Sunday, March 20, 2016
THE FANTASTIC MAGIC BABY (1975)
While I enjoy pretty much every Shaw Brothers kung fu flick this one delves a lot more into the fantasy world than the more gritty films that are my favorites of the martial-arts genre. This is based on some Chinese mythology involving the legendary Monkey King character and his journey to the west. Along the way he encounters the title villain who isn't actually a baby but just a young god. There's also a whole slew of other gods who show up to help and it all ends with a very pro-Buddhism message. Most of the fights here are super stagey and dance-like and the whole movie seems more like an opera than a film the way it's presented. It's also really short. The version I caught was about an hour long. There are some weird elements like fighting tree-men, a statue who transforms into a man and then into a centaur and a pig-man which may make you feel like you might have dropped some acid before viewing. Check it out if you like the more DRAGONBALL Z-feeling stuff but skip it if you're into the more traditional Shaw classics.