Kung Fu Theater: The Mystery of Chess Boxing

This month’s installment in Dan Halsted’s ongoing celebration of all things whoop-ass is the only known 35mm print of The Mystery of Chess Boxing, an all-time kung fu classic responsible for introducing the Ghostface Killer, a villainous master who runs his mouth as effectively as he throws his hands, berating and beating enemies to death. The only way to defeat him? Incorporate the genius-level strategies of chess into your fighting. It’s no wonder this heady-yet-lowdown-and-dirty kung fu flick was such an inspiration to a crew of kids on Staten Island in the ’80s­—kids who would grow up and rule ’90s hip-hop as the Wu Tang Clan.


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