Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 26th, 2007
Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong, 1981
Director: Liu Chia-Liang
Writers: Li Tai-Heng, Liu Chia-Liang
Cast: Liu Chia-Hui, Tsao Ta-Hua, Tang Wei-Chung, Hui Ya-Hung, Chuan Yung-Wen, Wang Lung-Wei, Liu Chia Liang, Hsiao Hou
DVD released: June 19th, 2007
Approximate running time: 119 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Mandarin, Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
DVD Release: Dragon Dynasty
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.97
Synopsis: A young woman named Cheng Tai-Nan (Kara Hui) agrees to marry her master who has never married and has no children. Cheng Tai-Nan husband’s last wish is that she makes sure that his estate doesn’t fall into the hands of his greedy brother Yu Yung-Sheng and everything is given to his nephew Yu Ching-Chuen (Chia-Liang Liu). Not one to give up so easily Yu Yung-Sheng with the help of his henchmen try too steal all the evince which proves that Yu Ching-Chuen is now in charge of the property that has been left to him by his uncle.
My Young Auntie is marital arts comedy directed by the legendary Chia-Liang Liu who has directed many bonafide marital arts classics like Legendary Weapons of China, Eight Diagram Pole Fighter and Drunken Master II. Besides directing the films of the wall action and side splitting comedy Chia-Liang Liu also plays an important part in the film as Yu Ching-Chuen the nephew who inherits his uncles’ estate. Chia-Liang Liu also gets several chances to showoff his exemplary marital arts skills with his standout moment coming during the films final showdown. In a secondary role is actor Chia Hui Liu who appears in some wild get ups through out the film including a colonel wig! Chia Hui Liu spends most of his screen time hamming it up and when he does fight it is his usual high quality ass kicking action.
The story which is not the most logical provides plenty of laughs. The main premise of a young woman named Cheng Tai-Nan who after marrying her master is suddenly the family’s new patriarch after his death. Most of the comedy is based around this part of the story and watching the various actors interact with Kara Hui who plays Cheng Tai-Nan are some of the films best moments. Actress Kara Hui exudes an innocence which makes her character look more vulnerable then she really is. The most memorable moment in the film is when Cheng Tai-Nan buys a modern dress and when she is forced to fight off all her male admires she is also forced to try to cover up her exposed legs which are hardly covered by her new dress. Hong Kong has seen its fare share of martial arts women fighters and Kara Hui in My Young Auntie proves that she can more then handle her own when it comes to action.
Hou Hsiao has several great moments in the film like when he and his father are trying to hang a picture. Instead of paying attention to his father Hou Hsiao leers at his young auntie who is changing in the other room. My only complaint for this film is that Charlie Yu Tao the character that Hou Hsiao plays is portrayed as a spoiled brat who acts as though he was still in elementary school. This part of his persona clashes with his not as convincing macho bravado that he tries to wear with little or no effect. My Young Auntie plot wise is a mess at times as it takes from several different sources and genres to make one cohesive storyline that somehow makes sense. The action scenes are all inventive and well done. Ultimately My young Auntie is a solid marital arts/comedy hybrid that offers a lot of action and plenty of funny if just plain odd moments.
My Young Auntie is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Overall Dragon Dynasty has done a superb job with this transfer that has colorful, detailed and free of any print damage.
This release comes with two audio options Mandarin and English. Both audio options are presented in a Dolby Digital mono. The audio clear, evenly balanced and free of any audio defects. Removable English and Spanish subtitles have been included.
Extras for this release include a photo gallery with forty Stills, the film’s original theatrical trailer and a home video trailer, trailers for other films featuring the cast & crew of My Young Auntie and trailers for Shaw Brothers and Dragon Dynasty films. Other extras include a thirteen minute interview with Kara Hui and an eight minute interview with film scholars David Chute and Andy Klein. The main extra included with this release is an audio commentary with Film scholars Elvis Mitchell and Andy Klein. Dragon Dynasty put together another slick and fully loaded release for yet another Shaw Brothers classic. Out of their first four Shaw Brothers releases I went into My Young Auntie with the lowest expectations. In the end My Young Auntie ended up being the one of the four films that I had the most fun with and most of this is due to its irreverent take on the martial arts genre, recommended.