Friday, 6 July 2007

Dirty Ho (1976)

Chinese title: Rotten Head Ho.

Dirty Ho (1976)When is a fight not a fight?
Watch it and you will know why!

The Chinese title for this kungfu flick is Rotten Head Ho. You could see the herbal medicine patch on his forehead. The more accurate title should be Block Head Ho because this Dirty Ho is a bit on the slow side. Thus provides the comic relief. He's so dumb that he doesn't know that his future sifu - played by Gordon Liu - is fighting him with real kick ass kungfu, and he thought his future sifu doesn't know any martial arts at all. While his sifu is having a vigorous fight to the death with another guy right under his nose, Dirty Ho is none the wiser. He thinks his sifu was admiring antiques, or drinking wine, or doing anything but having a fight.

Ok, to be fair, the whole idea why Dirty Ho was so obtuse is because his sifu is carrying out shadowless kicks, which happens under table, out of sight, and without any movement in the shoulders to give away clues that he's kicking his opponent's ass. Or that his sifu would disguise his martial action sequences as some innocent movements like toasting or drinking wine or paying respects. In fact, there're as much talking as fighting to disguise the whole fights.

After mastering the Shadowless Kick from his sifu, Dirty Ho is Komic SideKick no more.

In any case, the movie title Dirty Ho makes absolutely no sense. He's no more 'dirty' than his sifu (whatever that word means). I have a couple of suggestion for the title, Ho Ho Ho, or What The...Ho? would be better. This title suggests quirkiness that one doesn't know what to make of it in the 1st viewing. If you like now-for-something-completely-different kungfu flick, this is it. It reminds me of Master of the Flying Guillotine (1976) just above in this list. Just sit back and enjoy what it throws at you (and it throws at you everything but the kitchen sink. Only because 1 isn't available). You can't get serious with a novie title like that.

It's a curious - meaning unique - piece of cinema that has lost its freshness and weirdness through over-exposures of subsequent imitations.


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