Di wu ying (1983)

Pearl Cheung Ling made Wolf Devil Woman which is a movie I could watch any time you want to watch it with me. This was the first movie that she directed. She also wrote and produced these films, which is a major thing for a martial arts film to be a female-owned production.

A remake of Shaw Brothers’ film The Black ButterflyDark Lady of Kung Fu also has her in the lead as the Butterly Bandit, a vigilante who wears a butterfly mask, big black hat and a winged cape. She’s at once Robin Hood and Fagin, as in her other identity she’s Monkey G, leading a team of children she calls the Monkeys. And everyone thinks she’s a man, which is an issue that a princess in this movie is also grappling with. Yes, Madam Kim Simon is a woman who wants to be a man, and at the end of the film, the Butterfly Bandit tells her to be happy to be him and just be pleased with whatever makes them happy.

This is a 1983 kung fu movie being this progressive.

It’s crazy because one moment, you’re getting sick of all the comic relief and then this movie shocks you with violence or an incredible fight scene. There’s also a cannon that fires gold coins and a tough guy named Shadow who doesn’t like it when people step on his. Also: the Close Encounters of the Third Kind theme song is in this.

You can watch this on YouTube.

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