Legendary Weapons of China (1982)Director: Lau Kar-leung
Starring: Lau Kar-Leung, Hsiao Ho, Alexander Fu Sheng, Kara Hui Ying-Hung, Gordon Liu Chia-Hui, Lau Kar-Wing, Jue Tit-Woh, Wong Ching-Ho, Lee King-Chue, Lin Ke-Ming, Cheung Chok-Chow, Wang Han-Chen, Mak Wai-Cheung, Ng Yuk-Sue, Cheung Gwok-Wa
Tagline: Man rips off his own balls! Film at eleven!
You would think that a film where a man tears his balls off with his bare hands in one of the first scenes would have peaked early, how wrong you are! There is a plot concerning a traitorous boxer (of Boxer Rebellion fame), and those sent to assassinate him, but this is just an excuse to stage fight after fight with barely enough time to take a breath.
Even before the 'legendary' weapons turn up later in the film, there are enough fight scenes for several movies and it does get a bit confusing. Helping with this is the comedy in several scenes such as the spiritual kung fu conmen and the voodoo doll fight in the toilet block.
I also liked the fight in the attic with Gordon Lui's character poking a spear up between the rafters, causing one of the people fighting to start meowing to pretend it was just a cat chasing a mouse.
It is a bit confusing when the two main characters meet up with the supposed traitor who is disguised as a woodcutter. They meet him in one scene and then forget who he is, only to meet up with him later. It is eventually explained but there are enough fights scenes in between that it doesn't matter.
The legendary weapons themselves are magnificent and are each introduced with a shimmering title on screen at the start of each fight. It is not just a laundry list of weapons however, as they are all used in context and the progression in the fights is very natural.
Also of note are the spiritual boxers with very Ninja-style moves including capes with pointy stars all over them, hidden blades and ejecting golden Buddha backpacks that fly across the room.
If you like your martial arts films to be action-packed, then I can't recommend this film highly enough. Those seeking a more serious movie should look elsewhere. This movie would also be great to watch with friends and I am going to take it to my local pub for them to put up on the big screen as I think people would enjoy it there also.