Revered director Chang Cheh hit international gold by teaming three Taiwanese Opera artists (Lu Feng, Chiang Sheng, and Kuo Chue) with a Chinese muscleman (Lo Meng) and a Korean kicker (Sun Chien). The quintet starred in more than a dozen movies together, which were popular worldwide. This time it's a battle between security agencies, and the men known as Twin Blades (Chiang Sheng), Magnificent Kicks (Sun Chien), Sharp Axe (honorary "Venom" Wang Li), Magic Pole (Kuo Chue), and Golden Sword (Lu Feng) take each other on until the last drop of blood is spilled.
This romantic comedy set against the posh environment of an upper-class Hong Kong elite is about the love that blossoms between a bumbling young man (Leslie Chung) and an attractive woman he meets on the subway (Maggie Cheung). Both would-be lovers are pursued by others; an heiress chases after the likeable klutz, and his subway lady-love has an ex-boyfriend who wants her back again.
"Without a doubt," it was written in the seminal Study Of The Swordplay Film, "Hsu Cheng-hung is one of the key figures in the Mandarin new style." And this is both one of his key films and one of his last for Shaw Brothers. The lovely Ching Li and handsome Chang I star as star-and-sword-crossed comrades who take on the vicious Black Tigers gang in a quest for hidden wealth. There’s action galore, until the final, fiery fight in a temple of treasure.
Ching Li, Chang I, Shu Pei-pei, Lin Ching, Tien Feng
ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN revolutionized the kung-fu film, paving the way to the Golden Age and new wave era, which has made Hong Kong action cinema one of the most respected in the world. It was also a gigantic box-office hit, and overwhelming popular demand called for a sequel. Director Chang Cheh truly proved that he was indeed the "Godfather of the Kung-fu Film" by mounting a follow-up which many say is even more accomplished and exciting than the original. Jimmy Wang Yu is back as one-armed hero Fang Kang, who just wants to lead a quiet life... until the Eight Demon Swordsmen won't take "no" for an answer. That's their mistake: Fang takes them all on, and more, in this fight-filled, action packed adventure which clearly proves that one arm, attached to the right hero, is better than sixteen.
Jimmy Wang Yu, Chiao Chiao, Tien Feng, Essie Lin Chia
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
Ti Lung is the title character, who lives on the Snake Mountain of Kwangsi with his brothers the Black Snake and the Yellow Snake, have been trying to turn into humans for a thousand years. Attracted by the sensual rain dance performed by three glorious tribeswomen of the nearby Miao Village, they set into motion a tale of romance, greed, insanity, envy, lust, murder, and tragedy.
Prominent kung-fu actor David Chiang teams up with Chang Cheh's award winning screenwriter Ni Kuang to create a visual masterpiece full of exotic martial arts skills and fights in Shaolin Hand Lock. Chiang, who learned the secret 'Shaolin Handlock' technique from his father, is on a mission to avenge his father's death, which was ordered by the evil Ling Hao, played by Shaw Brothers' penultimate bad guy, kung-fu star, Lo Lieh. Adding to the great success of this film was the glamorous yet outlandishly inventive action sequences staged by acclaimed martial arts choreographer Tang Chia and an imposing visual edge and meticulously stylish directing by the brilliant director Ho Meng-hua who was responsible for giving early film breaks to Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung.
When is THE BRAVE ARCHER movie a "Venoms" film? When it is this, the fourth in a series originally starring international favorite Alexander Fu Sheng as master martial artist Kuo Tsing. But Fu only appears here in a cameo as the son of a character played by Lung Tien-chiang (best known as a spear master in the "Venoms" film THE FLAG OF IRON). Kuo Chue is the new hero (as he is in the "Venoms" films as well) who is out to defeat the mass murderer of his martial arts masters. In fact, this fast-moving, action-packed, Venom-filled film is even choreographed by the three core "Venoms", making it a unique combination of grand "Martial Arts World" mayhem and special Venom-style high flying kung-fu.
The famed Ivy Ling Po (Temple Of The Red Lotus) stars as a mysterious swordswoman dedicated to keeping the five volume “Five Generations Fighting Methods” kung-fu manual out of evil-doers’ hands. She joins Ling Yun, star of The Iron Buddha, who plays a hero known only as the Roving Knight to fight, train, then fight again -- facing such characters as The Six-Armed Giant and The 1000-Cut in this action-packed adventure.
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.
Rarely has a title been more accurate, but considering the action which fills this film, it also could have been called THE BRUTAL FIVE or THE CRUEL FIVE or THE VICIOUS FIVE.... if the title referred to the villains, that is. In any case, the heroes are certainly outnumbered as gang after gang of robbing rapists invade this poor town. At first the fiends just want a village locksmith to help them open a stolen safe, but soon the entire community is being held hostage, threatened, and tortured. Although reminiscent of THE SEVEN SAMURAI, the director and his revered action choreographers, Liu Chia-liang and Tang Chia, design each of the many struggles with gritty depravity and desperate power. The result is an especially realistic, even grueling, exercise in suspense.
David Chiang, Ti Lung, Wang Chung, Chen Kuan-tai, Danny Lee
It is little wonder why Chang Cheh is considered legendary. Not only did he usher in a whole new kind of "yanggang" (macho) cinema, but he was also one of the most prolific and consistent directors in the world. He made more than 70 films in the period between 1960 and 1975, but this was considered one of the most notable. A nominal sequel to the equally acclaimed SHAOLIN MARTIAL ARTS, this powerful production came a year later and cemented Alexander Fu Sheng's superstardom with a performance many proclaimed the best of the young lead's career. It is also one of the last Chang Cheh films choreographed by Liu Chia-liang, who was becoming a legendary director in his own right. Together, they made this tale of the Shaolin vs. Manchu conflict -- played out at a textile mill -- one of the highlights in kung-fu film history.