|Shaolin Drunkard (1983)|
|Starring:||Yuen Shun-Yi, Yuen Cheung Yan and Yuen Yat Choh|
|The Plot: Our story focuses on the peasant grandson (Yuen Yat Choh) of an elderly witch. Together, this odd couple spend their days performing magic and searching for a wife for the young lad. You see, his grandmother fears that the young man will never face up to responsibility and will thus end their ancient bloodline. The boy of course doesn’t abhor the idea of a wife, it just seems that all of the women in his area aren’t quite up to his standards. His granny decides that if he isn’t going to listen to her matchmaking advice, then he must immediately go out and find a wife by himself. With this direct order put to the boy, he heads off into the world. At the same time that the young lad is approaching these new troubles, we meet Ratface (Yuen Cheung Yan) who is employed as a guard for a sacred monastery that holds prisoner the psychotic Evil Magician. After a hidden attack leads Ratface asleep on the job, the Evil Magician escapes and now Ratface has only one month to once again apprehend this powerful magician!
Ridiculously over the top is the only way to really explain the world of Shaolin Drunkard. The movie throws so much wackiness at the audience that it becomes hard to keep up with. Forget even trying to keep your mind on the actual plot! First of all, there’s so very little actual plot that its easy to become confused, and secondly, as soon as the giant frog monster shows up you will no longer care about simple things such as character motivation or narrative focus. You read that correct, I said frog monster. Although we may lose the Watermelon Monster from Drunken Wu-Tang, we do gain some very new and intriguing creatures. This frog monster is a beast controlled by the Evil Magician, who plays music on his flute and somehow commands a gigantic man-size toad with magical powers. The battles that our leading men have with this toad are rather epic, to say the least. I don’t want to give away too much, but let’s just say that the climactic battle ultimately revolves around a massive one-man-band and the Wong Fei-Hung theme song, which was popularized in the Once Upon a Time in China series. It is so stupid that it borders on brilliance!