Top Ten Bizarro Kungfu Movies
by David Agranoff
To celebrate the release of my new kungfu dark fantasy bizarro epic Hunting the Moon Tribe I thought it would be fun to list some of the best super bizarro kungfu movies. Here are some of the strangest kungfu movies! Check them out!
10. Crippled Masters: This one must be watched with a lot of fast forwarding. A kung fu movie about a man with no arms and his friend with no legs who have to team up to fight the villain who took their limbs. It is not a special effect but it is pretty impressive the fights done by these clearly handicapped actors. Sounds better than it is.
9.Encounters of A Spooky Kind: This Sammo Hung (Jackie Chan’s large friend and co-star/director) horror-comedy is bizarro throught-out. Hopping vampires, Chinese sorcerers, magic battles, Terrible special effects, stolen horror movie scores, monsters, and ghosts. The magic battle at the end is super funny. Not a great film, but super weird.
8. We Are Going to Eat You: Tusi Hark’s (the Spielberg of Hong Kong) second film is a kungfu comedy about cannibals. Really strange black comedy with cannibals, cross-dressing back country kungfu bandits and all kinds weird lowbrow humor. This is true trash by a director who went on to be a class act.
7.Master of the Flying Guillotine: A rational attempt at explaining the plot to this film is just silly. Basically, a one-armed martial artist is transported to another plant or maybe dimension where he has to fight all these crazy dudes. All done with horrible special effects they were proud of- a super tall guy with crazy stretch armstrong arms, and of course a guy with a decapitating basket on a chain, battle to survive.
6. Dr. Wei and The Scripture With No Words: So weird- despite starring Jet Li- this movie has never been released in the US. Ching Siu Tung, director of the Chinese Ghost Story films, was fired because the movie was such a mess and Producer Tusi Hark took over to try and fix it. He added this wrap-around plot about a writer who is writing novel about the story that makes up the main story, which is a creative way to fix the movie but it becomes even more of mess.This Indiana Jones rip-off includes: Ninjas, summo wrestlers jumping out of planes, super fake monster dogs and much much more. Jet Li fighting summos is worth a rental.
5.Story of Ricky: This Hong Kong/Japanese co-production is Escape from NY meets Dead Alive. Heads explode when punched, people are strangled with their own intestines, hulk like prison wardens, Crows eating eye balls out of dying men’s heads just because. Ricky is in prison. He killed the person who killed his girlfriend, I love that in all the flashbacks Ricky wears cheezy sweaters. The insanity of this movie can’t be overstated.
4.Bride With White Hair: The director of Freddy Vs. Jason and Bride of Chucky directed this strange adaption of a classic goth Wuxia novel about a wolf-woman shapeshifter who is member of a cult controlled by a pair of megalomaniac Siamese twins. After being screwed over by her love her hair turns white (an evil color in Chinese culture) and she avenges her betrayal by flying around decapitating men with a super powerful whip. Great movie. Huge influence on Hunting the Moon Tribe.
3.Infra-Man: Ten years before he was dumbo in The Killer Danny Lee had a turn as a superhero in the Chinese rip-off of ultra-man by one of the producers of Blade Runner. This super whacked out movie has a great cast of villains lead by the evil princess dragon mom. Demon Princess Elzebub, Witch Eye, Fire Dragon, Spider Monster, Plant Monster, Drill Arm, Long-Haired Monster, and Iron Armor Monsters. So the only way to stop them is create a robotic suit that makes Danny Lee a man beyond bionics. This movie has to be seen to be believed, of course this is a rare time when English dubbing really adds to the quality of the experience.
2.Chinese Ghost Story: Also one of the biggest influences on my novel Hunting the Moon Tribe, this Ching Siu Tung classic (went on to direct the action in Hero and House of Flying Daggers) is a horror comedy masterpiece. I first discovered this movie in Fangoria when they described it as the Chinese Evil Dead. The same goofy humor includes a trip into hell, tree-demons, giant tongue monsters, hip hop taoist monks and tongue in cheek humor to go with all the monsters. Both sequels are great as well.
1.Crazy Safari: This is the single most bizarre movie I have ever seen. The one eye-browed vampire hunting priest of the Mr.Vampire movies is in London to bid on a Chinese vampire corpse at an auction in London. They win the vampire after it awakes and hops around the auction. Then the worst pilots in the world run out of gas while flying them back to Hong Kong. So after they crash in Africa, of course the tribesmen from the arthouse comedy The Gods Must Be Crazy happens to hanging around. So of course the tribe decides to worship the vampire. There are all kinds of racist attempts at humor before they discover this is a bad idea.
Eventually the one eyebrowed monk rides an Ostrich(!) in and saves the day by putting the ghost of Bruce Lee into the body of the tribesman so he can have a kungfu fight with the vampire. The producers have tried to pass it off as The Gods Must Be Crazy 3.
Heroic Trio– Super heroes, flying guillotines, Goth-white-skinned cult leaders, walking corpses and baby theft and eating. One of the best super hero movies ever.
Heads for Sale– Revenge tale with a woman who collects heads.
Fist of the White Lotus– Early film with Pai Mei the monk in the Kill Bill films, here a young Gordan Liu (who played Pai Mei in KB) uses many funny methods to try and kill the monk.
Bat Without Wings: Only one weird thing about this but it really creates laughter throughout. The villain is dressed in the exact same make-up and outfits as the 70’s Gene Simmons. That is all.
David Agranoff is the author of Hunting the Moon Tribe and The Vegan Revolution… With Zombies.