36 Crazy Fists Cover Now after reading the title printed up above, who is the one person you should expect to see in this film? Jackie Chan, right? You know, that very aerobatic Chinese chap that's good at doings all of those crazy stunts of his. But no. He's not. Just ask the Director: Chi-Hwa Chen; or the Actors: Siu-Hung Leung and Michelle Yim. But only in 1977, and for about 90 minutes.

The 36 Crazy Fists

With his father murdered. His ass kicked. And his body saved by a couple of Monks. What Wong Tai-Kwang (Siu-Hung Leung) want to know now is: who will teach him Kung-Fu, so that he can get his revenge on the dastardly gang that did this to him in the first place?

Well, the master of local Shaolin temple (Wen Tai Li) won't help Wong because he thinks he's too weak. And even when Master Hsi Tak (Feng Ku) enrols him into his school for some lessons, he doesn't even try to teach him either!

Wait a minute! What about that scruffy looking fellow who loiters around the river? You know. What's-his-name. That drunken chap (Cheng Chiang). Maybe he'd be able to knock some kung fu into Wong? Furthermore, once Wong gets a little better with the old kick and punch, I'm pretty damn certain that the drunken sod's pupil will show him some more slip and slide!

Yeah. That sound's like a fairly decent plan. Doesn't it?

However, will this be enough for Wong to get his revenge? Because even though his sister, Wong Wai Chi (Michelle Yim), thinks he could be up for the job at hand. It doesn't seem that way when what next transpires goes tits up in the field of battle. As Monks help with retraining - certain gang members need restraining - a dirty trick helps with a bout - and this adventure ends with a rather brotherly twist and shout. 


Now underneath the surface of '36 Crazy Fists'; is a very cleverly constructed film that's taken some of the characters from Jackie Chan's early kung-fu flicks, and then amalgamated them all together into one fairly cohesive story-line. Moreover, it's funny in places. Jovial in others. And by in large the kung-fu on show isn't that bad either.

However -- as you might have guessed -- where this film falls flat on its ass, is in every other department thereafter. For example: (1) The overall story wasn't really a story. It was more like a premise to highlight a series of exhibitions, making it come across very 'episodic' by default, and does not have that 'path of self discovery' feel other movies of this era bring along with them. (2) As much as I didn't mind watching the fights in this flick, more or less they were either very jovial or very long-winded in execution. I personally saw them as 'lampoonish tournament bouts' you might see in a video game.  (3) The humour in this piece is what I would call of the 'Benny Hill' variety; because the gags ended with a silly sound-effect or an overt eye-roll / grimace. (4) One of main pitfalls this movie fails to avoid is how the characters in it don't make any sense whatsoever. I mean, why allow someone into your class if you're not willing to teach them the subject you teach? Also, why not tell your master that you are being taught by somebody else, especially when he isn't willing to teach you in turn? (5) The last thirty minutes of this adventure was rather repetitive in hindsight. Wong gets challenged by an opponent. Wong gets taught how to overcome his opponent. And then Wong overcomes his opponent. Time's to the power of three. (6) At the beginning of this film there was a four minute prologue where the actors in it were being taught martial arts by Jackie Chan. Yet Jackie wasn't in the main thrust of this tale. Ops! Cash-in Alert!!!!

36 Crazy Fists American Film Poster

36 Crazy Fists French Film Poster
Alight. I think it best if I stop myself there. I don't want you to think that I hate '36 Crazy Fists'. It isn't a bad movie. Granted, it isn't the best one either. Still, it has a lot of history behind it. Just look at the facts. (1) Did you know that the director of this film, Chi-Hwa Chen, made numerous cameo appearances in many of Jackie Chan's films? Such as: Police Story 1 and 2 [1985, 1988], The Protector [1985], Dragons Forever [1988], Miracles [1989], Operation Condor [1991], and Drunken Master II [1994]. (2) On Szeto, who wrote the screenplay for this project, also wrote the 1981 Dragon Lee film, 'EnterThree Dragons'. (3) During it's time, this Hong Kong production has been known as: 'Blood Pact', 'Jackie Chan's Bloodpact', 'Jackie and the 36 Crazy Fists', 'Karate Killer', 'Les 36 Poings Vengeurs De Shaolin', 'Master and the Boxer', and 'San shi liu mi xing quan'. (4) Although at the start of the film Wong Tai says that it takes ten days to get to the Temple and back [five day's there, and five days back] for some strange reason it only takes him three days mid way through it. (5) If you look very closely at the scene were the master is trying to teach Wong how to defend himself from a chain, you'll notice that the master rolls up his sleeves twice on two separate occasions. (6) This action-adventure inspired the four-piece Alaskan 'Metal Core band' to christen themselves, '36 Crazy Fists'. (7) Michelle Yim's most recent film work was in 2011 with 'Speed Racer'. Whilst Siu-Hung Leung's last known stunt work was in 2011 with 'Mugamoodi', as well as having a small role in the 2008 film, 'Ip Man'. (8) Not only is Lau Chan the real name of the actor who plays 'the official' in this picture, but it's also the name of a character in the Sega produced video game, 'Virtual Fighter'.

No Jackie Chan In 36 Crazy Fists

Overall '36 Crazy Fists' is what I what call a so-so film. The action was fine. The story was a silly one. And the concept behind it was very innovative too. It's just a shame that the rest of it wasn't much better, huh?

Nuff Said.


JACKIE CHAN - 36 CRAZY FISTS JACKIE CHAN - 36 CRAZY FISTS Reviewed by David Andrews on July 08, 2013 Rating: 5
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