This review was originally published in Asian Trash Cinema #12

kung fu cult master The Kung Fu Cult Master
Directed by Wong Jing [1993]

Any person who loves movies and the home theatre experience will love Kung Fu Cult Master. I feel that this is "The Greatest Film Ever Made". Is that too strong for you? How about "A Masterpiece of Cinema"? How about "Man, This Flick Rocks!"?

1993 was a very busy year for the prolific Wong Jing, having directed and/or produced at least seven films including Last Hero in China and Holy Weapon. I believe that Kung Fu Cult Master is his best work of the lot. Wong Jing is the subject of much derision in the fancy world of criticism. He has been called the "Roger Corman of HK Cinema" which, I think, is not a bad thing. In the unsettled climate of pre-1997 Hong Kong, Wong has continued producing films at a feverish pace while other filmmakers have sought the pot o' gold in Europe and the USA. The ever popular Jet Li is featured, along with a galaxy of HK movie stars, in a fantastic martial arts story based on a traditional novel by Yin Jong. The story has been made into numerous films and television shows in Hong Kong and Mainland China.

There are so many incredible sequences in the film that it is impossible to know which ones to tell you about. It starts off right in the titles, with furious kung fu and a spoken narration that gives the historical background leading us to the saga of Chang Mo Kei and the events on his granduncles 100th birthday. On this fateful day, Mo Kei witnesses his parents double suicide at the hands of the 6 Schools of Martial Arts led by the monks of Shaolin.

As a child Mo Kei was hit with "Jinx's Palm" by enemies of his father. He is unable to practice kung fu and gets the chills from his lack of inner strength. His granduncle Chang San Feng has cared for him since his parents death. Yes, you read it correctly. He doesn't know how to fight and couldn't learn kung fu!

Jet Li is just great as the master Mo Kei. The wide scope of fighting styles and wire tricks suit his unique skills. Samo Hung plays the granduncle and is also the films Action Director. This great star is at his finest in KFCM. Under his skillful supervision, the action never lets up from the first frame until the last frame[really]. Oh, yeah...if I mention Chingmy Yau and Cheung Man[in two roles] does that tell you anything.

I now realize my humble words could never express to the readers how really beautiful this film truly is. I urge every HK movie fan to seek out Kung Fu Cult Master!

Go to THE KUNG FU CULT MASTER Homepage!

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