Mad Monkey Kung Fu. 1979. Hong Kong. Directed by Lau Kar-leung. With Lau Kar-leung, Hsiao Hou, Kara Wai. DCP. In Cantonese; English subtitles. 114 min.
Lau Kar-leung stars in this film as Peking opera performer and kung fu master Chen. A drunken evening leaves his hands crippled and his sister (Kara Wai) is forced to marry a villainous brothel owner. Reduced to a street performer living a solitary life, Chen meets Little Monkey (Hsiao Hou) and takes him in as his kung fu student. Extended sequences showcasing the two practicing side by side affirm Lau as both a striking martial artist and brilliant choreographer. Hsiao Hou puts his sensational athleticism and humorous charm on full display, performing kung fu the monkey style. This film affords Lau yet another opportunity to highlight the mentor-disciple relationship and the strenuous training behind the making of a kung fu master.