Revenge Of The Kung Fu Mao (Taiwan 1977)

Rating: **
Alternate Title: Big Foot Mama
Review Date: 9/21/08
Cast: Don Wong Tao, Angela Mao Ying

A pointless and confusing tale of corruption and revenge. A dispute over water rights results in a plan to buy some pumps to help distribute water more evenly. Unfortunately, when Wong Tieng Tsai goes to town to buy the pumps, he gambles away the villagers' money in a horse race and puts his entire family in jeopardy. His wife is a "big-footed country girl" named Kuei Ying (Angela Mao) and they have a young son. He also has a brother named Erh Kang (Wong Tao), who is a good fighter with a hot temper. The two of them go to track down the missing money and find that Tieng Tsai has turned to evil and now works for the horse racing thugs. They also start learning kung fu from one of the mayor's military officers, and Kuei Ying masters her "bench style" of fighting. At some point, Erh Kang inexplicably falls in with the crooks which causes Kuei Ying to stage an assault on their headquarters. Even more inexplicably, Tieng Tsai switches loyalties again and runs off with Kuei Ying after a failed attempt to kill her and kidnap his son. Huh? The increasingly confused plot eventually leads to an all-out kung fu free-for-all pitting Erh Kang and Kuei Ying against every thug in town. With everyone dead, their revenge is complete. Cut! Roll the credits!

Not one of Angela Mao's better films, but she does have a couple of decent fights towards the end. At the beginning of the film she's a crude and undisciplined brawler, but she steadily refines her technique until she becomes the graceful hard hitter that we know and love. While her bench fighting scenes come off as a bit silly, her footwork is wonderful and she performs some nice sword fighting as well. The majority of the film focuses on Wong Tao's fighting, which is executed well and fairly entertaining. The plot flails about aimlessly, serving only to push the two leads to the point of no return and the anticipated final showdown.