Shaw Brothers Movie FAQ

Compiled by Keith Allison (kikaider@maple.circa.ufl.edu)




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THE SHAW BROTHERS KUNG-FU MOVIE FAQ, edition 1.1

compiled and written by kikaider@maple.circa.ufl.edu (Keith Allison)

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                       PART ONE: SHAW HISTORY AND STARS


INTRODUCTION
        Lots of people post lots of stuff about lots of Hong Kong movies, but
only a few people post a little stuff about films that came before PROJECT A.
Many recent converts to Hong Kong movie fandom completely ignore the past, 
often because they don't know a lot about it and don't get much info on it, but
also because some people are too snooty and stuck up to watch the older films.
        But make no mistake about it--you aren't fully understanding what is
going on today if you don't know something about what was going on last week.
Most of the things that go on in HK cinema today are certainly not new. John
Woo's slow-motion bloodbaths are not innovative; he is merely doing what his
teacher, Chang Cheh, did twenty years ago, but he's doing it better and with 
better technical knowledge.
        So in order to rectify the situation, we have here the Shaw Brothers
movie FAQ. It will be followed by a later, similar list detailing non-Shaw
Brothers films, which in turn will probably be followed by a list of films which
pretty much started the whole thing--samurai films.
        This list is by no means complete, or anywhere close to being complete.
Thus all readers are welcome...make that encouraged...to send me addiitonal
titles, reviews, information, and descriptions of films.
        Okay, you aren't reading this for the introduction, so we'll move along
now...



CONTENTS
--------
        1. Shaw Studios--what is it, anyway?
        2. Shaw Brothers stars 
        3. Movie descriptions and reviews
        4. Additional notes, thanks, and whatnot.

*******************************************************************************
This entire document is copyright (1994) by Keith Allison, who gives you and
anyone else permission to cut, paste, print, and distribute in any damn way you
want, although it'd be mighty nice if you kept in something that gave me credit
*******************************************************************************

1. THE STUDIO
        Just who are these Shaw Brothers and where do they come from? How many 
of them are they and what do they want with our planet? 
        The Shaw Brothers are several, but the most signifigant of them are 
Runme Shaw and Sir Runrun Shaw (he was made a knight by the queen of England, 
but it didn't seem to do much of anything for him). The reason they are impor-
tant is simple--they began Hong Kong's oldest film studio.
        Runrun was a pioneer in Hong Kong filmmaking, as well as filmmaking in
general. He produced Hong Kong's first movie with sound, and he even bailed out
Macey's one of the times it was about to go belly-up!
        Shaw Brother studios became the hub of activity during the 1960s and
1970s, when they started producing swordsman and kung-fu films that took the
world by storm. Many of the world's greatest action stars and directors began
at the Studio, which at the time was one of the largest, most advanced in the
East (only the studios in Japan could compare). 
        The studio itself was huge, and it contained, among other things: a
complete backstage town, several large sound stages, dormitories for the 
people who lived and worked there (they often worked on incredibly demanding
schedules, so most stars and technical crew actually lived at the studio), and
complete facilities for post-production work. Many of the stars were trained
in acting and martial arts classes that were conducted by the studio.
        Currently, Shaw Studios is inactive, but there are indications that the
sleeping giant is about to awaken once again. We'll just have to wait and see.

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2. THE SHAW BROTHERS STARS
        Shaw Studios produced many well-known martial arts stars, and several of
them are still very active and famous today. While this is by no means a 
complete list of them, at least it's a list.
        NOTE: In China and many other Asian countries, the names are slightly
                differently organized. They commonly list the family name (in
                the West, we call it your "last name") first, followed by the
                first name. For instance--Chen Kuan-tai. By Western name
                organization he would be Kuan-tai Chen, or Mr. Chen, or "my
                good friend, Kuan-tai."


CHANG CHEH
        Class: Director
        Chang Cheh is one of the greatest, most prolific directors in Hong Kong
                movie history. Aside from directing scores of his own films, he
                also trained many of today's great stars (including John Woo, 
                Wu Ma, and Ti Lung). Chang's influence on modern films is 
                undeniable, especially his influence on the work of one of his
                apprentices, John Woo. Slow motion action sequences, tragic
                death, redemption, friendship, male bonding, loyalty, and tons
                and tons of violence and blood--Woo learned to treasure these
                things while working under Chang. 
        Films he has directed include: Vengeance, Five Shaolin Masters/Five 
                Masters of Death, Death Chambers, 7 Blows of the Dragon/Water
                Margin, 7 Soldiers of Kung-fu/All Men are Brothers, Deadly Duo,
                Dynasty of Blood, Savage Five, The New One-Armed Swordsman, 
                Shaolin Martial Arts, Men From the Monastery/Disciples of 
                Death, Chinatown Kid, Brave Archer/Kung-fu Warlords 1-4, Five
                Deadly Venoms, Crippled Avengers/Mortal Combat, Daredevils, The
                Destroyers, Kid With the Golden Arm, Ten Tigers of Kwangtung,
                Spearmen of Death, Masked Avengers, House of Traps, Shanghai
                13, Super Ninjas/Five Element Ninja, Attack of the God of Joy,
                Nine Demons, Weird Man, Ode to Gallantry, Magnificent Trio, 
                The Assassin, Trail of the Broken Blade, Golden Swallow.

CHENG SHAO CHIU
        Aliases: Adam Cheng
        Class: Actor
        Adam Cheng isn't really a Shaw Brothers star, but he did get his start 
                there, in the Liu Chia-liang film CAT VERSUS RAT, and later
                he became a big star after appearing in ZU WARRIORS.

CHEN KUAN-TAI
        Aliases: Chan Kuan-tai, Chan Ku Tai
        Class: Actor
        Chen Kuan-tai was a martial arts lightweight champion in 1969, despite
                the fact that he doesn't look very light-weight. Anyway, he was
                also a master of Monkey kung-fu, although he would rarely 
                prance about doing twitching monkey impersonations. He became a
                star at SB studios, often appearing along with Ti Lung and 
                David Chiang, but also appearing several times as a villain, as
                well as on his own. He's a versatile actor and a powerful
                fighter.
        Films include: Killer from Shantung, Warrior of Steel/Man of Iron, 
                Flying Guillotine, Dynasty of Blood, Chinese Boxer, Crippled
                Avengers/Mortal Combat, I Will Finally Knock You Down Dad,
                Executioner of Death/Executioner from Shaolin, Challenge of
                the Masters, Kung-fu Hellcats.

CHIANG TAI-WEI
        Aliases: David Chiang, John Chiang, Garth Lo
        Birthdate: 1947
        Class: Actor.
        David Chiang became one of the biggest stars of the 1970s despite his
                rather small stature. He was 1/2 of the deadly duo that took 
                kung-fu movie world by storm (the other half is Ti Lung).
                Chiang specialized in playing smooth anti-heroes, and he had 
                tons of charm and charisma.
        Films include: Vengeance (1970), Savage Five (1979), 7 Blows of the 
                Dragon/Water Margin (1972), 7 Soldiers of Kung-fu/All Men are
                Brothers, Duel of Fists, Duel of Iron Fists, The New One-Armed
                Swordsman (1972), Dynasty of Blood (1973), Deadly Duo, Five 
                Shaolin Masters/Five Masters of Death (1975), Death Chambers,
                Shanghai 13, Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, Fight for Glory,
                Slice of Death/Abbot of Shaolin, Deadly Mantis/Shaolin Mantis,
                Heroic Ones/Shaolin Masters.
        Non-SB films include: The Loot, Return of the Deadly Blade, Where is
                Officer Tuba, Just Heroes/Tragic Heroes, Lost Kung-fu Secrets.

