Oh, goodness. It’s actually titled Shaolin Temple Against Lama, but Netflix lists it as the title above.
Once upon a time, I dated a guy who for Valentine’s Day gave me the best present of all: a pre-planned marathon of kung-fu movies and Chinese food for Valentine’s Day. (It should tell you a lot right there what my idea of a good Valentine’s Day is, huh?) One of the movies we watched was a movie I’ve been trying to track down – Shaolin Versus Lama – but to no avail. It was awesome and amazingly good-bad, so in desperation and sifting through 8,000 “Shaolin” titles on Netflix, I randomly selected this one hoping it would live up to the brilliance of the movie I had originally watched.
No, this one was better. Better, I say!
Does the plot matter? Absolutely not. Like all kung-fu movies from the late ’60’s or so to the late ’70’s, it’s got three very important features: lots of fights, supremely bad dubbing and horrible camera work. This one, however, is way over the top.
I don’t claim to be a connoisseur of bad kung fu movies, so I can’t really relate this on a scale to you how awesomely cracktastic this movie really is, but let’s just say…it’s hilarious. Roaringly, outstandingly hilarious.
First of all, no one in this movie gets through three minutes of it without some super huge fight breaking out — which, while entertaining, is pretty exhausting. The dubbing is the pinnacle of bad in the best possible way. It really is every kung fu dubbing cliche you’ve ever heard. The costumes and actors, though, have to be seen to be believed. Let’s all stop for a moment and thank the heavens that God made screencapping software:
Do you SEE WHAT I MEAN? If you’re wearing more makeup than Boy George, you have a problem, my friend.
This is the main bad guy, who I think made his outfit from a Simplicity Sewing book of patterns.
Really tough, hardcore kung-fu masters wear gold lamé gauntlets, of course.
This man hearts his Bedazzler, for real. Look at that. Can you imagine all the hours he spent Bedazzling his crushed velvet robe?
Aaaaand, finally – kung-fu meets Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Shaolin Temple Against Lama is not anywhere remotely in the sphere of “good”. It’s terribly shot, badly lit, horrifically directed with some of the worst dubbing I’ve ever heard. Yet, it’s kind of watching an Ed Wood movie – shockingly bad but so unintentionally hilarious that you can’t do anything but curl up on the couch and chuckle appreciatively.