Yen Chuan plays the weak emperor, whose obsession with his consort, Yang Kwei Fei (Li Li-hua) makes him ignore the running of the country and leave the reins to his Prime Minister Yang Kuo-chung (Yang Chi-ching), who also happens to be Yang Kwei Fei's brother. Unfortunately, the cruel Prime Minister's selfish decisions leave the empire in shambles. The Magnificent Concubine is one exquisite production not to miss!
The "godfather of the kung-fu film", Chang Cheh, hit upon a winning formula when he combined three Taiwanese Opera artists with a muscular Chinese and a Korean kicker. Their first "official" film as stars, THE FIVE VENOMS was a hit, so the director/co-writer decided to launch a series with the same actors in different roles. Supporting this beloved sequel was real-life kung-fu champion Chen Kuan-tai, who Chang Cheh had already made a star. He plays a martial arts master (driven insane by his wife's death and his son's dismemberment), who replaces his child's missing hands with metal versions, then proceeds to blind, deafen, render retarded, and chop off the feet of anyone who even mildly annoys him. The abused bystanders band together and brilliantly train to take their revenge. The result is a totally unbelievable, but totally awesome, super heroic delight.
Chan Kuan-tai, Lu Feng, Kuo Chue, Lo Meng, Sun Chien, Pan Ping-chang
Incredibly, the title serpent is not a harbinger of horror, but actually the film's hero. This virtuous viper sniffs out bombs, fights gangs, battles a baby-killing rodent and even takes on a duplicitous woman. This one-of-a-kind thriller will be applauded by reptile fans everywhere.
Cheng Pei-pei was Hong Kong's first and most celebrated Queen of Kung-fu where her on screen performances set all the standards for future female martial arts stars like Michelle Yeoh. Lady Of Steel is a high plains drifter adventure where Cheng Pei-pei plays a swordswoman on a mission: to find the bandits that killed her parents and save the country from foreign invaders. Cheng Pei-pei's success garnished international acclaim with her Jade Fox character in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
As its name implies, Songfest is an Eastmancolor-Shawscope costume musical, traditionally Chinese and timeless in content; yet revealing a spirited and modern technique. Shot on location at Taiwan's beautiful Sun-Moon Lake, it's a turbulent romance between a passionate tea picker Sung Yu-lan (Margaret Tu Chuan) and a charming fisherman Li Chun-yang (Chiao Chuang).
Margaret Tu Chuan, Julie Shih-yen, Chiao Chuang, Lily Ho
Whenever director Chang Cheh teamed up with Five Venoms, film plots were probably decided by flipping a coin - which of the fab five will play the good or bad guys, who lives or dies and which ones will do the fight. The Daredevils was just another example of Shaw Brothers’ sure fire formula to success: Venoms + Chang Cheh = maniacal frenzy x infinity. Of note, the only venom to make it in Hollywood was Kuo Chue, who choreographed the French film Brotherhood Of The Wolf and Michelle Yeoh's The Touch.
Liu Chia-liang is arguably the best martial arts film director of traditional style kung-fu action and was a pioneer in focusing on authentic martial arts techniques and training procedures in his films. This is the why stars in his movies looked more like kung-fu experts rather than actors simply going through the motions. So although David Chiang had starred in over 40 films as a martial arts hero, in Shaolin Mantis, where he plays a man who learns martial arts from a praying mantis then seeks revenge for his wife's death, the movie contains some of Chiang's best fight scenes ever. By casting his brothers Liu Chia-yung and Gordon Liu Chia-hui into the mix, Liu further ensures that the pugilistic mayhem will be even more outstanding.
David Chiang, Liu Chia-hui, Lily Li, Huang Hsing-hsiu
Asiapol agents Yang Ming-hsuan (Wang Yu) is in the Yokohama waterfront to intercept contraband gold being smuggled into Japan from Hong Kong by ADU, an international gang led by George Eaton. In a desperate bid to eliminate Ming-hsuan, George orders his mistress Chin-tse to poison him but got killed. Hsun-tse seeking to avenge her sister Chiu-tse and try and seduce him. Eaton next lures Ming-hsuan to another strip-tease place where he locks them up in the cellar with a planted time-bomb. The resourceful Ming-hsuan again escapes and in a savage life-and-death struggle the ruthless mobster Eaton is crushed to death.
Wang Chung was a valued actor long before he became a director, but as a filmmaker, he helped create some of the most interesting thrillers Shaw Brothers ever released - including this fascinating crime saga of a Sino-Vietnamese crime gang. Danny Lee stars as a misunderstood refugee while Ray Lui plays a cop struggling against his own conscience to ensure that justice is upheld.
Li Hsiu-hsien, Ray Lui, Cheng Tse-shih, Lin Chung-cheng
The Boxer Rebellion was one of the most incredible events in China's long history. Infuriated by the Western Imperialist power's intrusion into their country, the masses trusted rabble rousers who maintained that they had developed a kung-fu which was impervious to bullets...leading to wholesale slaughter at the enemies' guns. The "godfather of the kung-fu film," Chang Cheh, was given one of the highest budgets to date to tell this sweeping war story of disillusionment and revenge. Kung-fu choreographer Liu Chia-liang led an all-star fighting cast featuring international favorite Alexander Fu Sheng and Shaw Brothers' villain supreme Wang Lung-wei. Even the most avid fans of BLOODY AVENGERS, the heavily edited U.S. version of this film, will find this uncut, uncropped original a welcome revelation.
It's Meng Yuan-wen (star of The Master Strikes) versus Kuan Feng in this wild and wacky wushu saga of a priceless pole with a spectacular secret. A master martial artist's silly disciple struggles to save it from an evil white slaver, the slaver's duplicitous wife, and even his own bone-headed, but greedy, companion. Hsu Hsia choreographs the abundant action, as he had for both Five Superfighters and Drunken Master. The result is both sublime (for its kung-fu) and engagingly ridiculous.
Meng Yuan-wen, Chin Huang, Pan Ping-chang, Kuan Feng
Respected veteran director Li Han-hsiang capped it all off with this fascinating period drama of royal intrigue. Li Kun plays the ingenious Lord Liu, whose intelligence is envied by the Emperor (Liu Yung).
The story is about the legendary Monkey King (Liu Chung-chun) teams up with Goddess of Mercy (Chao Li-chuan) and the Dragon Girl (Lung Nu) to battle the child god Hung Hai-erh (Ting Hua-chung),son of the Ox Demon (Hung Hai-erh) to rescue Tang Tseng, the Holy Pilgrim (Teng Chio-jen).
This is widely regarded as one of the most controversial and erotic films in Hong Kong cinema. Chu Yuan helmed this 1972 cult classic featuring Lily Ho in her most audacious role as a beautiful and mysterious courtesan caught in a web of sex and murder with her powerful and ruthless madam (Pei Ti). The film's unprecedented genre crossover of lesbian-themed period thriller with eye-popping martial arts is a real screen gem for generations of movie aficionados.