Indie martial artists and stuntmen tend to build up to their big breaks gradually. Take D.Y. Sao. He’s worked in the stunt world on big hits like “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Everything Everywhere All At Once” while producing many short films, as well as instructional videos on Cambodian martial arts on his YouTube channel.
Daniel Mah and Brian Le have travelled a similar path in their work on the above-mentioned martial arts films and their many impressive videos on Martial Club’s YouTube channel.
Director Pearry Teo clearly recognizes their talents and that of numerous others in bringing them aboard his upcoming martial arts flick named after the powerful, mythical, Hindu monkey god most dear to his Lord Rama and Mother Sita, “Hanuman: Shadow Master”, the German-dubbed trailer for which can be seen below. The film is set to drop in Germany on November 25th, with a release in other territories hopefully following shortly after!
“Hanuman: Shadow Master” is a Supernatural, Martial Arts Flick!
“Hanuman: Shadow Master” reportedly focuses on a young man named An Voan, played by Sao, who is killed in a turf war fighting off a gang attacking his apartment complex.
The film’s protagonist is then resurrected with supernatural, animal-like abilities, and resolves to combat the kinds of criminals who first took his life.
“Hanuman: Shadow Master” has the DNA of “The Raid”
As cliché as it might sound to liken a forthcoming martial arts movie to one of the greatest action hits of all time, “Hanuman” seems to be a kindred spirit to “The Raid: Redemption” in both premise and its store of action.
The combat in the apartment complex setting is the most obvious such window dressing, and the fight scenes showcased in the trailer are clearly of the same style of the war zone of Silat that makes up “The Raid”.
Add in the supernatural premise of “Hanuman”, and there’s little reason for it to not immediately be anticipated with fervent glee by martial arts fans. However, while an assortment of different martial arts can be gleaned from the trailer, D.Y. Sao is adding a new one to that formula.
D.Y. Sao Brings Cambodian Martial Arts into the Mix
Leading man D.Y. Sao is a highly-skilled practitioner of numerous different Chinese martial arts, but he is also an exponent of Cambodia’s traditional martial art, Bokator.
An ancient ancestor to Muay Thai, Bokator has decidedly not gotten the “Ong Bak” treatment on film that Muay Thai has or the grand showcase “The Rebel” gave to Vovinam.
D.Y. Sao’s YouTube channel is a treasure trove of videos showcasing the different forms and techniques of Bokator, and “Hanuman” gives it an even bigger stage in enabling Mr. Sao (who also oversaw the film’s stunts and fight scenes) to integrate the art into a martial arts flick with a supernatural spin. For its Bokator elements alone, “Hanuman” stands out as its release nears…
The Martial Club Continues to Break out!
Aside from the film’s Bokator component, “Hanuman” is also the latest big action stage for the members of YouTube’s Martial Club to leap into outside of their usual sandbox. The aforementioned “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Everything Everywhere All At Once” did exactly that previously with Brian and Daniel elevating the action of both (Andy Le of the Martial Club also playing the masked Death Dealer in “Shang-Chi”.
The Martial Club know how to deliver Hong Kong-style action like few in the Western world can.
Their reunion with D.Y. Sao, who previously worked with Pearry Teo (from his role in both of the above movies) makes what “Hanuman” has in the works even more exciting: Hong Kong-style Bokator action combining supernatural elements with a premise and fight scenes out of “The Raid” playbook? KFK is down for that, as we have no doubt, you dear reader, are too!