If you haven’t seen it, you need to watch Shaolin Soccer right now.
This 2001 Chinese bonkers Martial Art movie was based on a popular Japanese Manga series called Captain Tsubasa. Creator Steven Chow loved the manga so much, he decided to make a film combining Kung Fu and Soccer Kinetic movement. Using over-the-top computer graphics he made a film that was so hysterically funny that it caught the world by storm.
Using a cast of mostly “non-actors” and writing a script that combined the two sports, he developed a film that was comedy platinum. Characters with names like Iron Head, Empty Fist, Hooking Leg, Iron Shirt and Hung populate this imaginary world of Kung Fu Soccer players.
An imaginary world that was so popular that Shaolin Soccer became Hong Kong’s number one grossing film at the box office until it was topped by Chow’s next Martial Arts mix-up, Kung Fu Hustle in 2004. it was clear that there was a market for Chow’s particular brand of bonkers action, and these two weren’t the only movies to fit the bill for fans chasing the same thrills and humour.
So, here are 5 more martial art movies that are just as insane as Chow’s Shaolin Soccer.
5. Kung Fu Hustle
This 2004 Chinese film is a one-man tour de force with Stephen Chow co-writing, directing, producing and starring in this homage to all things Kung Fu and famous films.
Two con men come to Pig Sty Alley and pretend to be members of the infamous Axe Gang to get instant respect as Kung Fu masters and money. Their plan backfires when members of the real Axe Gang hear about their con. Matters aren’t helped by the fact that practically everyone in Pig Sty Alley are Kung Fu experts.
A war breaks out between the real gang and the dwindling number of residents of the ‘Alley’ and the two troublemakers who started the whole thing.
With a multitude of film references and the use of martial arts film stars, the film becomes one big game of spot the reference and spot the star. With a meandering plot and more than its fair share of two dimensional characters, Kung Fu Hustle will never rank up there with Lawrence of Arabia in term of sheer epic portraiture, but you would be hard pressed to find a funnier film.
Using a combination of computer graphics and wire work Kung Fu Hustle knocked Shaolin Soccer off its number one throne and has a huge cult DVD following.
This article was first posted on May 4, 2013