The Eighteen Jade Arhats (HK 1979)

Rating: **
Cast: Polly Shang Kwan, Lo Lieh, cameo by Phillip Ko

Again, "Deadly China Dolls" says this movie came out in 1969, but two other sources say 1978 and 1979, so I'm going with 1979 (which was on the box).

Another entertaining, but overly confusing kung fu piece featuring spunky Polly Shang Kwan as a fighter who is searching for a stolen family treasure. She hooks up with another master fighter who is also looking for the missing treasure for his own unexplained reasons. They eventually get hired to kill a man who is suspected of murder (Lo Lieh), but they do a little more research and discover that the whole thing is just an elaborate ruse by their employers to learn more about the two fighters. The "jade arhats" of the title refer to some jade statues that are related to a ridiculous eighteen armed wooden mechanical training device that's only shown during the opening credits. It's laughably bad. The film also extensively employs an annoying editing style where various frames are cut from continuous shots in order to quicken the pace of the combat scenes. It's hard on the eyes and looks like a mistake, but it's definitely done on purpose. The pan-and-scan editing is also a horrible mess, with many of the fight scenes offscreen and dialog taking place between characters that can't be seen. The dubbing is typically bad and Ms. Kwan's makeup is WAY too extreme, but she fights well and the whole film is full of crazy kung fu battles. Mindless fun.