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The Monkey Goes West

Hong Kong 1966
produced by
Shaw Brothers
directed by Ho Meng-hua
starring Ho Fan, Peng Peng, Yueh Hua, Diana Chang Chung-wen, Kao Pao-shu, Fan Mei-Sheng, Tsang Choh-Lam, Guk Fung, Mars, Tina Chin-Fei, Lee Ying
based on the novel Journey to the West

Journey to the West, Monkey King, Monkey (1960's Shaw Brothers)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Available on DVD !

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When Monk Tang (Ho Fan), on his quest to fibnd the scripture of Buddha, frees Monkey (Yueh Hua) from his prison inside a rock, where he has been put 500 years ago for causing chaos in heavens, the creature thanks him by not only saving him from a gang of maneaters but also a giant dragon (who he can fight only due to his size-changing abilities). But Monkey still has a pretty bad temper, so Buddha presents Tang with a jade, inscribed with a magic spell that disables Monkey whenever read.

In the next village Monkey & Tang pass, Monkey encounters a young woman (Diana Chang Chung-wen) to be married off to a rich businessman (Peng Peng) instead of to the poor student she's in love with. Monkey sets things right by transforming the man into the Pig he is (& yes, he literally is one), beating him a fight & making him wish to repent his sins. So in the end the girl is married to the student, & Pig joins Tang & Monkey on their quest of the scripture. 

Their next stop leads them to a lady with some beautiful daughters she is desperate to marry off. The monk, wanting for him & his companions (by now also monks) to stay pure, of course declines but accepts her hospitality. Only Monkey smells evil, while Pigsy soon believes the 3 daughters of the house are in love with him, & he - not getting along with Monkey anyway - is easily persuaded to steal the jade that can disable Monkey that night. The next day, the house, the lady & her daughters are gone, & when the lady along with the ruler of an undersea kingdom & his soldiers, returns, it is easy for them to kidnap Tang, since they have the jade to disable Monkey, his powerful bodyguard. It is now up to Pigsy to follow his master underwater, where he enters the palace where the monk is held in disguise in order to take repossession of the jade. From then on it is easy for Monkey to free Tang, & they, along with Pigsy & the ruler of the kingdom (!) escape. Same ruler realizes the error of his ways & offers his companionship to Tang, who accepts & from now on calls him Sandy ...

 

Very colourful fantasy movie, with some martial arts & musical numbers thrown in just for good measure, first in a series of adaptations of the Chinese novel Journey to the West (others are Princess Iron Fan, Cave of the Silken Web & Land of Many Perfumes, also by Ho Meng-hua). It's great fun in a childish sort of way.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
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