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Cult Movie Essentials: Challenge of the Masters (1976)

Director Liu Chia-liang cast his god brother Gordon Liu Chia-hui (later known as Gordon Liu) as Wong Fei Hung – one of the most celebrated figures in Chinese history. Fei Hung was a healer, martial arts master and crusader for justice. Wong Fei Hung had already been the subject of close to 100 films but Liu Chia-liang has a new spin on it.

In the movie Wong Fei Hung is far from the Confucian sage he was known for in Chinese cinema (as played by Kwan Tak-hing) instead he is a young man whose father refuses to teach him martial arts as he is worried about his son’s control of temper.

His father’s judgement seems vindicated when Fei-hung’s intervention causes his school to lose the annual firecracker competition and accidentally injure his friend in the process.

Luckily, martial-arts master Luk Ah Choy (Chen Kuan Tai) senses something about Fei Hung and asks his father if he can take him away for training. His father agrees and Fei Hung goes off to learn the Hung Fist style as well as moderation and wisdom: the ability to avoid violence is the greatest skill a fighter can learn.

As his training finishes, Wong Fei Hung learns that an old friend of his Yuen Ching has been murdered. Wong Fei Hung vows to bring the killer to justice – Liu Chia-liang steps out from behind the camera to plays the killer!

 

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Founded Cult Faction in 2014; previously crawled out of the Black Lodge in 1976, only to find himself in the Village.

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