CHI KUAN-CHUN
        Class: Actor
        Chi Kuan-chun is another lesser-known of the Shaw Brothers stars, but 
                he is still interesting and made several good movies, usually
                appearing alongside Fu Sheng.
        Films include: Death Chambers, Five Shaolin Masters, Disciples of
                Death/Men from the Monastery.

FONG, MONA
        Class: Producer
        Mona Fong is often called Runrun Shaw's second wife. Yeah, it's likely
                they had an affair, but none of this is as interesting as her
                role at the studio. She became one of the most powerful pro-
                ducers of the time. While this is a good step for women, it was
                also a bad one. Mona Fong was insanely jealous of other women,
                and thought that a big female star might steal Runrun away from
                her. Thus, she refused to alot any money for films which had
                strong female leads. It wasn't until Liu Chia-liang became a 
                director that someone stood up to her and gave the other 
                women at the studio a chance to show what they were made of.

FU SHENG
        Aliases: Alexander Fu Sheng
        Birthdate: 1954 (?)
        Died: July 7, 1983
        Class: Actor
        Fu Sheng was one of the first graduates of the on-studio training school
                and he became one of the biggest, most well-loved stars to ever
                Work at the studio. He often played a hotheaded hero with a
                boyish charm and innocense. Fu Sheng was a great acrobat and
                martial artist who wroked under both of the studios greatest
                directors--Chang Cheh and Liu Chia-liang. He suffered an
                accident during filming that broke both his legs, but he was 
                able to return to the screen in full slendor. However, in 1983
                he was killed in a car wreck. Sorely missed, Fu Sheng is one of
                brightest kung-fu stars ever to shine. He was 29 when he died.
        Films include: Men from the Monastery/Disciples of Death, Martial Arts 
                of Shaolin, Five Shaolin Masters/Disciples of Death, Death 
                Chambers, Grand Master of Death, Chinatown Kid, Marco Polo,
                Cat Versus Rat, Treasure Hunters/Master of Disaster, Legendary
                Weapons of China/Legendary Weapons of Kung-fu, Brave Archer/
                Kung-fu Warlords 1-4, 8 Diagram Pole Fighter, Hong Kong Play-
                boys, Ten Tigers of Kwangtung.

HUI YING-HUNG
        Class: Actor
        Despite the great number of films and stars, SB studios had a precious 
                few female stars. This was partly because the biggest director
                was Chang Cheh, who like John Woo, favored stories about male
                friendship, where women were either non-existant, traitors, or
                little more than symbols of something. Another problem facing
                women at the studio was producer Mona Fong. Luckily, Liu Chia-
                liang came along and gave women a chance. The result was one
                of the first queens of kung-fu (the first is still Angela Mao
                Ying), Hui Ying-hung. She was a great fighter and quickly
                became a star. She worked as a dancer before Chang Cheh cast 
                her in the BRAVE ARCHER series, but it was Liu Chia-liang that
                made a star out of her.
        Films include: Instructors of Death/Martial Club, My Young Auntie, 
                8 Diagram Pole Fighter, Brave Archer 1-4,  The Lady is the 
                Boss, Legendary Weapons of China/Legendary Weapons of

                Kung-fu, Clan of the White Lotus/Fist of the White Lotus, Mad
                Monkey Kung-fu.


I KUANG
        Class: Scriptwriter
        If Chang Cheh directed it, chances are I Kuang wrote it. 'Nuff said.

LI HSIU-HSIEN
        Aliases: Danny Lee
        Class: Actor
        Danny Lee is well-known these days due to his appearence in THE KILLER
                and recent Grade III psycho films. Come to think of it, THE 
                KILLER and CITY ON FIRE are pretty much his straightest films,
                as he has starred in films about rapists, cannibals, giant
                monkeys, and even in a softcore porn retelling of Bruce Lee's
                life (his debut was as a Bruce Lee imitator, and this sleazy
                little film was written by and starred Bruce's real-life 
                mistress). Of all the stars from SB studios, Danny certainly
                has the most unusual filmography.
        Films include: Savage 5, Inframan, Goliathon/Mighty Peking Man, Bruce
                Lee: His Last Days His Last Nights.
        Non-SB films include: The Killer, City on Fire, Untold Story/Human Pork
                Buns, Doctor Lamb, Just Heroes, Triad Savages (cameo), Red
                Shield.

LI LILI
        Aliases: Lily Li
        Class: Actor
        Along with Hui Ying-hung, Lily Li was the biggest female star at the
                studio. 
        Films Include: Kid With the Golden Arm, Brave Archer 1-3 (maybe 4),
                8 Diagram Pole Fighter, 

LIU CHIA-HUI
        Aliases: Gordon Liu
        Class: Actor
        Liu Chia-hui is the adopted brother of the greatest Sb director, Liu
                Chia-liang. He is almost always playing a bald-headed monk
                of some sort. His martial ability is spectacular, and he's
                just a generally likable guy. He is currently starring in a
                television show in which he plays, of all things, a bald 
                headed monk (in this hairless way, he was sort of the pre-
                decessor of Jet Li). He often appeared in films directed
                by his brother, and these remain some of the best kung-fu
                films ever made.
        Films include: Master Killer/36 Chambers of Shaolin, Martial Arts of 
                Shaolin, Fist of the White Lotus, Challenge of the Masters, 
                Martial Club/Instructors of Death, Challenge of the Ninja/
                Heroes of the East/Shaolin Challenges Ninja, Dirty Ho, Return
                to the 36th Chamber/Return of the Master Killer, Legendary 
                Weapons of China/Legendary Weapons of Kung-fu, Master of
                Disaster, 8 Diagram Pole Fighter, Executioner of Death (cameo),
                Crazy Shaolin Disciples.
        Non-SB films include: Fists and Guts, Fury in Shaolin Temple, Break
                Out from Oppression, Warrior From Shaolin, Shaolin Versus
                Wu Tang.

LIU CHIA-LIANG
        Class: Director, actor, choreographer
        Liu Chia-liang, is arguably the best director that ever worked at the
                studios, as well as one of the all-time great directors any-
                where in the world. Nearly everything he made while working
                at SB studios is a martial arts masterpieces, and many of his
                films are ground-breaking in ways people don't even realize. 
                His skill as a director was matched by his skill as an actor
                and martial artist. He started out his acting career playing
                Wong Fei Hong (way before his adopted brother Liu Chia-hui
                would play a younger Fei Hong, and way way way before this
                Jet Li whuppersnapper started playing the guy. Of course, no 
                one has been doing it as long as Kwan Tak-hing, but I'll cover
                him in the next FAQ). Liu Chia-liang is still very active as a
                director and star in movies. Interesting note: Liu Chia-liang's
                father was Liu Chan, a kung-fu student of Lin Shih Yung, who
                was a student of the real Wong Fei-hong!
        Films include: (most of the films he directed, he also appeared in, so
                I am listing them all together) Shaolin Mantis/Deadly Mantis,
                My Young Auntie, The Lady is the Boss, Master Killer/36th
                Chamber of Shaolin, Return to the 36th Chamber/Return of the 
                Master Killer, Executioner of Death/Executioner from Shaolin,
                Legendary Weapons of China, Dirty Ho, Spiritual Boxer, Spirit-
                ual Boaxer II, Challenge of the Masters, Shaolin Challenges 
                Ninja, Dirty Ho, Mad Monkey Kung-fu, Martial Club/Instructors
                of Death, Cat Versus Rat, 8 Diagram Pole Fighter, Disciples
                of the 36th Chamber.
        Choreography credits include: all of the above, South Dragon North 
                Phoenix, Jade Bow, Golden Swallow/Girl With the Thunderbolt 
                Kick, Deadly Duo, Five Masters of Death/Five Shaolin Masters.
        Non-SB films include: The Mars Villa, New Kids in Town, Tiger on Beat,
                Drunken Master II.

