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Demon of the Lute ("Liu zhi qin mo")

  • Hong Kong
  • 1983
  • 105 mins
  • 35mm
  • Cantonese
  • English / Chinese (subtitles)
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“A ceaseless barrage of unrestrained absurdity that floors the viewer with a 10-megaton palm blast to the senses” - Mark Pollard, KUNG FU CINEMA

“Joyous insanity… this knockabout romp never takes its foot off the speed pedal” - Andrew Pragasam, THE SPINNING IMAGE

Beware! The demon lute is on the loose again! The tranquil martial world is out of balance. This musical weapon is comprised of six strings made of dinosaur flesh, that when struck with the proper kung fu technique will unleash a rock ’n’ roll tune. Not even the most skilled fighter can survive its lethal notes! All that can counter it is the fiery bow and arrow, which have remained hidden somewhere in ancient China. The evil black-masked villain (Darth Vader done Chinese Style) dispatches his Spider Clan to destroy them.

Fong (Kara Hui of MY YOUNG AUNTIE, WU XIA), a youthful heroine, is assigned the dubious task of destroying the demon lute. She seeks the aid of a legendary kung fu master, the Woodcutter. On her quest, she joins forces with the Three-Armed Begger (Philip Kwok, 5 VENOMS, HARD BOILED), his young son Ding Dong whose flying thunder kick makes him fairly invincible, Old Naughty with his XXXL-sized scissors and Yuan (Chin Siu-Ho, MR. VAMPIRE) who actually has the bow without realizing it. Along the way, they encounter a gallery of baddies and magical weapons including a huge rolling disco ball, the Long Limb Evil who has ability to stretch-punch with his right fist at lightning speed, and Red Hair Devil, who can grow his hair to ludicrous lengths and turn his axe and lance ten times their size.

Fasten your black seatbelts, you are about to collide with a truly outlandish kung fu fantasy extravaganza! This Shaw Brothers treasure has remained dormant, like the demon lute itself, for 30 years. Now it is again presented in glorious Shaw Scope 35mm, for a new generation of Shaw Bros. fans and for people who think they have seen it all. Tang Tak-Cheung directed his first film after years as an innovative action director for many classics that define action cinema, and let loose his imagination, guiding the bizarre proceedings with high-voltage energy, unleashing a one ridiculous set piece after another up to a thrilling climax that has to seen to be believed!

— King-Wei Chu