Hi, Mystery Recapped here. Today, I am going to explain a Hong Kong martial arts action-comedy film called Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow. Spoilers ahead! Watch out and take care!
The snake fist clan specializes in the Snake-style of fighting in Kung Fu. For the past hundred years, the snake fist clan has had a rivalry with the eagle claw clan that specializes in eagle-style fighting. The Eagle clan has made it its mission to kill every single member of the snake clan and remove the style of fighting altogether.
At the beginning of the movie, one of the last surviving members of the snake clan is challenged by Sheng Kuan, an eagle claw master. The two battle using their respective style of fighting, but the eagle claw is evidently more powerful than the snake fist. Sheng Kuan vows to kill his opponent and end the snake fist’s legacy. However, it is revealed that a snake fist master named Pai is still alive. Sheng Kuan kills his opponent and goes on in search of his final and only opponent, Pai.
Meanwhile, Pai is living a low life as a beggar. He hardly earns any money and lives off scraps. One day, while he is sleeping on a hammock made up of a single rope, someone barges inside the room and startles him. It turns out that the landlord has brought a thug to evacuate Pai since he hasn’t paid the rent in a month. They search around the room for money but find a snake instead. When they are distracted, Pai swiftly grabs his rice bowl and a pair of chopsticks and runs outside. He is surrounded and attacked by a gang. Using the bowl and chopsticks, Pai defends himself without much effort. Even though his opponents carry knives, his chopsticks are able to overpower them. One of the thugs bumps into an eagle claw member Su Chen while trying to run after Pai. When the thug describes Pai, Su Chen realizes that they just encountered a snake fist member but by then, Pai is long lost.
Following that, we are introduced to the protagonist of the movie, Chien Fu. He is an orphan adopted by a short-tempered eccentric Kung Fu teacher named Li. Li profits by scamming innocent students, promising to be a Kung Fu expert when his skills are merely average. He frequently abuses Chien Fu physically and makes him do all the cleaning. Chien Fu wants to learn to fight but even though he works in a Kung Fu school, he is never given the opportunity to train.
One morning, Li is resting while the students practice as usual. Chien Fu watches them and tries mimicking their movements, forgetting to sweep the floor. Li notices hits him with a stick. To trouble the kid, even more, he walks around with white powder under his shoes, making him sweep the floor twice. Later, Li uses Chien Fu as a prop to teach his students a new form of fighting. He orders Chien Fu to not dodge the attacks and beats him up as an example. This is not the first time he has used Chien Fu to make himself look like a Kung Fu expert. Chien Fu is frequently beaten up but he has no other way to make a living. The only person who sympathizes with him is the school’s cook when even offers to apply medicine to his wounds.
Somewhere else, Pai ends up in front of another Kung Fu school in the town and decides to take a rest. Inside, a wealthy businessman and his overweight son Laap-ban have come to check if the school is good enough for Laap-ban’s admission. The headteacher boasts about his trainees being the best in the town but Laap-ban is not convinced. He asks a student to break a stack of three bricks with a single blow. The student does as told and manages to break them all. But as soon as he is out of Laap-ban’s sight, he yells in pain while holding his hand that is now starting to turn blue. Moments later, Laap-ban tries to shake his hand and realizes that he was only pretending to be tough. The father and son leave to get admission to Li’s school instead.
After that, the students see Pai resting outside and take their frustration out by beating him up. Pai doesn’t defend himself, afraid that someone might notice his presence. Chien Fu sees this and stops them from hurting the poor old man. When the students attack him, Pai uses his tricks to make Chien Fu fight. He stands behind Chien Fu and pushes him around so that he can dodge the attacks.
During the fight, a Russian religious Missionary notices Pai and rushes towards him. In reality, he is a spy who has been appointed by the eagle claw clan to find and eliminate the last surviving member of the snake clan. Pai notices him and runs away with Chien Fu before he can be caught. Following that, Chien Fu brings Pai to the school and makes tea for him. He also asks the old man to stay the night because he must be injured. Pai is impressed by his kindness.
