Now this is a sweet throwback kung-fu flick presented by the grandmasters of Hong-Kong martial arts movies in the 60s and 70s: the Shaw Brothers.
One of the stars of the movie died during filming, and he was the brightest young star the studio had, so basically the movie is all dark and violent and awesome because the director got into a big depression once the actor passed away.
Here is the plot in a pistachio shell. There is this kick ass family of warriors that specialize in pole fighting....theres seven brothers and two sisters, all known by their birth order number: first brother, second brother and so on...the Chinese do not trifle with silly things such as names! One day the males in the family (seven bros plus one dad) take off to go fight EVUHL MONGOLS!!!111 for the emperor, but they get betrayed by one of the generals in the emperors army who is in CAHOOTS with the EVUHL MONGOLS!!!111.
After a gigantic raping (not literally) everyone dies but two brothers, and one of them goes crazy with grief just because most of his family died....of course this being a kung-fu movie, the director chooses to make his horrible grief-driven madness into a HI-LARIOUS LOWBROW COMEDIC DEVICE!!! WOOT! The brother basically is just crazy for the rest of the movie.
The other brother escapes the carnage and wanders around till he finds a monastery, he wants to become a monk, but the monks dont want him..so he basically beats the shit out of all of them untill they allow him to just hang out and practice with the pole stick....eventually the evil general gets a hold of one of his sisters and the non crazy quasi-monk brother plus the monks go kill the general, his associates, the mongols, their associates and one or two provinces in China in one gigantically sweet kung fu brawl that ranks amongst one of the best I've ever seen. The awesome ending fight is the reason to rent this if you can find it, it is ridiculously fast and well executed.
From now on I will also be adding a new fun feature in my reviews...its called For the Children in honour of civilizations greatest and most charismatic figure: Old Dirty Bastard aka Big Baby Jesus aka Shaka Zulu aka Mariah's pacifier. For the children basically runs down the most family-safe and awesome highlights of the movie.
FOR THE CHILDREN:
1. The monks specialize in a non lethal method of pole fighting that basically involves shoving the pole in someones mouth and twirling it around to break all their teeth in a shower of blood and enamel.
2. The monks practice against these comedically ridiculous giant wooden statues of cartoon wolves, because apparently the wolves are amazing monk killers. They invented the tooth breaking skills mentioned above to make sure that the wolves would never hurt them again with their teeth, but without killing them (although im pretty sure the wolves would just die of starvation then...but never mind)
3. The secret weapon the EVUHL MONGOLS!!!11 use against the poles is a weird kind of stick the has a flexible part that just wraps around the pole. You have no idea how much ass kicking they can do with these stupid fucking wrappy things. The pole fighters are completely powerless against them.....
4. The mom in the family is just about the sweetest fighter of them all, but she just stays at home drinking tea and crying.
5. The evil generals and mongol warlords in the ambush which begins the movie manage to outwit the pole family by running inside this one tent which violently explodes when the family is near it, revealing another tent right behind it!!! What? HOW DEVIOUS!!! what?