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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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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 6
The Crippled Masters
Reply #9. Posted on October 06, 1999, 11:55:34 AM by
This movie is one of my favorites.

For those familiar with it - watch for this - when the cripples defeat Black and White, and Black gets the hat (how do you kill someone with a hat, anyway?) put on him, at one point it starts to come off, but he, the clever bastard, puts it back on....
The Crippled Masters
Reply #10. Posted on December 04, 1999, 08:35:33 PM by Philco
Saw this one with a buddy of mine, and we were quite amazed to learn that the Crippled Masters really ARE crippled.  Certainly a film to track down.  If you like this one kids, check out "One-Armed Swordsman".
The Crippled Masters
Reply #11. Posted on December 10, 1999, 01:01:05 AM by
This is the BEST movie I've ever seen! I've watched "The Crippled Masters" MANY times! I LOVE it! I just wish I could find out where I can buy it! BTW, one of my all-time favorite lines in this movie is where the wise old man dude is by himself and Mr. Scarface shows up:

Old Dirty Bastard- "Most people sleep in a bed, but I sleep in a wicker basket!"

Scarface- "Soon you will be sleeping in a coffin! Muahahahahaaaaa!"
The Crippled Masters
Reply #12. Posted on January 29, 2000, 02:03:38 AM by Sir Sword
Anyone realize why they were crippled? The guy with no arms was considered a traitor to the warlord. The guy with crippled legs was considered lower, so he had no real standing(ba-da-da!). Great film in all, but Old Dirty Bastard, not the rapper but the Wu Tang martial arts master, is not in it. Anybody interested in more martial arts films should rent, or buy, the Wu Tang film collection. 14-16 films in all. One film that deserves to be here is Lord of the Wu Tang, starring Jet Li. It's weird, but cool to watch.
The Crippled Masters
Reply #13. Posted on January 31, 2000, 11:39:53 PM by
THIS MOVIE SUCKED!!!!!! its kinda funny tho.
The Crippled Masters
Reply #14. Posted on February 19, 2000, 04:47:09 PM by
i enjoyed seeing them torture those two guys before they crippled them. if i were the legless guy i'd be bumping my ass alot more often than he did. or, if i were the "evil scarred" man, i'd take full advantage of the fact that those two hotties pretty much couldn't do anything when i first handicapped them.
The Crippled Masters
Reply #15. Posted on February 23, 2000, 09:12:00 PM by Meghan O.
At first, I felt know laughing at the misfortunes of others and all; but as the movie progressed, I began to realize that these men were not to be pitied, but feared.  In all honesty they do kick-a**.  
     I also immensly enjoyed the old man in a basket shot.  I have not passed a basket without looking inside of it since I saw this movie.       P.S bushy eyebrows are sexy.
The Crippled Masters
Reply #16. Posted on March 13, 2000, 09:30:45 AM by master Jeremy Hoffman
This movie made my life turn into hell. Every night I wake up, because there are a hundred crippled students at my window. They all want to learn my famous 'NO ARMS & LEGS STYLE". I can't go to the window to tell them I've stopped teaching this style, because I've got no arms and legs to go to the window. I"ve got no partner like in the movie.
(I'm from Holland, now you must die, WHOOOAAAAAA!)
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