Fat jeung lo hon kuen
Mandarin: Fo zhang luo han quan
English: Buddha Palm Disciple of Buddha
One of director Yuen Woo-ping's lesser
works, THE BUDDHIST FIST still features some excellent martial arts and will
please most fans of old school genre films. Bumbling barber Shang (Yuen Shun-yee)
gets fired from his job and sets out across the countryside to visit his father.
Upon arriving home, he is unable to find the man but does encounter his childhood
friend, Si-ming (Tsui Siu-ming), who is now a monk. Both men were raised by
the same Shaolin master and are martial arts experts. A while back, Si-ming
violated his vows by getting drunk and was framed for rape and murder. Now,
he is being forced to commit criminal acts by a mysterious figure who threatens
to reveal Si-ming's crimes to the public. After assassins try to kill him,
Shang learns from a policeman that his father had discovered a plot hatched
by foreigners to steal some of China's treasures. The man blackmailing Si-ming
is also part of the scheme and Shang faces a difficult decision when he learns
of his friend's involvement.
Neither the story nor the characters are as interesting as their counterparts
in Yuen's other work from this period. However, the kung fu is up to standard
(particularly an extended duel between Yuen Shun-yee and Lee Hoi-sang) and
veterans Simon Yuen Siu-tien (the Yuen clan's famous father, best known in
the West for playing Jackie Chan's slovenly teacher in SNAKE IN THE EAGLE'S
SHADOW and DRUNKEN MASTER; click here for a still)
and Fan Mui-sang are quite appealing in supporting roles. David Wu Ta-wai
(the HK actor/director/composer, not to be confused with the like-named Taiwanese
actor), Peter Chan Lung, Yuen Cheung-yan, and Dai Sai Aan also appear.
Cover art courtesy Tai Seng.
|Tai Seng #75073 (U.S. Label)
Dolby Digital 1.0
Cantonese, Mandarin, and English Language Tracks (all
11 Chapters Illustrated in the Menu With (Tiny) Stills
Letterboxed (1.85:1; cropped from 2.35:1)
Coded for ALL Regions
Contains moderate martial arts violence and coarse
DVD menu courtesy
BOARD RATINGS AND CONSUMER ADVICE
Great Britain: 18
An unauthorized version of THE BUDDHIST FIST was released
on DVD a while back by Arena/Xenon but has since been withdrawn. Tai Seng's
slightly squeezed rendition cropboxes the original 2.35:1 frame at 1.85 but
the compositions usually still look symmetrical. The image is somewhat undermatted,
causing the splice line to be visible at shot change points, but the picture
looks sharp and clear. Like all low-budget HK productions from this period,
the filmstock and lab work are variable. A few sequences look grainy and colors
are a little pale throughout but the presentation is generally pleasing. The
source print has a few scratches, including two prominent white ones along
the left side of the screen during the opening 10 minutes (see
the grab featuring Simon Yuen), and light speckling but is acceptable.
Tai Seng's version includes English, Cantonese, and Mandarin tracks but no
subtitle options, alas. The dubbing is pretty awful but no worse than usual;
the English track sounds adequate, while the Chinese ones are a bit muffled.
The DVD also includes a Yuen Woo-ping bio/filmography and trailers for WING
CHUN (domestic video spot), TAI CHI II (for International English markets),
the company's SHAOLIN CLASSICS SERIES (THE DESCENDENT OF WING CHUN, SHAOLIN
AVENGERS, LEGEND OF THE DRUNKEN TIGER), Yuen Woo-ping's IRON MONKEY (domestic
video spot for Tai Seng's now-discontinued edition), and the original Cantonese
preview for THE MIRACLE FIGHTERS.
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