LIU CHIA-YUNG
        Class: Actor, director.
        Liu Chia-yung is probably the least famous of the famous Lius (there
                are a couple more, although they appear mainly as extras and
                background people), but this by no means diminishes his
                accomplishments. Like his brothers, he is a great martial 
                artist.
        Films include: Legendary Weapons of China, Master of Disaster (as
                director).
        Non-SB films include: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon.

LO LIEH
        Class: Actor
        Along with Jimmy Wang Yu, Lo Lieh is one of the original Shaw Brothers
                stars. He has appeared in tons of films, often as a bad guy
                beneath tons of whispy white hair and eyebrows. He started out
                as a hero, though, but at some point he got really ugly and 
                started playing villains. 
        Films include: Executioner of Death, Fists of the White Lotus, Golden
                Swallow/Girl With the Thunderbolt Kick, The Assassin, Slice
                of Death/Abbot of Shaolin, Temple of the Red Lotus, Twin 
                Swords, Sword and the Lute, Trail of the Broken Blade, Five 
                Fingers of Death, Ghosts Galore, Black Magic II/Revenge of the
                Zombies, Dirty Ho.
        Non-SB films include (there are a TON of these, and I know this list
                is really incomplete, as are most lists we make): Fists and
                Guts, The Greatest Plot, Moonlight Sword and Jade Lion.

MENG FEI
        Class: Actor
        Meng Fei, along with Fu Sheng, was one of the earliest on-screen Fong
                Sai-yuk's. He appeared as a co-star in many of the best films
                SB studios made, but was often overshadowed by stars like Ti
                Lung and Fu Sheng (Fu Sheng was frequently his co-star).
        Films Include: Five Shaolin Masters/Five Masters of Death, Death 
                Chambers, Disciples of Death/Men from the Monastery.
        Non-SB films include: Prodigal Boxer, Prodigal Boxer II, Secret of
                Shaolin Poles.

TI LUNG
        Aliases: Delon Ti Lung
        Birthdate: August 3, 1946
        Class: Actor
        Ti Lung began working at the studio in 1968, and quickly became one of
                the biggest, most beloved and majestic of all martial arts
                stars. He often appeared alongside David Chiang, playing the
                straight-forward hero to David Chiang's wiley con-man 
                character. These days, Ti Lung is still incredibly popular,
                having appeared in many of the past decades biggest films. Of
                all the stars to be created at Shaw Studios, Ti Lung is perhaps
                the brightest, and he shows no signs of letting up.
        Films include: One-Armed Swordsman II, New One-Armed Swordsman, Five
                Shaolin Masters, Death Chambers, Dynasty of Blood, Savage Five,
                Duel of Fists, Duel of Iron Fists, Heroic Ones, 7 Blows of the
                Dragon, 7 Soldiers of Kung-fu, Brave Archer III/Kung-fu War-
                lords III/Blast of the Iron Palm, Ten Tigers of Kwangtung,
                Deadly Duo, Shanghai 13, Vengeance, Black Magic II/Revenge of
                the Zombies.
        Non-SB films include: A Better Tomorrow I-II, Just Heroes, Drunken
                Master II, First Shot, Legend of Wisely, Inheritors of Kung-
                fu.

VENOMS
        The Venoms got their nickname from their first film, THE FIVE DEADLY
        Venoms, and are listed together because they were the Shaw Brothers
        team, appearing together in several films. They were considered Chang
        Cheh's second team, witht he first team being the FIVE SHAOLIN MASTERS
        gang. Unlike the first team, though, who rarely all appeared in the
        same film after FIVE SHAOLIN MASTERS, the Venoms were almost always
        together. Seperately, they are:

        KUO CHUI: usually the main hero. AKA The Lizard Venom. Kuo Chui later
                became a director as well as actor.
        CHIANG SHENG: He was nicknamed "cutie-pie" by fans, and he often plays
                the humorous, acrobatic hero. In FIVE DEADLY VENOMS he plays 
                the student who learned a little of each style.
        SUN CHIEN: the kicker. Best known as the Legless Man in CRIPPLED 
                CRIPPLED AVENGERS. Was he the Scorpion or the Centipede? I
                can't remember.
        LO MENG: The big, muscular guy. Aka the Toad Venom. Aside from his
                team films, he appeared in SUPER NINJAS, LAST HURRAH FOR 
                CHIVALRY, and WEIRD MAN.
        LU FENG: Either the Scorpion or the Centipede. In CRIPPLED AVENGERS he
                was the armless villain, and often was the villain in the films
                while the others played heroes.
        THE FORGOTTEN VENOM: The Snake Venom. Someone out there know his name?
                Often played the snivelling turncoat who felt bad later.

        Venom movies include: Five Deadly Venoms, Crippled Avengers/Mortal Com-
                bat, Destroyers, Daredevils, Masked Avengers, Ninja's Deadly 
                Trap, Brave Archer III/Blast of the Iron Palm, Unbeatable
                Dragon, Ode to Gallantry, Shanghai 13, Kid with the Golden Arm,
                Spearmen of Death, House of Traps.

WANG LUNG-WEI
        Class: Actor.
        It's possible that Wang Lung-wei has been in EVERY Shaw Brothers film.
                He is the quentessential kung-fu villain. If you have seen a
                Shaw Brotehrs film, you have seen him--beady eyes, moustache.
                I have only seen him as a good guy once, in MARTIAL CLUB, and
                even then he wasn't exactly a good guy. He has been a villain
                to nearly every hero, but like most villains, people know the
                names of the stars but not the names of their villains, who
                often match the stars skill for skill. Wang Lung-wei may not
                be the best known, but he's certainly one of the most im-
                portant Shaw Brothers stars out there, and you gotta love a
                man who is so good at being evil.
        Films include: (I know I'm going to leave a lot out of this one) Five
                Shaolin Masters, Death Chambers, Chinatown Kid, Ten Tigers of
                Kwangtung, Disciples of Death, Five Deadly Venoms, Dirty Ho,
                Dynasty of Blood, Heroic Ones.

WANG YU
	ALIASES: Jimmy Wang Yu
	Class: Actor, director
		Jimmy Wang Yu, along with Lo Lieh and Cheng Pei-pei was
one of the first martial arts stars of the Shaw Bros. era. Despite his
average martial arts ability, Wang Yu was able to exploit his ability to
the fullest, and thus appeared in many of the best, most influential
kung-fu films of all time. 
		He eventually left Shaw Studios and joined Golden Harvest,
and his career was never quite the same. After a few good films, the
quality of his work quickly plummetted, and Wang Yu decided it would be more
fun to become a triad boss. It was Wang Yu who faced off with armed men
in order to protect Jackie Chan from being killed in the 1980s by an
angry Lo Wei. To repay the debt, Jackie appeared in ISLAND OF FIRE.
		Wang Yu is still active in film-making, having appeared in
several films throughout the 1980s.
	FILMS INCLUDE: Golden Swallow/Girl with the Thunderbolt Kick, Temple
of the Red Lotus, Twin Swords, Sword and Lute, Trail of the Broken Blade,
One-Armed Swordsman, Chinese Boxer.
	NON-SHAW BROS FILMS: Millionaire's Express, Fantasy Mission Force,
Island of Fire, Man Called Tiger, One-Armed Boxer, One-Armed Boxer II/Master
of the Flying Guillotine, Point the Finger of Death, Iron Man, Knight
Errants, Furious Slaughter, Bloody Struggle, Beach of the War Gods, Return
of the Chinese Boxer, Invincible Sword.

 
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        That's the list so far. Naturally, it will be updated constantly. 
Considering Ti Lung alone has been in over 70 films, I know the filmographies
are woefully incomplete. It is my hope that otehr readers will email additional
titles and credits to compliment my own discovery of new movies. With the
combined knowledge of everyone, we juct might get something close to complete 
on some of this stuff. I'm sure worthy people were also left off the list, so
by all means email additions and anything else.


