Cheung-yan steps up to direct this third installment in the Yuen clan’s nutty Miracle Fighters series. The film retains the admirable insanity of the previous films even if this one is particularly disjointed, jumping between tricks at breakneck speed. The most memorable oddity in this demented film is a giant cannonball with legs, eyes, and a snapping jaw which traps its adversaries with extendable antennae and suction pads. It’s almost as mad as that kid in the urn from the first film, and the poisonous toad in Shaolin Drunkard. Yuen Yat-chor plays the mousy young virgin boy who winds up protecting a Taoist magic school from the impending threat of ‘Old Devil’ Sunny Yuen, playing another one of his great supernatural sadists. The bastard wants an ancient writ and has been killing off superstitious leaders to get it, including the boy’s grandmother (Yuen Cheung-yan in drag, again). Yuen Cheung-yan also plays the bucktoothed Taoist drunkard of the title in another duel role like the previous films, and takes a more central role here with a running gag involving widower Lo Pi-ling, who is put under a love spell with the old alcoholic. The humour never escalates beyond the slapstick and puerile: the rotund Tsui Oi-sam using her bulky weight to sit on people, and in one scene, the old master drinks piss. Strong support from Hilda Liu stands out among the chaos. She plays the ethereal Starry Devil who is poisoned with a ghastly wasting disease and forced to retrieve the coveted amulet on behalf of the Old Devil, using her lethal long sleeves to rough up the good guys in the process. It’s a sequence of quite dramatic intention for a film otherwise played silly and fast.

AKA: Drunken Wu Tang; Miracle Fighters 3

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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