Nowadays, you will be hard-pressed to find someone who has not watched the hilarious martial arts comedy Kung Fu Hustle. The film was a huge success and nabbed Hong Kong movie star Stephen Chow a plethora of awards. However there are also many other films that Chow shines in, and a number have finally landed in the streaming service Netflix, making it much easier for everyone to watch films released decades ago.
We have thus taken the liberty of compiling a list of five Stephen Chow movies for you to try watching on Netflix. When you are done with this list and still want to binge more Hong Kong movies, do not worry, we got you covered with our lists of must-watch Jet Li and Jackie Chan movies.
Chow stars as Ang Ho-Kam, a weak but kind-hearted delivery man, who sets out to prove to the girl he likes that he is not weak. He does this by training with a martial arts master, who turns out to be a con-man but surprise, is actually a real martial arts master. The film culminates in a comedic fight between Ang and a Karate master who’s also chasing after the love of Ang’s life. While not Chow’s best film as compared to some of the others on this list, it is still an enjoyable film to watch and laugh along with.
2) The Mad Monk
Most Chinese will have heard of the folk hero Ji Gong, a Buddhist monk who apparently has supernatural powers which he uses to help those in need. Ji Gong has also been adapted for the silver screen a number of times, including Johnny To’s 1992 The Mad Monk starring Chow as the titular Ji Gong, otherwise known as the Dragon-Fighter Lohan, as he tries to change the fates of a beggar, prostitute and villain.
This period comedy film features Chow’s signature over-the-top offbeat sense of humour and Kung fu (or crazy fu according to a reviewer). Its humour is reminiscent of Chow’s more famous Kung Fu Hustle, while the loving relationship between Chow’s Ling Ling Fat and Carina Lau’s Kar Ling helps to keep the movie anchored. The film centres around Ling Ling Fat, a loyal bodyguard to the Emperor and loving husband to his wife, who has to protect his Emperor from villains who want to forcefully take control of his city.
This film is loosely based on the legend of the Chinese folk hero Su Can who was more popularly known as Beggar So, and was one of the Ten Tigers of Canton. Chow stars as the spoiled and illiterate So Chan, who takes part in a Kung fu tournament after a courtesan named Yu Shang, tells him she will only marry him if he wins the said tournament. A series of unfortunate events happen and So Chan is left penniless, and a beggar. However, all is not lost as So bumps into a beggar he helped when he was still a millionaire.
5) A Chinese Odyssey I & II
Chinese mythology meets martial arts and a bucketful of campiness in this 1995 film by Jeffrey Lau. This film also nabbed Chow two awards for Best Actor. A Chinese Odyssey is split into two parts, Pandora’s Box and Cinderella, and thankfully both are available on Netflix for your enjoyment. The mischievous Monkey King Sun Wu Kong (Chow), who got banished for five thousand years by the Goddess of Mercy for trying to betray his master, ends up reincarnating as the bandit king, the Joker.
No, this is not a DC crossover. Though it would have been pretty awesome to see Chow portraying Gotham’s Clown Prince of Crime. Also, who can forget the Longevity Monk’s incredibly funny rendition of The Platter’s Only You.
Germaine is a fun-sized introvert who loves nothing better than sleeping in on rainy days. She can be found reading fanfiction and manga while still waiting for her Hogwarts acceptance letter. It’ll come eventually.