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SHAW BROTHERS KUNG-FU MOVIE LIST

**********************************************************************


The following is an incomplete, ever-growing list of kung-fu films produced
at the Shaw Studios in Hog Kong during the 1960s through the 1980s.

If you have corrections, updates, or corrections, they should be mailed
to kikaider@maple.circa.ufl.edu

Also welcome are any additional reviews (the more viewpoints, the more
accurately someone can consider the film), as well as any interesting
stories related to the films or their stars.


SPECIAL THANKS:
        The following people need to be thanked for their contribution
in one way or another to this FAQ. More of you will appear in the second
addition (I already have stuff rolling in, but this document was typed
before I had time to make additions, so all net contributors will start
appearing next edition, which I hope to post in less than a month)
        Thanks to: Jeff Hum, Damon Foster, Richard Meyers, Fong Whye Koon,
                tboot@well.com (can't find real name!)

        Much of the techical info, such as release dates was gathered from
Richard Meyer's excellent book, FROM BRUCE LEE TO THE NINJAS: MARTIAL ARTS
MOVIES, which is an excellent guide to Hong Kong and Japanese martial arts
films up to around 1983. Special order it today!
        Another good source of information is Damon Foster's ORIENTAL CINEMA
and VIDEO. If you can suffer through Damon's boring rambles about how
great he is, he provides a lot of useful information.


ABOUT RELEASE DATES: I am uncertain as to which dates correspond to Hong Kong
        releases and which dates correspond to US releases, although neither
        should be that far off from one another.


FILM LIST------------------------------------


ABBOT OF SHAOLIN   see SLICE OF DEATH

ALL MEN ARE BROTHERS    see 7 SOLDIERS OF KUNG-FU

APARTMENT FOR LADIES
        Release date: 1970
        Starring: Lily Li

ASSASSINS
        Starring: Jimmy Wang Yu, Lo Lieh

ATTACK OF THE GOD OF JOY
        Release date: 1983
        Director: Chang Cheh

BAMBOO HOUSE OF DOLLS
        Plot: Something about women's prison.

BIG BROTHER CHENG
        Release date: 1975
        Starring: Chen Kuan-tai

BLACK MAGIC

BLACK MAGIC II   see REVENGE OF THE ZOMBIES

BLACK MAGIC III
        Alternate titles: Black Magic Queen, Black Magic Terror

BLAST OF THE IRON PALM    see BRAVE ARCHER III

BLOOD BROTHERS
        Release date: 1973
        Alternate titles: Dynasty of Blood
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Chen Kuan-tai, Ti Lung, David Chiang
        Plot: Three friends are torn apart as greed and power corrups one of
                them. Sort of a dynastic version of BULLET IN THE HEAD, huh?
                Based on actual events and people.

BLOOD MONEY
        Release date: 1974
        Starring: Lo Lieh

BLOODY FISTS   see HEROES TWO

BOXER FROM SHANTUNG
        Release date: 1972
        Alternate titles: Killer from Shantung
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Chen Kuan-tai

BOXER REBELLION
        Release date: 1975

BRAVE ARCHER
        Release Date: 1978
        Alternate Titles: Kung-Fu Warlords
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Alexander Fu Sheng, Hui Ying-hung, Tien Niu, Li Hsiu-hsien
        Producer: Runrun Shaw
        Plot: based on a Louis Cha novel. That's all I know right now.

BRAVE ARCHER II
        Release Date: 1978-79 (???)
        Alternate Titles: Kung-fu Warlords II
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Fu Sheng, Lily Li, Hui Ying-hung.
        Plot: ???

BRAVE ARCHER III
        Release date: 1979
        Alternate titles: Kung-fu Warlords III, Blast of the Iron Palm
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Fu Sheng, Hui Ying-hung, Ti Lung, Lily Li, Lo Meng, Chiang
                Sheng.
        Plot: Kuo Tsing (Fu Sheng) and his companion (Hui Ying-hung) go in
                search of an old master (Ti Lung), while being pursued by
                the minions of the Iron Palm clan, led by Lo Meng. Before 
                they can see the master, the duo must past a number of tests
                of intelligence and skill. They pass each one, talk to the
                old master, and then everyone get's together for a big
                fight.
        Reviews: Very interesting looking film. Unfortunately, it seems like
                no real master copies are left (the film and the others in
                the series fell victim to a fire at the studio), so all that
                remains are fair-poor quality pirate copies. Still, it's a
                very interesting film, with plenty of action and wit.

BRAVE ARCHER IV
        Release date: 1979
        Alternate titles: Kung-fu Warlords IV, Brave Archer and his Mate.
        Starring: Fu Sheng, Hui Ying-hung, ???

BRUCE LEE: HIS LAST DAYS, HIS LAST NIGHTS
        Release date: 1975
        Alternate titles: I Love You, Bruce Lee
        Starring: Danny Li Hsiu-hsien, Betty Ting Pei
        Plot: Sleazy, softcore porn retelling of Bruce Lee's life.
        Review: So horrible that it must be seen. Low on kung-fu, high
                on Betty Ting Pei stripping down and having sex with Danny
                Li. Lots of nudity and sex. Betty Ting Pei was Bruce Lee's
                real-life mistress (they found him dead at her apartment),
                and this film not only stars her, but was written by her.
                It's laughably bad. I can't believe they actually made this,
                but there it is.

CAT VERSUS RAT
        Release date: 1982
        Director: Liu Chia-liang
        Starring: Fu Sheng, Adam Cheng, Liu Chia-hui
        Plot: Two wacky rivals while away the days trying to outdo one
                another.
        Review: Very Chinese, and as such, people who just watch movies and
                don't know a whole lot about Chinese traditions or cultures
                may find it absurd. It looks a lot like Peking Opera in some
                spots, but generally, I enjoyed it.

CHALLENGE OF THE NINJA
        Release date: 1979
        Alternate titles: Shaolin Challenges Ninja, Heroes of the East
        Director: Liu Chia-liang
        Starring: Liu Chia-hui, Yuko Mizuno, Shoji Kurata
        Plot: A Chinese man marries a Japanese woman, and they spend a lot of
                time arguing about what is better--kung-fu or karate. They
                compete a lot, and Ho (Chia-hui) beats her every time until 
                she uses ninjitsu. He doesn't like ninjitsu, and eventually
                she leaves and goes back to Japan. Realizing that he loves
                her a lot, he tries to get her back by writing a letter in
                which he talks about how Japanese martial arts and Chinese
                martiala rts are related. Her brothers, however, interpret
                the letter as a challenge, and travel to China to fight Ho.
                Ho's wife follows soonafter, realizing what has happened.
                Ho and the ninjas battle, and he manages to beat each one. At
                the end, Ho and the Japanese have come respect and like one
                another.
        Review: Possibly one of Liu Chia-liang's most ground-breaking films. 
                The Japanese aren't evil, the interracial couple (to people
                in the US they may all be Asian, but in Asia there are very
                distinct racial lines) is a positive thing. Plus, this may
                be the only kung-fu film where no-one is killed. There is a
                ton of fighting though. But the hostilities are a result
                of a misunderstanding between cultures, and by the end, the
                two cultures realize that more than fighting, they simply 
                need to talk and understand one another. A definite high-
                point for Liu Chia-liang, whose career is almost nothing but
                high points.

CHALLENGE OF THE MASTERS
        Release date: 1976
        Director: Liu Chia-liang
        Starring: Liu Chia-hui, Liu Chia-liang, Wang Lung-wei, Lily Li, Hui
                Ying-hung
        Plot: The Wong (as in Fei-hong) family kung-fu school is abused by a
                rival school so Wong Fei-hong goes to learn kung-fu from his
                father's master. After the rival school's main villain kills
                some people, Fei-hong trains even harder, and then returns for
                revenge.
        Review: It's great. Wong Fei-hong is young and brash, not the cultured
                and reserved man most people think he is based on Jet Li's
                portrayals of him recently. I mean, you put the three big Liu's
                in a film, and how can you go wrong?

