original title: Kujaku ô
1988, Ngai Choi Lam

Only in Hong Kong could a movie with such a stupid name be ridiculously awesome. From Ngai Choi Lam, director of popular HK nasties Story of Ricky and Her Vengeance, comes the special effects and martial arts joyride that is Peacock King, or The Peacock King as is it called on the Hong Kong Legends DVD release (which is probably the best print of it available on DVD).

Peacock King follows the adventures of two monks, one straight-laced and by-the-book from Japan and the other brash and irresponsible from China, both excellent at martial arts. The odd couple buddy up, in cop movie style, joining together to defeat the demonic forces who have come to Earth from hell. What follows is an action-adventure, the likes of which you don’t see any more featuring an array of classic 1980s practical effects, such as stop motion animated monsters, puppets, a couple of HK’s top martial arts stars and a few of Lam’s trademark gory touches thrown in for good measure.

Featured in Peacock King are two of my favourite HK action stars, Yuen Biao and Gordon Liu. Biao is the star of The Iceman Cometh as well as co-starring with childhood pals, Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan, in the stunt-laden kung fu spectacle Project A, as well as others. Gordon Liu, the bald-headed star of Shaw Brothers classic, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, plays a villain this time around. Both actors have a charismatic screen presence and round out this colourful, violent and often hilarious treat of a movie nicely. Unfortunately I could not source an original trailer for Peacock King, so below is the trailer for the HK Legends DVD, it’s a little short but it still gives you a good idea of the fun you’re in for.