Meanwhile, Laap-ban and his father are in a meeting with Li who boasts about his training. Laap-ban doesn’t believe him and asks them to break three stacked bricks. Li laughs at him, stating that he can show them a real fight instead of mere bricks breaking. He calls Chien Fu and orders him to take the beating from one of his students. An excited Laap-ban watches as the fight begins. Chien Fu is beaten up yet again but he cannot dodge the attacks, scared that he will have to starve the next day. By the end of it, Laap-ban is impressed by Chien Fu’s opponent’s skills and agrees to take admission to the school.
Chien Fu walks back to Pai with several cuts and bruises on his face. Embarrassed, he runs to his room. The cook tells Pai that it is a daily thing for Chien Fu to get beaten up. He is used as a display dummy to maintain the school’s reputation. To lighten his mood, Pai places a bowl on his head and asks him to try and get it. Chien Fu does his best but Pai is so skilled that he doesn’t let him get a single touch of the bowl.
The following morning Chien Fu wakes up to see Pai is missing. He notices a message on the wall that vaguely talks about the dodging skill. Outside, Pai has also drawn a pattern of footsteps for Chien Fu to follow and learn the tricks from yesterday. In reality, the tricks were the basics of the snake fist technique. Using the message and the steps, Chien Fu comprehends what Pai is trying to teach him and starts practicing. He is a gifted fighter and learns the technique in a short period of time.
Somewhere else, Pai bumps into the Russian missionary and follows him to find out his true intentions. However, he soon realizes it is a trap when Su Chen of the eagle claw stops him and challenges him to a fight. The missionary and Su Chen go against Pai but he manages to flee after tricking them. However, he is left severely injured after the commotion. At the same time, Laap-ban’s father comes to the school to check his son’s progress. Li asks Chien Fu to take beatings from Laap-ban, wanting to use him as a dummy yet again. But this time, using Pai’s techniques, Chien Fu dodges all the attacks. He even makes Laap-ban bump into his father, making both fall to the ground. In the end, Laap-ban and his father run away to the other school. An angered Li hits Chien Fu repeatedly for humiliating him. Chien Fu runs away from the school and coincidentally bumps into an injured Pai. He takes him to a shed and dresses his wounds.
Somewhere else Su Chen meets the higher official of the eagle claw clan, Shang Kuan, and tells him everything about his encounter with Pai. Then, we see Chien Fu taking care of Pai until gets better. After finding out that Chien Fu was able to learn the technique only through the drawings, Pai agrees to train him in snake-style Kung Fu. His only condition is that Chien Fu won’t call him “master”, won’t use the training to display violence, and won’t interfere when Pai is fighting his opponents. Chien Fu accepts all the conditions and starts the training. He works hard day and night and learns the techniques in no time. Over the weeks, Pai gives him more difficult tasks but he shows growth and perseverance like no other.
One day, he is lazily sweeping the floor in the school when Li sees him and decides to trouble him as always. He steps on white powder but before he can step on the floor, Chien Fu slides the mop under his feet. Li tries his best to trick Chien Fu but he is quicker because of the training. As they are struggling, a group from the rival school barges in. The leader of the group is the new three Provinces Champ in Kung Fu. He is furious because all other schools in the town sent him gifts to show respect but Li didn’t do so. Hence, he challenges Li and his fellow teacher to a match. Li is reluctant but since all his students are watching, he has no way but to accept. The state champion doesn’t waste time before beating them both up, proving that they are just a bunch of frauds who only know basic knowledge about Kung Fu. Chien Fu wants to help them but since he has promised Pai that he will only use his skills for defense, he stays out of the fight. After the two are defeated, the students follow the state champion to the rival school.