CHINATOWN KID
        Release Date: 1977
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Alexander Fu Sheng, Wang Lung-wei, Sun Chien, Lo Meng, Kuo 
                Chui
        Plot: After getting in trouble with local gangs, a young man (Fu 
                Sheng) flees to San Francisco, where the same gangs are
                still causing problems. He becomes a part of one gang, 
                and eventually decides to play them against each other in
                order to clean up the town.
        Reviews: One of my personal favorites. Fu Sheng is a great fighter,
                and I like the story a lot. All sorts of moral messages 
                about greed, drugs, and violence, and well as lots of
                scenes of drugs, greed, and violence.

CHINESE BOXER
        Release Date: 1970.
        Alternate Titles: Hammer of God.
        Producer: Runme Shaw.
        Writer, Director: Jimmy Wang Yu
        Starring: Jimmy Wang Yu, Lo Lieh, Wang Ping, Chao Hsiung, Fang Mien,
                Cheng Lei.
        Plot: After being run out of town, a vicious kung-fu teacher seeks
                revenge against his adversaries by hiring a number of
                Japanese karate experts to kill everyone. They do. Well,
                almost everyone. One man, Jimmy Wang Yu, survives. He trains
                a lot, dons a surgeon's mask, and seeks revenge, killing
                off everyone that needs such treatment.
        Reviews: This is one of the earliest kung-fu films of the modern age,
                whatever that means. It has allthe elements you would expect
                in a Wang Yu film--brutality, evil Japanese, training, and
                secret styles. Not a bad film, especially for as old as it is.

CHINESE SUPER NINJAS   see SUPER NINJAS

CLAN OF THE WHITE LOTUS   see FISTS OF THE WHITE LOTUS

CONDEMNED, THE
        Release date: 1976
        Director: David Chiang
        Starring: David Chiang

CRAZY SHAOLIN DISCIPLES
        Starring Liu Chia-hui, Lo Meng
        Plot: Some wise-crackers get invovled with some revolutionaries.

CRIPPLED AVENGERS
        Release Date: 1978
        Alternate titles: Mortal Combat
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Kuo Chui, Chiang Sheng, Lo Meng, Sun Chien, Lu Feng, Chen
                Kuan-tai
        Plot: A seemingly noble man is driven mad when his family is butchered 
                his son has his armed chopped off. He gets his son iron arms,
                and becomes a ruthless thug. Years later, he cripples the 
                wrong four guys, as they all team up, learn special kung-fu
                and decide to end the man's reign of terror.
        Review: Possibly my favorite of all the Venom films. Spectacular
                fights, and the scene of the four crippled heroes limping and
                carting out of town is pathetically humourous. The crippled
                avengers are: the deaf and dumb man (Lo Meng), the blind man
                (Kuo Chui), the idiot (Chiang Sheng--aka "Cutie Pie"), and the
                legless man (Sun Chien). Lu Feng plays the armless man, and
                Chen Kuan-tai joins the venoms as the ruthless father.

DAREDEVILS OF KUNG-FU
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Lo Meng, Kuo Chui, Chiang Sheng, Lu Feng, Sun Chien
        Plot: Several revolutionaries plot to kill a general.
        Review: As with all venom films, tons of great action and fighting,
                making an altogether fun romp.

DEAD END
        Release date: 1968
        Starring: Ti Lung, David Chiang.

DEADLY BREAKING SWROD
        Release date: 1979
        Starring: Ti Lung, Fu Sheng

DEADLY DUO
        Release date: 197?
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Ti Lung, David Chiang
        Plot: Ti Lung and David Ciang are a pair of heroes protecting a prince
                from Mongol invaders during the Yuan dynasty.
        Review: A lot of interesting moments, but also a lot of incredibly
                dull moments, like the scene where people sit around for
                hours talking about ways in which to traverse a dangerous
                bridge, only to all fail miserably and die when they try. The
                end result is funny, but the road there is painful. The end
                of the film is great, though.

DEADLY MANTIS
        Release date: 1978
        Alternate titles: Shaolin Mantis
        Director: Liu Chia-liang
        Starring: David Chiang, Huang Hsing-hsiu, Liu Chia-yung, Lily Li
        Plot: A Ch'ing spy (Chiang) is assigned to infiltrate a family
                suspected of being Ming revolutionaries. Chiang becomes a
                teacher for the family's daughter, whom he eventually falls
                in love with. Plans for marriage are complicated  when Chiang
                discovers the family is part of the revolution, and the family
                discover's Chiang's true identity. Chiang and his new wife
                fight their way through the family, but she is unable to
                fight to her full potential against her own brothers, and
                ends up being killed. Chiang goes to the woods and learns 
                mantis fist by watching an actual mantis. He returns and kills
                the family, thus returning home to be the hero of the day. Amid
                the celebration, however, his own father kills him, revealing
                that he (Chiang's father) was also a revolutionary, and hated
                his son for killing heroes of the cause. The emperor then kills
                the father, and thus, everyone ends up completely unhappy and
                dead.
        Review: It starts out looking like a comedy, then becomes a very bitter
                tragedy with constant unexpected twists. Interesting because
                David Chiang plays a Ch'ing spy, making this possibly the
                only movie with a Ch'ing hero--they are almost always the
                villains (this is similar to Liu Chia-liang's other film, 
                CHALLENGE OF THE NINJA, which is one of the only films to
                feature non-evil Japanese). Chiang is actually a villain, at
                least historically, so Chia-liang has broken yet more ground
                by providing a villain who is fully developed and thus, 
                becomes the good guy. Usually, the villains just laugh a lot
                and kill. 

DEATH CHAMBERS
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Fu Sheng, Chi Kuan-chun, Ti Lung, David Chiang, Wang Lung-wei
        Plot: I don't know if this was advertised as a prequel to FIVE SHAOLIN
                MASTERS, but it is, beginning with Fong Sai-yuk's (Fu Sheng)
                admittance into Shaolin temple. He andhis pals train a lot and
                wonder about the mysterious rebels (Ti, Chiang, and Wang) who
                are staying in the temple. Sai-yuk leaves the temple for a 
                while, then discovers the monks have been sold out to the
                government. He returns in time for the climactic, lengthy
                battle with the soldiers with ultimately ends with the Temple
                being burned and the cast of FIVE SHAOLIN MASTERS running off 
                into that film.

DEATH MASK OF THE NINJA
        Starring: Ti Lung
        Plot: Two babies are rescued from murder, and one is raised by three
                mad Shaolin disciples. HE eventually meets up with his
                brother again, and they seek revenge against the conniving
                prince who murdered the rest of their family.
        Review: I like it a lot. Lots of action, and guys who are called the
                "three holy fools of Shaolin."

DESCENDANT OF THE SUN
        Starring: Cherie Chung

DESTROYERS
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Kuo Chui, Lo Meng, Chiang Sheng, Sun Chien, Lu Feng
        Plot: Several kung-fu heroes are hired by a shadey man. They befriend
                a struggling escort, whom they are tricked into killing,
                and then seek revenge.
        Review: It stars the Venom. They always deliver the goods.

DIRTY HO
        Release Date: 1979
        Director: Liu Chia-liang
        Starring: Liu Chia-hui, Yung Wang-yu, Lo Lieh
        Plot: The 11th prince (Chia-hui) tries to keep from getting killed
                by the 4th prince, who fears the 11th prince will become
                king instead of him. To kill the prince, he hires a ruthless
                general played by Lo Lieh.
        Review: A great film, with tons of funny stuff and great kung-fu, 
                especially the scenes where people do kung-fu while trying
                to look like they aren't doing kung-fu.

