Shaolin Drunkard (1983)

Posted in Reviews by - January 26, 2014
Shaolin Drunkard (1983)

Mad as a bag of snakes, this insane masterpiece from the crazy brain of Yuen Woo-ping is pretty weird even by his esoteric standards, featuring a giant red eyed toad which sucks blood and sprays poisonous mucus, a demonic dueling puppet and a man who can fight with his hands on fire. As you can probably guess, this isn’t an existential turn-of-the-century thought-piece on alcoholism at the Shaolin temple. The drunkard of the title is bucktoothed beggar Yuen Cheung-yan, who leaves his post when he is supposed to be protecting Shaolin prisoner Sunny Yuen, playing a mad magician with fangs who is sprung from his booby-trapped cage by a creepy glam servant before running through a wall. The psychotic master is textbook evil; he owns a cauldron, lives in a cave with a rack of skeletons and wants the blood of nine virgin boys to learn the Lunar Sword technique and avenge his incarceration. His brother protests, shouting “I think you’ve gone too far”. No shit! The brother helps with his plight, arranging a contest to find a suitable boy using his pretty daughter as bait. Yuen Yat-chor steps up as the eligible young bachelor after promising his grandmother (Yuen Cheung-yan in drag) he will be married within three months. The beggar is tasked with bringing the master back, and teams with the young boy wizard as the forces of evil start to descend. The film ends with all four Yuen brothers switching up swordplay, kung fu styles and a nine ring hoop technique, showcasing the Yuen clan’s glorious, inventive and eccentric choreography. You will either love this or be left totally flummoxed. Either way, there’s nothing quite like it.

AKA: Miracle Fighters 2Wu Tang Drunkard; Wu Tang 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 laptop in London, UK.

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