Shaolin Invincible Sticks (HK 1979)

Rating: **
Review Date: 2/18/01
Cast: Wong Tao, Chang Yi, Hsia Kwan Lee

A low budget and painfully stupid film, but chock full of kung fu goodness. As the title of the film implies, this is a movie solely about stick fighting. All sorts of sticks are represented, from the traditional staff, to twin short sticks, the long staff, the iron rod, the three-sectional whip, and anything else stick-like. It has nothing to do with Shaolin kung fu and the "Shaolin" of the title is nothing but a cheap marketing ploy. The story is exceedingly simple: a villain and master stick fighter (Chang Yi) is going around killing all the other stick fighters he meets to prove his superiority. The elders of the Chan family hear about this and expel the heir to the family stick (Wong Tao) in order to protect him. Confused and penniless, Wong roams the countryside searching for the meaning of life until he realizes what's going on and trains to kill Yi. He also meets up with the beautiful and highly flexible Hsia Kwan Lee who gets to show off her talents all too briefly. As a side note, this film features the largest collection of asymmetrical and bad looking moustaches I've ever seen. Wow. The stick fighting sequences are excellent, although spoiled by the extremely annoying drop-frame editing technique. Unfortunately, the stuff in between the fight scenes is intolerable drivel that will make you scramble for the fast forward button.