DISCIPLES OF DEATH   see MEN FROM THE MONASTERY

DISCIPLES OF THE 36th CHAMBER
        Director: Liu Chia-liang
        Starring: Liu Chia-hui, Hsiao Ho

DRAGON CREEK
        Release date: 1966
        Starring: Lily Li

DUEL OF FISTS
        Starring: David Chiang, Ti Lung
        Plot: Something about Thai boxing

DUEL OF IRON FISTS
        Starring: David Chiang, Ti Lung
        Plot: After his father is murdered, Ti Lung takes the rap for the good
                of the gang and leaves town, only to return when he discovers
                the gang has been taken over by corrupt people. He teams up
                with a young friend and the Rover (Chiang), a hired hitman
                who Ti Lung discovers was the one to actually perform the
                murder. They fight the brains behind the plot, then know
                they are destined to fight each other in the end.
        Review: I like it. Ti Lung kills about eighteen million people, and 
                nothing good happens to him. His girlfriend is forced to be 
                a prostitute, and then kills herself. His brother becomes a
                drunk after the gang is taken over. His best companion is
                the guy who killed his dad. At times, it is a bit silly, but
                it is also action-packed and incredibly violent.

DYNASTY OF BLOOD   see BLOOD BROTHERS

EIGHT DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER
        Release date: 1983
        Alternate titles: Magnificent Pole Fighters
        Director: Liu Chia-liang
        Starring: Liu Chia-hui, Hui Ying-hung, Fu Sheng, Li Li-li, Wang 
                Lung-wei, Ku Ming
        Plot: A heroic family is double-crossed and massacred on the 
                battle field. Only two brothers--Liu Chia-hui and Fu Sheng--
                survive the slaughter. Fu Sheng returns home to his mother and
                sisters, but has been driven insane by witnessing the slaughter
                of all his brothers and father. Chia-hui escapes to a monastery
                where his bloodlust and warlike demeanor put him at odds with
                the monks. The family mother (Li Li-li) sends the elder 
                daughter (Hui Ying-hung) to look for the lost brother, but she
                is captured by the villains. Chia-hui eventually leaves the
                monastery to rescue her.
        Review: This may ver well be my favorite kung-fu film. The fights are
                brilliant. The mood is bleak, angry, and depressing due to the
                fact that Fu Sheng was killed in a car accident during the 
                filming of the movie. The final battle is spectacular, not to
                mention a bit disturbing, as monks rip out whole sets of
                people's teeth. A must-see.

EIGHT MAN ARMY
        Release date: 1976
        Starring: Ti Lung, Fu Sheng

EMPRESS DOWAGER
        Release date: 1975
        Starring: Ti Lung

EXECUTIONERS FROM SHAOLIN
        Release date: 1977
        Alternate titles: Executioners of Death
        Director: Liu Chia-hui
        Starring: Chen Kuan-tai, Lo Lieh, Lily Li
        Plot: Picking up where MEN FROM THE MONASTERY left off, Hung Hsi-kuan
                (a role being revived once agan by Jet Li, who seems to want to
                play every character from Chinese history, ever), played by
                Chen Kuan-tai, escapes the carnage that ended that movies and
                trains to defeat the white-haired hermit (Lo Lieh). Hung has
                a son who also trains. Hung is killed, but not before 
                discovering that the villain does have a weak point--the only
                problem being that the weak point floats around to different
                locations on his body. The job of revenge is left to Hung's
                son.
        Review: Where most films about Shaolin characters are more about 
                Shaolin than people, Liu has put a lot of work into characters.
                Still, I personally find the movie a bit dull, and the final
                fight ends ridiculously, with Hung's son punching the hermit,
                then a freeze-frame, and a narrator going, "And eventually,
                he was victorious."

FISTS OF THE WHITE LOTUS
        Release date: 1980
        Alternate titles: Clan of the White Lotus
        Director: Lo Lieh
        Starring: Lo Lieh, Liu Chia-hui, Hui Ying-hung
        Plot: A sequel to EXECTUIONERS FROM SHAOLIN. 

FIVE DEADLY VENOMS
        Release Date: 1978
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Lo Meng, Kuo Chui, Chiang Sheng, Lu Feng, Sun Chien
        Plot: A master has trained five men in secret kung-fu styles--snake,
                centipede, scorpion, lizard, and toad. Fearing that some of
                the students are evil, he sends a sixth disciple to find them.
                None of them know each other. The 6th disciple, who has been
                trained in bits of all the styles, discovers some venoms are
                good, while others are indeed bad. They fight.
        Review: A classic, as far as I am concerned. Lots of strange kung-fu
                including the lizard running up walls. 

FIVE ELEMENT NINJA   see SUPER NINJAS

FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH
        Release date: 1970-71 (?)
        Alternate titles: King Boxer (there is another film called KING 
                BOXER, so be careful)
        Starring: Lo Lieh
        Plot: The bad kung-fu school brutalizes the good kung-fu school, and
                the lone survivor must endure the pains of hell as he trains
                for revenge.
        Review: One of the earliest of the "brutal" kung-fu films, and still
                one of the most relentlessly brutal, violent kung-fu films
                out there. Highly recommended.

FIVE SHAOLIN MASTERS
        Release date: 1975
        Alternate titles: 5 Masters of Death
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Fu Sheng, Ti Lung, David Chiang, Meng Fei, Chi Kuan-chun,
                Wang Lung-wei
        Plot: After the infamous burning of Shaolin Temple by Ch'ing Dynasty 
                troops (an actual, histprical event), five of the surviving 
                monks vow revenge against the troops, as well as against the
                monk who betrayed the temple. 
        Review: A classic. Lots of great fighting and action, as well as a
                great story.

FIVE SUPERFIGHTERS

FLYING GUILLOTINE
        Release Date: 197?
        Starring: Chen Kuan-tai
        Plot: The emperor is getting paranoid, and orders a loyal subject to
                invent an undefeatable weapon. The result is the infamous
                flying guillotine (did this thing really exist?). Of the
                soldiers training to use it, Chen Kuan-tai is the best, much
                to the jealously of the second-best at using it. Second best
                tries to frame Kuan-tai, who eventually leaves himself when
                he figures out the emperor is mad and killing innocent people.
                Kuan-tai starts a new life, complete with wife, but can't
                escape his past forever. His enemies come looking for him,
                and he must find a way to defeat the dreaded hatbox with 
                teeth.
        Reviews: Some people think it is stupid. I sort of like it. Not a
                lot of kung-fu, but plenty of decapitation and blood-
                letting.

FOUR RIDERS
        Release date: 1972
        Starring: Ti Lung

FRIENDS
        Release date: 1974
        Starring: Lily Li

FULL MOON SCIMITAR
        Director: Chu Yuan

GENERATION GAP
        Release date: 1973
        Starring: David Chiang

GOLIATHON   see MIGHTY PEKING MAN

GHOSTS GALORE
        Starring: Lo Lieh
        Plot: Taoists wizards battle Japanese ninja.
        Review: Loads of fun. Lots of silly jokes, Lo Lieh, and a battle in
                the end between traditional Chinese and Japanese spirits
                and actors. 

GIRL WITH THE THUNDERBOLT KICK    see GOLDEN SWALLOW

GOLDEN SWALLOW
        Release date: 1968
        Alternate titles: The Girl With the Thunderbolt Kick
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Jimmy Wang Yu, Lo Lieh, Cheng Pei-pei
        Additional notes: choreographed by Liu Cia-liang
        Plot: Silver Roc, a walking death machine, takes on the Dragon gang and
                kills what appears to be everyone in the entire universe.
        Review: Tons of killing. Wang Yu kills with a sword more people than
                John Woo kills with guns. Despite the wholesale carnage, this
                isn't nearly as exciting as the previous excurtion into
                blood-drenched swordsmanship, ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN. Best thing
                about this is that Wang Yu's incredible sword technique seems
                to be that he swings the sword back and forth and guys run 
                into it in waves.

