Country: Hong Kong
Date aired: Sep 14, 2004
Shanghai, circa 1940, and the gangs run everything. Only the slums are safe from organised crime because there's no profit to be had. Enter Sing, a low-life hustler determined - as a result of a childhood humiliation that taught him good guys never win - to be a bad-ass gangster. Sadly, Sing is the one guy in pre-revolutionary China who can't do kung fu. Forget nunchukku. He can't even wield chopsticks. So to squeeze pennies out of unsuspecting scaredy cats, he masquerades as a member of the dapper - but deadly - Axe Gang. Bad idea. These guys hack rival gangs to pieces then celebrate with a song-and-dance number in top hats and tails. Think of it as East Side Story with tomahawks and tuxedos. But when Sing and his overweight, unnamed sidekick enter the especially awful slum Pig Sty Alley their ruse doesn't wash with the locals, who are ruled by an iron-fisted, chain-smoking landlady and her drunken husband. Before you can say "Hi-Yah!", the slum dwellers are revealed as kung fu masters who've been living in disguise among the poor. There's a chef, who uses his martial arts skills to shape pastry, and a gay tailor, who uses curtain rings as weapons. The shrieking landlady can run like Roadrunner and her hubby can bend his body like Plastic Man. The calamity soon grabs the attention of the real Axe Gang, who want a piece of the action. And make no mistake, the action is as jaw-dropping as it is deliriously demented. Fight scenes are dubbed with the ringing sounds of pinball machines.
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