In 1978, legendary filmmaker and choreographer Yuen Woo-ping (known in mainstream circles later for The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and action star Jackie Chan shook up the industry with two surprise hits, Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow and Drunken Master, redefining action filmmaking in the process. The much-loved classic Drunken Master arrives on UK Blu-ray for the first time, as fresh and dynamic as ever and a real joy to revisit.
Breaking away from being dismissed as another Bruce Lee clone, these new films established Chan’s now-famous slapstick action/comedy and showed him at his very best, blending technical, complex action design with genuinely great comedy. This movie, in particular, is a true landmark and remains a classic everyone should see.
While most fans will know the story and Kung Fu formula, here Jackie Chan plays Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hung, a petulant and arrogant boy who is punished for his troublemaking by being sent to notoriously brutish master Beggar So (Yuen Siu-tien), famous for his excessive drinking and barbaric training rituals. As Wong finally commits to his routine, eventually taking on responsibility and life lessons, his new skills are put to the test when his father is targeted by a dangerous assassin (played by actor and legendary kicker Hwang Jang Lee).
Adored as one of the greatest martial arts films of all time, this release offers the chance to enjoy a classic in its best state yet. The movie itself looks cleaner and sharper than ever, beautifully presented.
With added extras spanning interviews, a rare original Cantonese soundtrack and other audio options (listed below), plus commentary, insight from The Raid director Gareth Evans, a new essay and rare production photos, fans can immerse themselves in the movie and its lasting legacy.
Eureka’s Masters of Cinema Series have re-released the film in a Dual Format edition, on UK Blu-ray for the first time. This version includes:
-New 4K digital restoration
-Original complete Cantonese soundtrack, rarely heard on home video, with alternate English and Mandarin audio and newly translated English subtitles
-Audio commentary by Hong Kong film experts Ric Meyers and Jeff Yang
-New video interview with director Yuen Woo-ping
-Video interview with Jackie Chan
-New video interview with film scholar Tony Rayns
-New video appreciation by director Gareth Evans (The Raid)
-New booklet featuring an essay by Michael Brooke and archival imagery
Once again, most genre fans will have seen the film countless times, whether on VHS, DVD or late night TV, but this release presents a special opportunity to experience it like never before. For appreciating action cinema as a rich, complex art form, and witnessing Jackie Chan and Yuen Woo-ping’s roles in this history, Drunken Master is simply unmissable.
Drunken Master is out now from Eureka Entertainment