Viking Night: Come Drink With Me
By Bruce Hall
September 6, 2017
When I was a little boy, like most of my peers, I had very fanciful ideas about the kinds of jobs that would be waiting for me when I reached adulthood. As a Gen-Exer, I may be among the last generation of boys who at one point wanted to be a fireman. Then I found out how hard the job was, and how much it paid, and that you had to eat chili every day, and I was out. I didn’t have to get much older before I accepted that “Spider-Man” and “Superman” were not employment options. Evidently, “Captain Kirk” was not an actual job where you could just circle an ad in the paper and get a sweet gold shirt in the mail.
So went my dreams of sitting sideways in my dope leather chair, smirking at Lieutenant Uhura while Chekov fired the weapons and Spock handled all the math.
That didn’t stop me from having idols, though. So I took advantage of the kung fu movie craze, which was still in full swing by the time parachute pants became a thing. And - although it may be hard to imagine today - seeing cable TV for the first time is what made me realize there were, in fact, things greater than pouring Pixy Stix into your Slurpee and riding the Cherry Dragon. It was at this time that I discovered martial arts films, and for a brief period they were all my fickle pre-teen mind wanted to watch. And through them, I got a whole new stupid idea in my head about what I wanted to be when I grew up.
That ended when I hit myself in the face with a nunchaku. But the films were engrossing, and upon uncovering an old email where I waxed on about the old Shaw Brothers films, I thought it might be a great time to revisit them. You can read the history of Shaw Studios elsewhere, but you may consider them the Elder Gods of kung fu movies, if that helps. I couldn’t have been happier to find that I loved these classics as much today as I did then, especially since I’m old enough to actually follow the story.
Yes, these fighting movies have stories, and many of them are truly great ones. Since the list of awesome “Shaw Bros” films is so long, I decided to choose four, and feature them this month in what I have decided to call…well, I haven’t actually decided. Shaw Bros September? Shaw-bros-tember? Shawtember? I’ll let you decide. Maybe I should have waited till next month and called it “Shawtober.”
Oh my God. That’s what I should have gone with.
Oh, well. I only have about six hundred words left, so let’s get on with it, shall we?
Come Drink With Me might be the film you were thinking of when you saw Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and felt sure you’d seen that woman before. Not Michelle Yeoh. I mean Cheng Pei-pei, who played Jade Fox.