Director: Edward D. Murphy
Writer: Edward D. Murphy
Starring: Cameron Mitchell, Geoffrey Binney, Hope Holiday, Jillian Kesner, John Dresden, Jennifer Holmes, Rey Malonzo, Carla Reynolds, Carl Anthony, John Locke, Mark Tanous, Ralph Lombardi, Chanda Romero, Camille Keaton, Lin Lin Li, Garry McClintic, John Rosselli
18 | 1h 26min | Adventure, Horror, Action
Kung-Fu Cannibals is as barmy as its title suggests.
In a nutshell, it is a movie about a group of maniacal monks who kidnap and barbecue big-breasted women, believing that female flesh gives them the power to raise the dead. If this movie sounds somewhat misogynistic, that’s because it is. If we’re not in a whorehouse we’re in a strip joint, and with characters credited with such unabashed names as Drunken Sexpot and Girl in Toilet, feminists need not apply.
Also known as Raw Force, Kung-Fu Cannibals is absolutely dripping with nudity, the majority of it tacked-on in the most ridiculous circumstances, and when groups of Filipino women are marched to bamboo cages in the buff, they look genuinely perplexed at the hodgepodge insanity of their co-stars, particularly when grey-faced assassins leap from the reeds, slicing their visitors clean in half with thirty inch blades. Even more dubious are a bunch of violent GI Joe douchebags who look like they’ve crashed into a fancy dress store and stumbled out wearing whatever items happened to fall on them. What must those poor women have been thinking?
Back in 1982, everyone was jumping on the direct-to-video bandwagon, and for independent filmmakers, the best way to guarantee a return on your outlay was to ape popular trends. The early ’80’s was littered with zombie flicks thanks to the widespread notoriety of ‘video nasties’ such as Lucio Fulci’s Zombie Flesh Eaters, while the same period would see an oversaturation of Asian-American ninja movies that would eventually lead to the Cannon Group’s mid-decade martial arts dominance. Director Edward D. Murphy was aware of this, and nudity and sex will never go out of fashion.
Like most low-budget martial arts flicks, the film features a whole cast of useless extras who don’t know the difference between a chop and a chopstick, while a few token champions offer impressive displays in high-kickery, the main culprit here being Rey Malonzo as Go Chin, a Bruce Lee lookalike who as well as kicking ass practices the art of Lee impersonation, adopting the same mannerisms without ever uttering a word. When Malonzo is not onscreen, the action is downright preposterous, relying on blood capsules to simulate death of all varieties, meaning blood pours from victims’ mouths even when it makes no sense whatsoever. As for weapons training . . . well, as you can see, most of the cast look like they’ve never held a weapon in their lives.
Anyway, for some reason our group of martial artists plan to take a boat ride to the infamous, monk-infested Warrior’s Island ― a remote land which clearly spells danger of catastrophic proportions ― and spend the first half of the movie getting wasted and banging anyone in sight, a matter helped by the group of insanely beautiful women who decide to come along for the ride ― the fact that most of them have no interest in martial arts or relationship with those who practice it doesn’t seem to matter.
Beneath all the Nazi helmets, senseless killing and attempted rape ― an act that almost seems encouraged by one bed-bound victim ― there is a love triangle involving drunken philanderer Lloyd (Carl Anthony), his glamorous young wife, Ann (Jennifer Holmes) and the movie’s pussy-ass, Speedo-sporting protagonist and real-life Hollywood stuntman, Mike O’Malley (Geoffrey Binney). Of course, the married woman immediately throws herself at our skimpily-clad hero, an act justified when her husband heads directly for the whorehouse and basically tries to hump anything with a pulse, although the fact that he’s ‘a good guy at heart’ means that he must die before she can betray her wedding vows ― which she promptly does. The only reprieve for femininity comes in the form of the most unlikely LAPD SWAT team member this side of crapola, a sweet biscuit named Cookie who gives skimpily-clad karate lessons and generally kicks ass.
After reams of nonsensical dialogue seemingly read from cue cards, our on-board orgy is finally interrupted by a band of oddly dressed kidnappers, a band of obscure rebels who think nothing of shooting helpless girlies in the back with crossbows, stealing Cookie’s impossibly beautiful cousin Eileen Fox (Carla Reynolds), who is shipped to the island with a gaggle of beauties as our resident monks attempt to raise a bunch of zombie ninjas for some reason.
Inevitably, this leads to a starkly low-budget final battle with unconvincing stunt dummies, undead decapitations and a good vs evil conflict that seems choreographed by a bunch of over-zealous infants on a school playground. Accompanied by a U.S. theatrical trailer edited by none other than Chopping Mall‘s Jim Wynorski, this is one that bad movie aficionados will not want to miss.
After having blood spat in his face by a dastardly goon, supporting bad ass John Taylor (John Dresden) rams a giant wooden flagpole through his chest, resulting in a deluge of surprisingly realistic blood.
Most Absurd Moment
Looking for a refill, the scintillating Cookie (Jillian Kesner) takes her dry libation to an odd-looking bald man with a beard acting as the ship’s makeshift barman. Acquiescing, the man headbutts a bar made entirely from ice, breaking it in two and adding a few chips to her glass. He then has the audacity to ask her out.
Most Absurd Dialogue
Realising that the women he’s been kidnapping are more than just sex slaves, lead goon Bill (Tony Oliver) has a sudden pang of conscience and decides to confront his bespectacled employer.
Bill: Hey, are you sure they just barbecue them? They don’t just . . . boil them in a pot?
Because that makes all the difference!
With violence, zombies and nudity up the ass, Kung Fu Cannibals is a schlocky VHS classic that will leave you drooling with both laughter and perversity. A ludicrous gem which exploits our primal urges with ruthless efficiency.