Saturday, 9 June 2018
8 Strikes of the Wildcat (4 Stars)
This is a Hong Kong martial arts film that presents comedy while trying to pretend it's serious. A gang of three fighters who use the Rodent style kill Shao Wa's father, a kung fu master. Have you never heard of the Rodent style? It consists of making small, fast forward steps while making toothy rat faces before hitting the opponent. The major strike occurs when the three fighters stand behind one another, holding one another round the waist, with the man at the back waving his leg like a rat's tail. This move is unbeatable, because the opponent stands watching in utter confusion while he's being attacked.
Shao Wa flees and takes refuge with an old kung fu master. He tells her that only a cat can defeat a rat, so she has to learn the eight wildcat strikes before she can take revenge. I think something has been lost in translation. Probably the correct translation would be "moves", because one of the strikes is "tumble over" and another is "walk upside down".
Despite the not very funny comedy, this is a good film to watch. It's typical for the Chinese films of the 1970's.