Return to tiff.’s home page

Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman

The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman

Dao Jian Xiao


  • Country: Hong Kong, China, USA
  • Year: 2010
  • Language: Mandarin
  • Producer: Daniel Yu, Tang Xiru
  • Executive Producer: Tang Xiru, Shao Yiding, Yang Yang, Yao Jinlong, Wang Wei, Doug Liman
  • Screenplay: Zhang Jiajia, Tang Que, Ma Luoshan, Wu Ershan, based on the short story "Legend of the Kitchen Knife" by An Changhe
  • Runtime: 95
  • Programmes:

A tale of revenge, honour and greed follows a group of misfits that gets involved with a kitchen cleaver made from the top five swords of the martial arts world in this wild and brash action comedy.

ActionChinaPeriod PieceComedyFirst Time Feature

screening times

    • Thursday September 16
    • 11:59:00 PM
    • Friday September 17
    • 6:30:00 PM
    • AMC 6
    • Saturday September 18
    • 3:30:00 PM

Note: indicates Premium Screening.

official description

Who would think that haute cuisine would be a source of conflict in the martial arts world? The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman is a tale of revenge, honour and greed, lightly tossed with scallions and sesame oil and served on a tender bed of steamed pea shoots. It plays out in the visual style of Wong Kar-wai’s Ashes of Time, but has a wild sense of humour reminiscent of Stephen Chow’s God of Cookery and Juzo Itami’s classic “noodle western” Tampopo. This brash and original wuxia (the genre of martial arts chivalry), from debut director Wuershan, offers a full order of slapstick with generous sides of swordplay, bloody battles and lusty courtesans.

Chopper is a boorish, mutton-chopped butcher whose dream is to buy the hand of the high-class Madame Mei. But she already has a suitor: a savage warrior from the desert who wields a very large sword. Chopper stumbles upon a mighty weapon – a cleaver forged from the swords of the world’s top martial artists – that comes with a tale about the Mute, the film’s titular chef (Masanobu Ando from Sukiyaki Western Django and Battle Royale) and his aging master who must prepare dinner for a murderous gourmand. With a titillating eight-course meal and precise knife work, the hungry viewer may find the kitchen scenes nothing short of culinary erotica. Inevitably, the two stories come crashing together in a vibrant and hilarious climax.

The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman is a buffet of action, comedy and oh-so-teasing food footage. Wuershan serves up a delectable visual parade of outrageous cross-cultural mash-ups, including a hip-hop singing brothel madam, karaoke, animated vignettes, vintage kung fu flashbacks, television news re-enactments and combat that quickly transforms into a Mortal Kombat-esque fighting game.

You’ve been warned: you may want to grab a snack before this one, or at the very least make a trip to Chinatown after the show. Just make sure you don’t get into a brawl in the kitchen.

Colin Geddes

director bio

Wuershan was born in Huhehaote, Inner Mongolia. He studied oil painting at China's Central Institution of Fine Arts before attending the School of Directing at the Beijing Film Academy. As an award-winning commercial director, he has garnered recognition both in China and internationally. The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman (10) is his first feature film.

full credits

Principal Cast: Masanobu Ando, Kitty Zhang, You Benchang, Liu Xiaoye, Ashton Xu
Daniel Yu, Tang Xiru
Executive Producer:
Tang Xiru, Shao Yiding, Yang Yang, Yao Jinlong, Wang Wei, Doug Liman
Michal Tywoniuk
Huang Zhe
Zhu Xiaojia
Gong Geer, Dead J, Miquia
Production Designer:
Hao Yi
International Sales Agent:
 Golden Network Asia Limited
Production Company:
Fox International Productions/Taihe Universal Film Investment Co. Ltd./First Cut Features Inc./Union Voole Technology Co., Ltd./Zixuxuanyang Cultural Development Co., Ltd./Bolong Investment Co., Ltd.
Shopping Cart

    Share This

    • Digg
    • Share

    Like This

    film stills and media