GUERILLAS   see KILLER ARMY

HAMMER OF GOD    see CHINESE BOXER

HAVE SWORD, WILL TRAVEL
        Release date: 1969
        Starring: Ti Lung

HEAVEN AND HELL
        Release date: 1980
        Starring: Fu Sheng

HEAVEN SWORD AND DRAGON SABRE
        Director: Chu Yuan

HEAVEN SWORD AND DRAGON SABRE II
        Director: Chu Yuan

HEROES OF THE EAST   see CHALLENGE OF THE NINJA

HEROES TWO
        Release date: 1974
        Alternate titles: Bloody Fists
        Starring: Alexander Fu Sheng, Chen Kuan-tai

HEROIC ONES
        Release date: 1970
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Ti Lung, David Chiang, Lily Li
        Plot: a warring clan laughs a lot, drink a lot of wine, and fight the
                Ch'ings. 

HOLY FLAME OF THE MARTIAL WORLD
        Starring: Kuo Chui
        Plot: A lot glowing and flying in this tale of kung-fu cults. One guy
                guy has a super-laughing power.

HONG KONG PLAYBOYS
        Starring: Fu Sheng

HOUSE OF TRAPS
        Release date: 1981
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Kuo Chui, Chiang Sheng, Lo Meng, Lu Feng, Sun Chien
        Plot: An evil man hides incriminating evidence inside a pagoda that is
                booby-trapped to the teeth, and some heroes brave the bizarre
                death-maze to get the evidence. This was the final film 
                featuring the complete "Venom" team working for Shaw Brothers.

I LOVE YOU, BRUCE LEE   see BRUCE LEE: HIS LAST DAYS, HIS LAST NIGHTS

INFRA-MAN
        Starring: Danny Li Hsiu-hsien
        Plot: In the future, the earth is attacked by a blonde Chinese woman
                named Princess Dragon Mom, who uses an army of mutants to
                wreak havok. The relatively useless defense team of the 
                earth creates Infra-man, a super-powered costumed hero, to
                defeat the creatures.
        Review: Shaw Brother's only (that I know of) excurtion into sci-fi
                is a load of fun, especially if you are also a fan of Japanese
                sci-fi shows like KAMEN RIDER and ULTRAMAN. Lots of kung-fu
                and outlandish creatures and romping about in silly outfits.
                Must be seen to be believed.

INSTRUCTORS OF DEATH   see MARTIAL CLUB

INVINCIBLE KUNG-FU BROTHERS
        Director: Chang Cheh

        Starring: Fu Sheng, Chi Kuan-chun
        Plot: Another of Fu Sheng's Fong Sai-yuk films, this one being about 
                he and his brother teaming up with some other guy to seek
                revenge against a murderous horde. 
        Review: Interesting because it begins with the final fight and tells
                the story leading up to that moment through a series of 
                flashbacks. 

INVINCIBLE ONE
        Starring: Fu Sheng.
        Plot: Fu Sheng arrives in town, and is soon part of a movement 
                fighting unfair labor practices in the local factory. The
                owners appreciate this spirit so much they kill everyone,
                leaving revenge to Fu Sheng's brother.
        Review: FIST OF FURY/BIG BOSS, only not as good. Boring as hell until
                the very end. My Least favorite Fu Sheng film.

INVISIBLE FIST
        Release date: 1969
        Starring: Lo Lieh

IRON BODYGUARD
        Release date: 1973
        Starring: Lily Li

I WILL FINALLY KNOCK YOU DOWN, DAD
        Starring: Chen Kuan-tai
        Plot: A young hotshot battles his own father in this kung-fu comedy.
        Review: It has break dancing kung-fu. 

KID WITH THE GOLDEN ARM
        Release date: 1979
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Kui Chui, Chiang Sheng, Lo Meng, Lu Feng, Sun Chien
        Plot: A drunken hero (Kuo Chui) defends a wagon of gold meant for
                famine relief against a legion of bizarre villains.

KILLER ARMY
        Alternate titles: The Guerillas
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Kuo Chui, Chiang Sheng, Lo Meng, Lu Feng, Sun Chien
        Plot: Evil government officials plan to pin their backstabbing on a
                group of refugees, but the refugees have other plans.

KILLER FROM SHANTUNG   see BOXER FROM SHANTUNG

KILLER CLAN
        Director: Chu Yuan

KILLER SNAKES
        Plot: A young loser befriends a bunch of snakes, which he rescues
                from the restaurant next door, and uses them to kill his
                rivals.
        Review: A non kung-fu horror film that has some interesting moments,
                but ultimately fails to impress me.

KING BOXER   see FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH

KING GAMBLER
        Release date: 1976
        Starring: Chen Kuan-tai

KING WITH MY FACE, THE
        Release date: 1967
        Starring: Lily Li

KNIGHT OF KNIGHTS
        Release date: 1966
        Starring: Lily Li

KUNG-FU HELLCATS
        Starring: Chen Kuan-tai
        Plot: Some guys try to convince a heroic general to return to duty.
                He does, and a lot of people must die.

KUNG-FU INSTRUCTOR
        Release date: 1979
        Starring: Ti Lung

KUNG-FU MASTER
        Plot: A Wong Fei-hong film.

KUNG-FU WARLORDS 1-4   see BRAVE ARCHER series

LAST TEMPEST
        Release date: 1976
        Starring: Ti Lung

LEGENDARY WEAPONS OF CHINA
        Release date: 1982
        Alternate titles: Legendary Weapons of Kung-fu
        Director: Liu Chia-liang
        Starring: Liu Chia-liang, Liu Chia-yung, Liu Chia-hui Hui Ying-hung,
                Fu Sheng, Hsiao Ho
        Plot: Mystic kung-fu cultists are experimenting with ways in which
                to make oneself immune to the new threat of bullets. This is
                resulting in a lot of deaths. One instructor, played by Liu
                Chia-liang himself, refuses to line his pupils up to die,
                and retires, going into hiding to avoid retribution from the
                cults. The cult sends a young fighter (Hsiao Ho) after the
                old master, as well as a monk (Liu Chia-hui, of course), and
                the master's own brother (also the director's own brother, Liu
                Chia-yung). Also on the master's trail is a young woman who
                wants to warn him (Hui Ying-hung). Hsiao Ho becomes 
                disillusioned with his mysticism and winds up fighting for
                the old master. The monk is deafened by the master, and also
                repents. Only the master's brother remains. They battle one
                another with 18 weapons, with Lei Kung--Chia-liang's character
                emerging victorious in each bout. He spares his brother in the
                end.
        Review: This often vies with ENTER THE DRAGON as "best kung-fu film
                ever made." This is a ridiculous comparison, as this movie
                completely blows away Bruce Lee's international effort. But 
                I guess Bruce, like Brandon Lee, is dead, so no one really 
                wants to say anything bad about them. I like Bruce Lee a lot,
                but comparing ENTER THE DRAGON (not even Lee's best film, if
                you ask me) to this is not a good idea. While I wouldn't say
                this is THE best kung-fu film ever made, it's certainly up
                there. It's multi-layered--with the first layer being a very
                exciting, well-made kung-fu action film. Below that is a 
                second level dealing with kung-fu films--this film examines 
                their strengths as well as their short-comings  (short-comings
                are explored terrifically in Fu Sheng's scenes, where he is
                hired to impersonate Lei Kung and fakes all manner of martial
                arts seen in other films). Below that, it is a movie that is
                about China entering the modern age--or refusing to enter the
                modern age (similar in that way to MY YOUNG AUNTIE), as well
                as a film about dragging Hong Kong filmmaking into the modern
                age (it came at a time when people were tiring of the same old
                Chang Cheh stuff, but right before Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan and
                Yuen Biao would revolutionize film with PROJECT A). Above all,
                it's a movie about martial arts. With most "kung-fu" films, 
                you could really substitute any form of fighting in--they were
                war stories or adventure films that had kung-fu in them. But
                this was a film that analyzed kung-fu itself. A must-see.

