Monkey Kung Fu review by Bobby Blakey
I love all things martial arts and grew up with the iconic Kung-Fu Theater on TV that often times featured films from The Shaw Brothers. In 1979 they debuted Monkey Kung Fu from Shaolin Thief director Mar Lo and starring Siu-Tung Ching, Chiu-Sing Hau, Feng Kuan, Hui-Huang Lin, Ping Fong, Cheng Chiang an Wan Fat.
Monkey Kung Fu follows prisoner Ching who is given half of a wooden keepsake by a one eyed-master about to be executed and he breaks out of prison to go in search of the other half to discover its purpose. However, on his quest he is pursued by a gang leader who will also stop at nothing find out its secrets. Embroiling mystical promise, an adventurous journey and a search for the truth into its winding storyline, Money Kung Fu AKA Stroke of Death is a uniquely satisfying late seventies delve into the magical world of martial arts Hong Kong cinema.
These movies are always all over the place and this one is no different. Pretty much everything here is to set up a fight and not much else which is a good thing. There are tons of great fights here that feed the need to any hardcore martial arts fan. The story brings just enough depth to basically set up all the varying fights and the angle to learn Monkey Kung Fu. This is the parts I always love the most in these films when they start to learn or discover a new fighting system.
Per usual once they have it mastered in the short time they have they unleash a fury of feet and hands on everyone they can find. I love these old school fights. I
know they aren’t the fast paced flashy fights we have today, but there is just something just pure about these old school ones. They aren’t overly impressive or fast, but like a well-choreographed dance that is beautiful and violent in the best possible way. This one brings all sorts of variety to the table so that every fight feels similar but fresh and highly entertaining.
In addition to this great classic martial arts flick this release offers up bonus content including interviews, trailer, commentary, featurettes, double-sided fold out poster, booklet and more.
Grab your copy of Monkey Kung Fu when it hits Blu-ray on March 22nd from 88 Films.