The Shaw Brothers' kung fu equivalent of Scott Pilgrim

Originally published at: The Shaw Brothers' kung fu equivalent of Scott Pilgrim | Boing Boing


I saw this when I was a kid on Sunday afternoon TV and it took me 20 years to find out what it was called. In my top 5 films for this genre.


It actually has two names, which is common in the genre.

It also goes by “Shaolin Challenges Ninja.”


Seven Evil Ex’s


Kung Fu Hustle meets …

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Weird, because the characters for the film name are 中華丈夫, which I think is just ‘Chinese Husband’.

Same here - it’s one of a handful of Hong Kong classic Kung fu action films I remember seeing as a wee lad in the early-mid 80s, and then happily rediscovered on DVD in the early aughts.

I also found out later that the reason I liked this and a couple others with Gordon Liu so much was, they were mostly also directed by Lau Kar Leung, IMO the best all-around action director and choreographer from that era. They set such a high standard that it took a while for me to enjoy works by others, I was too enamored with their style.

This one in particular was notable for the extensive array of weapons on display during the individual duels.


I thought the movie was perfectly fine (and look forward to trying the re-released video game someday), but I finally got around to reading the comics a year or two ago (in the original black and white) and they didn’t do much for me at all. I’m not sure if they were simply a product of their time or if I just wasn’t the target audience. It didn’t help that – whatever other merits the art might have – so many of the characters were difficult to tell apart from one another.

A tad surprising that apparently Netflix is going ahead with an animated adaptation.

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If this is the movie I’m thinking of, I think I saw it under yet another name which I don’t remember, something about “Chinese vs Japanese” which is probably why I never found it again.

You’re right about how enjoyable it is and how it reflects the husband and wife’s cultural differences. Watching this is one of my good memories with my ex-wife, seeing it together in a dinky Chinatown theater over 30 years ago, laughing at some of the genuinely hilarious scenes, and arguing good-naturedly about the merits of the different martial artists on the Chinese and Japanese sides.

The whole segment about Drunken Gods fighting, where the hero drags his friend down to the slums and makes him pick a fight with the drunken beggar who’s a Drunken Gods master, so he can take notes on the style, is laugh-out-loud funny. “I didn’t get that last bit, can you attack him again?” “He nearly killed me!” “Go on, hit him again!”

Some of the guys they recruited to play Japanese martial artists clearly had little idea of what they were doing, but when the ninja finally came on, my wife and I both went “Whoa, this guy really knows his stuff!” As I remember, he moved with so much authority - balance, speed, and control - that you could see that he would easily have won that fight if the script didn’t require he lose.

Good times, good times.


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