Also known as Ninja Checkmate, Lee Yi Min stars as a young boy who wants to learn kung fu so that he can avenge his father's death at the hands of the Ghost Faced Killer (Mark Long). The Ghost Faced Killer meanwhile is hunting down a number of clan leaders who all conspired to have him killed. After being expelled from a kung fu school for being suspected of being a spy for the Ghost Face Killer, he shacks up with a retired kung fu master (Jack Long) who is also a master player of chess. Teaching him kung-fu with chess strategies, they both prepare for the battle of their lives, against the greatest and most evil villain in kung fu movie history.
Well, I beg to differ on that one. The evil Fung Cheh Wu Chi, blind master of the flying guillotine, would be my pick. Still, this is one helluva great movie, even with it’s faults. For starters, the main problem this movie has is that, at it’s core, it’s basically a Jackie Chan film wannabe. There is a lot of bad comedy moments that are in the same vein as Drunken Master, hell even our hero kind of looks like Jackie Chan. But what makes this movie kick-ass are the fight scenes. They are excellent, long and never boring, almost like watching people breakdance. The best fight is the last one, where both master and pupil fight together against the evil Ghost Face Killer. This guy is definitely one of the most interesting villains in kung fu history, beating the shit out of everyone without a drop of mercy, and later laughing about it in the most maniacal way imaginable. This last fight lasts about twenty to twenty-five minutes and it never gets dull. It’s definitely one of the best movies in the genre.
Of a curious note, The Wu-Tang Clan was very influenced by this film. They have a song called “Da Mystery Of Chessboxin” in their first album, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). One of the members is also named Ghostface Killah. Why do I say this? Cuz I love Wu-Tang, damnit.