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Rated R
Copyright 1982 New Line Productions.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Lee Ho - Warrior for Ling Chang Kung, has his arms removed for some reason.
  • Kung Suh Ching - Another warrior who has acid poured on his legs for "knowing too much."
  • A Pao - Provincial government official sent to stop Ling Chang Kung.
  • Master - Old Kung Fu master, he decides to teach Lee Ho and Kung Suh Ching martial arts and harmony.
  • Mr. Pao - Goon for Ling Chang Kung who spends the movie getting beat up.
  • Black and White - Two warriors working for Ling Chang Kung, Black is the dude with the eyebrows.
  • Ling Chang Kung - Evil warlord with a metal hump on his back. (I dunno, don't ask me.)

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Who in the world came up with the premise of two kung fu masters overcoming terrible physical disabilities and defeating the forces of an evil warlord (at times not even single handed)? Rhetorical question in a country with what must be a generous supply of opiates I'm sure.

Ling Chang Kung is a merciless ruler, disposing of his retainers' limbs at the slightest provocation and using his superior fighting skills to smash any opposition. Apparently born with a ferrous lump in his back, the warlord is an amazing example of "hunch fu." That would be using your metallic hunchback to block attacks and even deliver devastating counter strikes! Hehehehehe!

Wait! It gets even better! Our two heroes are overcoming their recent pruning by Ling Chang Kung and are accomplished warriors in their own right. Under the careful physical therapy of the Master (who spends his off time folded up inside of wicker baskets) they have perfected handicap fu! Kung Suh Ching and Lee Ho are truly amazing, just watching the latter twirl around a bamboo staff without any arms is impressive, but then he starts kicking the crap out of bad guys!

With A Pao's help the pair steal the Eight Jade Horses from Ling Chang Kung. With these ancient figurines they hope to learn unbeatable kung fu, which will be needed after their hiding place is discovered. Maybe I'm being a bit charitable in saying "hiding place," since we are talking about pre-contact China. More like their hut is out in the middle of nowhere, so who is going to find them anyway?

The fight scenes are completely over the top, as you would expect with the styles previously described, and the dubbed dialog is standard for the genre (which means silly). All of this makes for a great deal of mindless fun which should offend your sensibilities, but be impossible not to chuckle during.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Having both your arms cut off produces very little blood.
  • A removed arm will leave a, well um, heck - it's a nub.
  • Dramatic music doesn't go well with close-ups of rice.
  • Evil warlords tend to be deformed, have a hunchback, or sport some weird thing under the eye - that sort of stuff.
  • Feudal China possessed concentrated acid capable of rendering a man legless.
  • Antique shops specializing in ceramics are seldom successful in fu flicks.
  • Kung Fu kicks or punches make sounds like beating curtains with a broom.
  • Everybody in China knows kung fu and are measured by their prowess.
  • A man walking on his hands can outrun most guards.
  • It is possible to beat someone to death with your ass or humped back.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • Opening scenes - Oh boy, dubbing is going to be an issue, buckle up friends.
  • 26 mins - You're looking at the beginning of hackey sack.
  • 30 mins - Why do these fight scenes seem so jumpy? It's almost like they shoot some film, stop, then try to get back in the same places and start again...
  • 30 mins - Notice the metallic "tang" sound every time he gets hit on the hump.
  • 52 mins - Kung Suh Ching is kicking butt with a wicker hat?
  • 64 mins - Wiggly camera!
  • 77 mins - Look out, he'll hit you with the hump! Oops, too late.
  • 80 mins - A basket just rolls into the room and these rocket scientists think there might be jewels or gold in it?

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note cripmasters1.wav Lee Ho: "I don't know what I can say, but if I don't die, I will be a success."
Green Music Note cripmasters2.wav Ling Chang Kung: "You fool! Let me show you how to collect rent."
Green Music Note cripmasters3.wav Ling Chang Kung: "You are normally very stupid, but this time you have devised a very good plan."
Green Music Note cripmasters4.wav Master: "Eight Jade Horses hold many secrets. If one can only understand them and use them, a man could create unbeatable kung fu."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipcripmasters1.mpg - 2.8m
Black and White try to take on the Crippled Masters, this is a true example of "two arms and legs are not better than none."

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