The Victim (orig. 身不由已; Shen bu you ji) is a humorous Hong Kong action film directed by Sammo Hung released in 1980. Starring Hung and Bryan Leung Kar Yan, the film is also known as Lightning Kung Fu and San bat yau gei. The US release was in June 1982.
Although he had only a very small role in The Victim, former Peking Opera School student Yuen Biao played a key part in the making of this film. He was one of four action choreographers on the film, and doubled several of the stars for martial arts and acrobatics.
Bryan Leung is an action actor who is well known for his intense style, but even he found this film a challenge. He has recalled many times of the exhaustion he felt in filming the final fight scene, much of which he was not doubled for.
A rich man with a kind heart takes in a suffering homeless orphan named Chun Yau. The man’s spoiled/jealous son does not take well to his new stepbrother. Chun Yau grows into a righteous martial artist played by Bryan Leung. Likewise, the jealous son grows into a bitter gang leader, essayed by Chang Yi. The jealous son holds a grudge against his stepbrother because Chun Yau stole his girlfriend. Now, Chang Yi has made it his goal to hunt down Chun Yau and his bride, Yu Ti prompting the newlyweds to spend their lives together running in fear from the gang leader. But one day Chun Yau runs into a bumbling tough guy named Fatty, who immediately challenges him to fight. Chun Yau quickly dispatches of his aggressor, prompting Fatty to set himself up as Chun Yau’s pupil. Apparently Fatty has promised his ancestors that he shall learn proper Kung Fu by training under the man who beats him (and Chun Yau is the first to do so.). However, Chun Yau and his wife are trying to keep a low profile and they want nothing to do with Fatty, as all he does is attract attention. Fatty, meanwhile, can’t help but wonder why such a great martial artist lives in fear.
With his stepfather at death’s door, Chun Yau and his wife go to pay final respects to his ill-struck adopted father. As Chun Yau enters his father’s room, he finds himself surrounded by Chang Yi’s men. They let Chun Yau speak with his stepfather as the old one expires. Chang Yi appears to be mourning the death of his father, but as soon as Chun Yau leaves his stepfather’s room, Cheng Yi orders his men to attack his stepbrother. Fatty arrives in time to help Chun Yau fight off the gang members. But Chun Yau’s wife can no longer handle the pressures of life on the run. She begs Chang Yi to stop the violence and she will leave Chun Yau and live with him. She tells her husband she is sick of life on the run and that she will stay with Chang Yi. Chun Yau is shattered and leaves a broken man, followed by the faithful Fatty. But Yu Ti really does not plan on spending her life with her hated admirer. After Chang Yi calls off the price on Chun Yau’s head, Yu Ti commits suicide rather than succumbing to his desires. The death of Yu Ti only serves to fuel the flames of hatred between these two men. Chang Yi hires martial arts assassins (including Wilson Tong) to deal with his stepbrother. A plan is composed by Yau and Fatty that results in the supposed death of someone.
- Sammo Hung – Fatty Chan Wing
- Bryan Leung – Leung Chun Yau
- Chang Yi – Jo Wing
- Fanny Wang – Yu Ti / Yuet Yee
- Peter Chan - Yuet Yee's brother
- Wilson Tong - Tong
- Chan Lung - Yuet-Ming
- Karl Maka - Shaolin Abbott Silver Lining
- Chung Fat - Choy Fan Tan
- Lay Kah - Henchman
- Lau Chau Sang - Henchman
- Lam Ching Ying - Jo Wing's cohort
- Yuen Biao - Jo-Wing's cohort
- Billy Chan - Chun Yau's Friend
- Johnny Cheung - Jo Wing's Man
- Kam Kong Chow - Henchman
- Shum Wai
- David Wu
- Dick Wei
- Huang Ha
- Wu Yuen