Streaming Sleepers: Knuckle Up With Sammo Hung’s KNOCKABOUT
Kung fu cinema may be far and away from its heyday glory, but its enduring fandom remains adherent to its ties to the genre with unrelenting fervor through rigorous preservation and re-releases of these considerable classics in various selections. To date, you can look toward companies like Arrow Films’ genre specialty imprint, Arrow Video, with the recent launch of its streaming platform currently beholden to numerous titles in cult cinema, including and especially martial arts classics like Sammo Hung‘s 1979 hit, Knockabout.
Hung joins the cast in a major co-starring role, with cinema legends Yuen Biao and Bryan Leung starring as two brothers – sibling conmen whose daily shenanigans for quick cash and a meal find themselves hustling hard to earn the favor of a silver-haired traveler who reluctantly takes them in, equipping them with his kung fu teachings as useful subordinates. The man’s fugitive past surfaces along with the bodies he leaves in his wake, ensuing a shocking discovery that results in one brother’s death, forcing the other to escape only to seek the refuge and aid of a lithe, cunning fat beggar whose own fighting skills could be the tipping point for a deadly kung fu showdown.
Pairing Hung with the likes of Biao and Leung opposite Lau, Knockabout stands as one of the most memorable titles of the genre for many fans, including those knowledgeable of the Golden Harvest brand. The film brings a ubiquitous blend of physical comedy, slapstick and high jinks, and high-impact martial arts action and style with a splash of revenge added to the mix, producing the kind of flick that would not only shape the nascent careers of the cast as well as Hung in his nascency of lifetime achievement, but also bode as a viable entry in the line of post-Bruce Lee movies that would shape the industry and fandom it would spawn through the 1980s.
Knockabout is currently available on multiple ad-supported and free platforms, and will soon add to the kung fu line-up currently available only on the Arrow Player starting March 28.
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.
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