Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 24th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong, November 3rd, 1977
Alternate Titles: He Has Nothing But Kung Fu, Gangbusters Kung-Fu, Gong fu xiao zi
Approximate running time: 92 minutes
Theatrical Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen
Director: Chia Yung Liu (Lau Ka-Wing)
Writer: Kuang Ni
Cast: Chia Hui Liu (Gordon Liu), Billy Chan, Lung Chan, Shen Chan, Tao Chiang, Yuet Sang Chin, Fat Chung, Hou Hsiao, Ching-Ying Lam, Hoi San Lee, Chia Yung Liu, Yunzhong Li, Karl Maka, Hoi Mang, Mars, Sha-fei Ouyang, Gwa-pau Sai, Wilson Tong, Austin Wai, Yue Wong
Synopsis: A conman named Sha Shan befriends a man with amnesia and superior kung fu skill. Sha Shan has pissed off most of the locales included a ruthless boss and his minions who want him dead. Sha Shan uses his new friends’ lack of memory and lighting quick fighting skills to help him stay one step ahead of his enemies. Sha Shan soon discovers that his amnesic friend is the son of an admiral and he uses his new knowledge to his advantage.
He has nothing but Kung Fu was an independent production which featured Chia Hui Liu one of the Shaw Brothers rising stars who would achieve worldwide stardom with his performance as San Te in the 36th Chamber of Shaolin. The plot for He has nothing but Kung Fu revolves around a man named Ka Yuen whose amnesia helps drive this wacky Kung Fu comedy. Another key character is Sha Shan who at first uses Ka Yuen to help him in his various illegal endeavors. Sha Shan eventually starts to care about Ka Yuen as the plot advances with the two of them taking on the crime boss in an all out knock down drag out finale. One of He has nothing but Kung Fu’s strongest assets is the pairing up of Yung Wang Yu as Sha Shan and Chia Hui Liu as Ka Yuen. Their evolving friendship gives this film its backbone. Also having one of the leads characters Ka Yuen a victim of amnesia takes the comedy and action to another level.
He has nothing but Kung Fu was directed by Chia Yung Liu whose step brother is Chia Hui Liu and his brother is director Chia-Liang Liu (aka Lau Kar Leung). Some of Chia Yung Liu’s standout films as an director are Dirty Kung Fu, Fists & Guts and Carry on Wise Guy (aka Warrior from Shaolin). Visually He has nothing but Kung Fu is most impressive during its numerous action sequences. Even though not much time is devoted to building up characters outside of the two main characters Sha Shan and Ka Yuen the plot still keeps thing moving and interesting throughout.
Besides directing the film Chia Yung Liu an actor in his own right also has a role in the film. He even squares off in a scene against Chia Hui Liu. It is unfortunate that He has nothing but Kung Fu is not held in as high of regard as other classic martial arts films of the 1970’s. The film achieves so much despite its meager budget and a lot of this has to do with its two leads Yung Wang Yu and Chia Hui Liu and Chia Yung Liu superb direction.
He has nothing but Kung Fu features a solid cast of martial artists who are all strong in their respective roles. The soundtrack like so many Kung Fu movies of this era features music cues from other films and sources like the American folk song “Dixie” and “Oh! Susanna”. Both songs add perfectly to the comic timing in the film. One of the film’s most memorable scenes takes place on the rooftop of dilapidated building where the bad guys fight Ka Yuen who is eventually joined by Sha Shan.
Over the years He has nothing but Kung Fu has been the martial arts film that I have returned to more than any other. It is without a doubt my all time favorite Kung Fu film. To date the only home video releases that I have been able to track down are crappy VHS to DVD release from companies like Pan Media and Tai Seng which both present the film in less than suitable conditions. He has nothing but Kung Fu is an underrated martial arts classic that deserves properly re-mastered release which shows the film in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and dual languages’ (English and Cantonese) would be icing on the cake.