Later that day, Chien Fu is cleaning when the former teacher of the school, master Hang returns from a trip. He used to be the headteacher until Li took over. Enraged that they were defeated by the opponents, he walks to the rival school and challenges the state champion. They get into an intense fight, both matching in skills. But in the end, the state champion beats master Hang and still doesn’t stop attacking him. Chien Fu finally steps in which angers the champion even more. He attacks him a couple of times, asking him to fight back.
Now that Chien Fu can use his training as defense, he doesn’t hold back and starts battling him. Everyone is shocked to see that a mere janitor is giving the state champion a hard time. Master Hang is just as surprised because he didn’t know Chien Fu could fight. From the entrance door, Sheng Kuan is also watching them. He sees Chien Fu’s technique and recognizes it as the snake fist technique. Since only one person from the clan is alive, he is sure that Chien Fu knows Pai.
After defeating the champion, Chien Fu and Hang return to their school. At home, Chien Fu finds a letter by Pai that says he will be gone for a few days. Alongside the letter is a book on snake-style fighting. Chien Fu rushes to the shed to see Pai but the old man has already left. Just then, Sheng Kuan who had been tailing him till now inquires if he knows Pai. When Chien Fu affirms, Sheng Kuan lies about being Pai’s friend and asks Chien Fu to tell him when he returns from his trip. He also emphasizes to keep his arrival a secret from Pai because he wants to surprise his old friend. A naive Chien Fu believes him and agrees to help him.
On reaching home, he sees his pet cat fighting a snake. Even though at first glance, the snake looks more dangerous, it is proven to be weak against the cat’s paws. This gives Chien Fu an idea to mix the paw technique with the snake fist technique to make it more dangerous.
Somewhere else, Pai returns to the town and is immediately confronted by Su Chen. At first, Su Chen pretends to be dead and attacks him with a knife. He believes Pai was stabbed but turns out he was ready to dodge the attack. They get into a fight where Pai overpowers him with his expertise and kills him.
Following that, he goes to meet Chien Fu who is overjoyed to have him back. They ask the cook for tea but the man mixes poison in it. Just then, Chien Fu remembers Sheng Kuan and rushes to tell him about Pai’s arrival. But when they return looking for him, Pai has already fled. Sheng Kuan predicts where he is heading and runs after him as Chien Fu follows them.
On his way, Chien Fu is stopped by the Russian Missionary who wants to kill him. They get into a fight where the missionary has an upper hand because of his sword. Chien Fu gets his clothes torn but still manages to defeat him in the end.
Somewhere else, Pai meets Sheng Kuan. He has had enough of running and wants to fight to put an end to the century-long rivalry between their clans. The fight starts and initially, they seem to match in expertise. But Sheng Kuan soon overpowers him and is about to kill him when Chien Fu interrupts them. To save his master, he asks Sheng Kuan to fight him instead. Pai tries to stop Chien Fu, knowing that he is not trained enough to defeat Sheng Kuan but he doesn’t back down.
Soon, they launch at each other and Chien Fu immediately manages to scratch his opponent’s face with his new invention; the cat claw technique. By the mixture of the snake fist and cat claw, he creates a unique deadly technique that defeats the eagle claws in no time. In the end, Sheng Kuan is also defeated.
As the master and student are about to leave, the cook approaches them and tries to stab Chien Fu. Pai stops him effortlessly and inquires why he is doing this. It turns out that he is also a spy from the eagle claw clan. He laughs knowing that they are about to die of the poison he gave them earlier, but Chien Fu reveals that he had exchanged the tea because it was too hot.
In the final scene, the cook remembers that he drank the poisoned tea. The poison’s effect starts to show and he dies instantly. In the last scene, Pai compliments Chien Fu for inventing such a powerful new technique.
Remember kids, we have a lot to learn from cats and if the tea is too hot, don’t drink it. Subscribe for more videos like this, turn on the notification, and leave a like to help the channel out. Thank you for watching.
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