Woo-ping Yuen


(Copyright © 2014 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )

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Woo-ping Yuen directed Jackie Chan in the slapstick kung-fu classics Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978) and Drunken Master (1978) The latter fins the right balance between farce and epos, and stands as a great parody of the kungfu genre even before such genre became popular.

There's a on Charlie, the legendary kungfu fighter. One day another master, Ti-san, runs into him and admits that he has been paid to kill him. Fei-hung (Jackie Chan) is a young and disrespectful student at a kungfu school. He uses a snake to get a girl to hug him so he can win a bet with his friends. The trick works but her mother teaches him a painful kungfu lesson. But he's a good kid because later he beats up a sword-armed thug who stole a jade heirloom from a poor man. Back home he has a bad surprise: that very girl and her ferocious mother are visiting his father and they are actually his cousin and his aunt. Just when his father is beginning to punish the terrified Fei-hung the doors open and a friend of his father walks in carrying his bandaged son: it turns out the thug is the son of this family friend, and this friend is even a powerful businessman. Fei-hung's father is doubly ashamed of his son's repeated affronts. It is difficult to punish the brat because he beats the man in charge of punishing him. So his father asks the kungfu schoolteacher to use more painful and humiliating methods against Fei-hung. The next step in the punishment will be to entrust his son to the most feared kungfu master of all, Hua-chi. Scared to death, Fei-hung flees his father's home. He eats at a restaurant without having the money t pay and the restaurant's owner unleashes his gang on him. An old man appears out of nowhere and singlehandedly defeats the whole gang, while Su eats a little more. Fei-hung and the old man run away. When they stop to catch their breath in the woods, Fei-hung discovers that this old man is the feared Hua-chi, who immediately proceeds to teach him a painful kungfu lesson. Thus begins Fei-hung's training/torture. When he can't take it anymore, Fei-hung flees again, but only to run into another kungfu maniac, the "hitman' of the first scene, Ti-san, who has never been defeated in his life. Fei-hung soon learns the hard way why Ti-san is still undefeated. Ti-san even burns hispants so that Fei-hung is left walking away in his underwear. The only reason that Ti-san doesn't kill the naive boy is that it would ruin his reputation. And so, bruised and bleeding, Fei-hung returns to the hated master Hua-chi, determined to become a champion too. Proof that he is improving is that he defeats a street scammer, a thug nicknamed "Iron Bullet" because his head is like iron. The master has only one weakness: he has to be drunk in order to be at the top. He has to run away when he runs out of wine and has to fight a friend of "Iron Bullet" who specializes in using a stick. Fui-heng learns all of Hua-chi's secret moves except one, the "Drunken Miss Ho" move, which looks truly ridiculous. Proving that his training is working, Fei-hung challenges and defeats "Stick" using the "drunken" move. Meanwhile, the thug's father, the rich businessman, wants to buy a hill that belongs to Fei-hung's father and offers good money, but Fei-hung's father knows well that there is a huge deposit of coal under that hill and refuses the deal. Hua-chi feels that he has completed his job and leaves, and now Fei-hung actually misses him. Fei-hung returns to his father's place just in time, as the rich businessman has hired the killer Ti-san to assassinate his father. Fei-hung drinks wine to get drunk and confronts the contract killer, and Hua-chi comes running to watch the show. Fei-hung is losing because he never learned the final drunk move, but manages to invent his own drunk technique and triumphs.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2014 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )