Kung Phooey

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Kung Phooey!
Directed by Darryl Fong
Written by Darryl Fong
Starring Michael Chow Man-Kin
Joyce Thi Brew
Wallace Choy
Karena Davis
Colman Domingo
Darryl Fong
Fred Salvallon
Robert Wu
Stuart W. Yee
Distributed by Velocity Entertainment
Release date
  • 2003 (2003)
Running time
87 minutes
Language English

Kung Phooey is an independent film, directed and produced by Darryl Fong. In addition he also co-stars in the movie with Michael Chow and Colman Domingo. The movie is about a monk who tries to find a mysterious lost "Fountain of Youth" (a magic peach). He travels to British Columbia (actually filmed in San Francisco, poking fun at movies like Rumble in the Bronx that disguise BC locations to look like US cities), and, with a new band of friends, tries to retrieve the stolen artifact. The parody comes into play here with many jokes making fun of old Kung fu movies, for instance joking about how all the bad guys make "Hi-yah!" sounds.


The plot follows Art Chew's (a pun of the sound one makes when sneezing) quest to retrieve the ancient peach. The movie starts with Art Chew traveling to America, as well as showing Art's training at the Shur-li temple (a play on words with the child actor Shirley Temple), showing many kung-fu clichés such as grabbing the pebble from the masters hand (which Art succeeds without effort), fighting on trees (in this case small potted palms) and "listing" for elements (Earth, Wind & Fire play a funky tune). After the montage is shown, Art meets up with his cousin Wayman (a parody on the way Chinese pronounce r as w), a Chinese adult who tries to act American so he isn't embarrassed by stereotypes, and foster cousin Roy Lee, an African American who sincerely believes he is a reincarnation of Bruce Lee.

Not long after Art arrives, Helen Hu, an MSG (Monosodium glutamate) dealing (portrayed like a cocaine dealer) restaurant owner, forces Art's stereotypical uncle into buying more MSG. Art intervenes and tries to fight Helen's muscle, the overweight and strong One Ton (perhaps a play on the Chinese dish wonton soup), the wise cracking "brains" of the outfit Lo Fat and the Kung-Fu fighter Non Fat. After blocking One Ton's attack, Art reels to attack showing a smiley face on his arm which Lo Fat points out as a symbol of a Shur-li monk and they run away. Art talks to his uncle and asks where the Ancient peach is and is told that it is in Helen Hu's restaurant (a brief humorous spectacle emerges in the conversation as Art and the others mix the name Hu with the article "who") that Art's uncle sold to her a few years ago. Art, Wayman and Roy Lee go to Helen's restaurant and are taken to her by a waiter that is badly dubbed because "This is how all Hong Kong actors talk". Helen claims to know nothing about the peach and gets One Ton to escort Art and his friends to leave. On the way out, Roy Lee tries to kick Non Fat but misses and breaks a hole in the wall. After Art and crew are thrown out Lo Fat notices a glowing coming out of the hole in the wall and looks in and finds the ancient peach. Events lead to the peach being swapped around a couple of times and the appearance of a romantic interest, Sue Shi (sushi), who is later revealed to be an agent of the Shur-li temple.

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