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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Chu long ma liu" or "Stroke of Death" or "Monkey Kung Fu" or "Drunken Monkey)

 

Directed by Mar Lo
Hong Kong 1979

 

From director Mar Lo (Shaolin Thief), and starring Siu-Tung Ching (The Shaolin Boxer) comes this fast-moving Wuxia classic from the legendary Shaw Brothers studio. When prisoner Ching is given half of a wooden keepsake by a one eyed-master about to be executed, he breaks out of prison to go in search of the other half to discover its purpose. However, on his quest he is pursued by a gang leader who will also stop at nothing find out its secrets. Embroiling mystical promise, an adventurous journey and a search for the truth into its winding storyline, Money Kung Fu AKA Stroke of Death is a uniquely satisfying late seventies delve into the magical world of martial arts Hong Kong cinema.

***

A small-time crook goes in search of the other half of a wooden keepsake which will lead him to the legendary kung fu technique of the Gibbon Clan Fist..

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 5th, 1979

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: 88 Films - Region 'A' / 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution 88 Films - Region 'A' / 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:33:26.475     
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,384,647,110 bytes

Feature: 29,455,527,936 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio Chinese 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
88 Films

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,384,647,110 bytes

Feature: 29,455,527,936 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio commentary by Kenneth Brorsson and Phil Gillon of the Podcast On Fire Network
Stunting Around - An Interview with Choreographer Tony Leung Siu-hung (14:47)
Original Trailer(3:57)


Blu-ray Release Date: March 21st, 2022

Transparent Blu-ray Case inside slipcase

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: 88 Films Blu-ray (March 2022): 88 Films have transferred Mar Lo's Monkey Kung Fu to Blu-ray. It looks very solid with only a few inconsistencies. It's relatively clean, bright and quite crisp and the occasional softness appears to be inherent in the production. Interiors are a shade duller. The 1080P transfer is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. There is depth throughout and I find it a pleasing HD presentation.  

NOTE: We have added 44 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, 88 Films use linear PCM dual-mono tracks (24-bit) in the original Cantonese and an optional English language DUB. Monkey Kung Fu is filled with action sequences. While most of the effects are typically hollow with 'whoosh' and whiplash-like sounds - it does have that genre charm of audio excess. The score is by Yung-Yu Chen (The Human Goddess, The Ghost Lovers, Black Magic 2, The Mighty Peking Man, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, The Five Deadly Venoms) sounding clean while supporting the period and genre effectively. 88 Films offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' / 'B' Blu-ray.

The 88 Films Blu-ray offers a commentary by Kenneth Brorsson and Phil Gillon of the Podcast On Fire Network. They discuss the extensive fight scenes in the film, the performers, director, Shaw brothers, the genre, choreography etc. One of them has an accent that is not always discernable but I appreciate the information they were imparting - these are obviously true-blue fans who really know their stuff. Stunting Around is a 1/4 hour interview with choreographer Tony Leung Siu-hung imparting his recollections of the film, his older brother and there is also a trailer. The package has a 24-page booklet with a length essay by Andrew Graves and plenty of photos. There is also a fold-out, double-sided, poster.

Mar Lo's Monkey Kung Fu is pretty fun - especially the English DUB translations - and focuses on a story about discipline, maturity and self confidence. It's good natured and enjoyable. I appreciate the infusion of the female characters, but some of the, many, fight scenes are quite long if that appeals to you. Certainly not Shaw's best but a nice example of the genre. The 88 Films Blu-ray has strong a/v, a commentary, booklet and more. It's a complete package for this film's debut in the format. Completists should consider this a positive digital entry into their libraries.

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution 88 Films - Region 'A' / 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

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