Shaws return to chopsocky

'Monkey' opens May 22 in Hong Kong

HONGKONG — This month marks the Shaw brothers’ return to martial arts filmmaking with its release “Drunken Monkey.”

Bearing a title with a familiar ring, featuring some legendary talent and touting real martialarts stunts, the film seems to be a throwback to another era in Hong Kong’s film history.

The movie is producedby Shaw’s wholly owned subsidiary Super Film Production Co., with martial- arts master Lau Karleung acting and directing.

Lau has directed or choreographed martial arts moves for Shaw Brothers classics such as “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin” and “Martial Arts of Shaolin,” as well as Jackie Chan’s “The Legend of Drunken Master” and “Drunken Master 2.”

Lau’s work can also be seen in the Shaw brothers library being restored and re-released on DVDs and VCDs by Celestial Pictures.

Celestial is responsible for the international release of “Drunken Monkey.” The movie opens in Hong Kong on May 22. The film is being hyped as an alternative to special effects-laden Hollywood action movies, with members of the cast having all been trained in martial arts. Lau stresses he wants to produce “a real kung-fu movie that Hollywood would be unable to produce.”

Gordon Liu — star of 36th Chamber of Shaolin” and who also has role in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming “Kill Bill” — toplines. Shaw brothers has focused largely on television production since the mid-’80s and sold its library of 760 films to Celestial two years ago.

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