There is a new kung fu movie currently screening in mainland China featuring members of Sammo Hung’s stunt team. TAISHAN KUNG FU is director and Sammo Hung team member Tao Ming-xi’s attempt at showcasing the martial arts and culture of China’s historically and culturally significant Mount Tai which is located in Shandong Province in Northeastern China. The film recently premiered in Beijing and has been expanding to other locations.
The film focuses on a little-known martial arts style called “Stone Skill.” Television martial arts star Wu Yue, who will be appearing Jackie Chan’s LITTLE BIG SOLDIER, plays a master of the Stone Skill determined to convince Mount Tai’s undisputed champion (Wei Yu-hai) to refrain from using his fighting skills to terrorize the region.
Wei is also a member of Sammo Hung’s team. Other cast members include Xu Huan-huan, Zhao Pei, wuxia film queen Cheng Pei-pei, and Wang Fei-hong.
In making the film, Tao, along with his action director Huang Guan-bao, set out to create a “barebones kung fu film” with wide shots, long takes and minimal wire use.
The following video montage of fight footage from TAISHAN KUNG FU posted on Huang’s blog reveals plenty of skilled fighting action, although Western viewers are likely to be put off by the excessive undercranking used to artificially speed up the pace of the action.
This is Tao’s fourth production after having recently finished a sanada film and a police film. He currently has a new actioner with a larger budget in the works.
Kung fu star Wu Yue will next be appearing in a film called DONG HAI CHUAN and a TV series on martial arts master Liang Tian-zhu to be directed by Xiong Xin-xin.
According to the producer of TAISHAN KUNG FU, the film is the first part in a planned trilogy. Sequels will include SHI GAN DANG OF TAISHAN and RAIDING TREASURES IN TAISHAN. The second film is scheduled to begin production in the spring of 2010 with Sammo Hung directing.
Hopefully, with Sammo’s involvement in the sequel we’ll eventually see English-subtitled versions of all three films released on DVD in Hong Kong but don’t count on it.
Taishan Kung Fu (2009) • upcoming • wushu