25 May 2001 | BrianDanaCamp
The Drunken Master himself returns for an encore
In DANCE OF THE DRUNK MANTIS (1979), Simon Yuen returns in the role of Sam Seed, specialist in Drunken Kung Fu and the title character in the Jackie Chan hit, DRUNKEN MASTER (1978), directed by Simon's son, Yuen Wo Ping, who also directed this film. Here Sam has a wife (Lynda Lin), who has adopted a grown son, Foggy (Yuen Shun Yi, aka Sonny Yuen, another son of Simon), during Sam's absence. When Foggy first meets Sam in the street, he gets into a hassle with him only to learn at home that the old man is his adoptive father. High-kicking Hwang Jang Lee plays Rubberlegs, who arrives from the north to fight Sam and prove the superiority of his own Drunken Mantis style. Rubberlegs and Sam have a lengthy fighting/drinking contest.
After a lot of tiresome scenes in town, including an overlong encounter with banker Moneybags, played by comic actor Dean Shek, the action shifts to the countryside where Foggy trains under Sick Doctor (who sleeps in a coffin and is made up like a corpse) and learns Sickness Boxing. The training scenes are quite exciting and lead up to Foggy's fight with Rubberlegs' chief student (played by Yuen Kwei, aka Corey Yuen, an action director in his own right). Foggy then joins Sam for a lengthy battle with Rubberlegs.
The film's onscreen subtitle (in the English dubbed print) is DRUNKEN MASTER, PART 2. This is not to be confused with Jackie Chan's l994 sequel, DRUNKEN MASTER II (released in the U.S. in 2000 as LEGEND OF DRUNKEN MASTER). This isn't one of Yuen Wo Ping's best films, but it does provide a good showcase for Simon Yuen and Hwang Jang Lee and offers some gimmicky kung fu with humor, a specialty of director Yuen during this period (1978-83) of his career.