LEGEND OF THE BAT
        Director: Chu Yuan

LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES
        Alternate titles: 7 Brothers Versus Dracula
        Starring: David Chiang, Peter Cushing
        Plot: Dracula assumes the identity of a Taoist priest and flees to
                China, where he reserrects an army of zombies. Hot on his
                tail is Dr. Van Helsing, who is aided by a family of kung-fu
                heroes.
        Review: Interesting co-production between the Shaw Brothers and
                England's Hammer Films. Despite some glaring continuity
                errors (Dracula escae's Van Helsing's prison, and 100 years
                later the chase in China occurs. Peter Cushing is old, but 
                this would make him seomthing like 150 years old), this is
                an entertaining kung-fu horror film with a goodly amount of
                blood-letting. The only big problem is that various kung-fu
                villains have to stand around in order to make the white guy
                look like he is a good fighter, which he isn't.

LI'S FLYING DAGGER
        Director: Chu Yuan

LOVE SONG OVER THE SEA
        Release date: 1970
        Starring: Lily Li

MAD MONKEY KUNG-FU
        Release date: 1979
        Director: Liu Chia-liang
        Starring: Liu Chia-liang, Hui Ying-hung, Hsiao Ho, Lo Lieh
        Plot: A street performer and his sister run afoul of a lusty villain
                who kills the sister and frames the performer for rape. The
                performer (played bu Chia-liang) teams up with a pickpocket
                to beat the villain
        Review: Good because, although Chia-liang appears in almost all of
                his own films, this one of the few in which he has the starring
                role. However, all else considered, this is a fairly run-of-
                the-mill film, although it's light years better than most other
                run of the mill films.

MAGIC BLADE
        Release date: 1976
        Starring: Ti Lung

MAGNIFICENT TRIO
        Alternate titles: Heroic Three
        Staring: Jimmy Wang Yu, Lo Lieh

MAN OF IRON   see WARRIOR OF STEEL

MARCO POLO
        Release date: 1975
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Fu Sheng

MARTIAL CLUB
        Release date: 1981
        Alternate titles: Instructors of Death
        Director: Liu Chia-liang
        Starring: Liu Chia-hui, Wang Lung-wei, Mai Te-lo, Hui Ying-hung
        Plot: Wong Fei-hong and his once-rival, now friend, find themselves
                and their martiala rts schools pitted against a rival school
                which uses a kung-fu expert from the North to do their dirty
                work, although the expert doesn't realize he is being evil 
                (they lie to him).
        Review: Great stuff. This may be the only role in which Wang Lung-wei
                as the hero from the North isn't a villain. He fights Wong
                Fei-hong, sure, but as one martial artist to another, and once
                he discovers that he has been tricked by the bad school, he
                refuses to help them anymore. Although he beats Wong in the
                end, they respect one another. Lots of great fights and
                interesting stuff.

MASKED AVENGERS
        Release date: 1981
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Kuo Chui, Ciang Sheng, Lo Meng, Lu Feng, Sun Chien

MASTER KILLER   see 36th CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN

MASTER OF DISASTER
        Release date: 1982
        Alternative Titles: Treasure Hunters
        Director: Liu Chia-yung
        Starring: Fu Sheng, Liu Chia-hui, Chang Chan Peng
        Plot: Two wise-cracking hustlers team up with a Shaolin monk to recover
                stolen Buddhist treasures.
        Review: This was Fu Sheng's big comeback-film after an accident which
                broke both his legs. Excellent results, too, proving that he
                didn't lose anything as a result of the accident. Funny and 
                action-packed, this is a definite treat.

MEN FROM THE MONASTERY
        Release date: 1974
        Alternate titles: Disciples of Death
        Direcor: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Fu Sheng, Chi Kuan-chun
        Plot: Another of Fu Sheng's Fong Sai-yuk films. Sai-yuk leaves Shaolin
                Temple to seek revenge against various people. 
        Review: They stab Fu Sheng up the butt--his only weak point. That's the
                type of film this is. I like it.

MIGHTY PEKING MAN
        Starring: Evelyn Kraft, Danny Li Hsiu-hsien
        Plot: An adventurer goes in search of a giant monkey, and comes back 
                with both it and a blonde jungle woman. Back in Hong Kong, 
                the giant monkey-man is degraded and forced to perform in
                a circus, until he goes ape and smashes the city.
        Review: If it sounds like KING KONG that's only because it tries to
                be, with a blonde jungle woman (who is frequently falling
                out of her jungle outfit) thrown infor good measure. All
                cheesiness aside, the effects aren't too horrible for the time,
                well, sometimes they aren't too horrible. Hilariously bad,
                though.

MOONLIGHT BLADE
        Director: Chu Yuan

MORTAL COMBAT   see CRIPPLED AVENGERS

MY YOUNG AUNTIE
        Release date: 1981
        Director: Liu Chia-liang
        Starring: Liu Chia-liang, Hui Ying-hung, Hsiao Ho, Wang Lung-wei
        Plot: A Westernized young man (Hsiao Ho) takes in a traditional 
                Chinese woman (Hui Ying-hing), and they unite against the
                family villain (Wang Lung-wei), who wants to seize up all the
                land.

NA CHA THE GREAT
        Releaase date: 1974
        Starring: Fu Sheng

NAVAL COMMANDOS
        Release date: 1976
        Starring: Fu Sheng

NEW ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN
        Release date: 1972
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: David Chiang, Ti Lung
        Plot: David Chiang takes on the role of the one-armed avenger, or the
                role of a new one-armed avenger. Apparently, there were five
                or six million one-armed swordsmen wandering around China at
                some point in history.
        Review: The magic just isn't there despite several bloody battles.

NINE DEMONS
        Release date: 1984
        Director: Chang Cheh

NINJA'S DEADLY TRAP
        Alternate titles: Ninja in the Deadly Trap
        Starring: Kuo Chui, Ti Lung, Chiang Sheng, Lo Meng.

ODE TO GALLANTRY
        Starring: Kuo Chui, Chiang Sheng, Lo Meng, Lu Feng, Sun Chien.

ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN
        Release date: 1967
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Jimmy Wang Yu
        Plot: A supreme swordsman is saved from a murderous attack by his 
            servant, who dies in his master's place. The swordsman takes the 
            servant's son, Fong Kong as his own,teaching him everything that 
            he knows. The swordsman's daughter grows jealous of Fong, and in
                an attack she orchestrates, Fong's arm is lopped off. He
                is cared for by another woman, but theirlife together is
                quickly disrupted when a rival martial arts school starts
                killing off everyone. Fong defends himself but is badly beat
                up. He studies diligently and learns the one-armed sword
                technique, then returns and slaughter everyone.
        Review: This was a ground-breaking film. Sword-hero films were not
                rare, but this was the first of the films to feature extreme
                violence and brutality, which would become the staple of all
                the kung-fu films to follow. It is also probably Wang Yu's
                best film, or at least among them.

ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN RETURNS
        Release date: 1969
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Jimmy Wang Yu, Ti Lung
        Plot: Fong's peaceful life in the country is soon disrupted when the
                Eight Demon Swordsmen start killing, crippling, and then
                kidnap Fong's wife. He takes up his sword again, and the
                slaughter begins.
        Review: More of the same. I love it.

108 HEROES    see 7 SOLDIERS OF KUNG-FU

POLICE FORCE
        Release date: 1973
        Starring: Alexander Fu Sheng, Lily Li

PROUD TWINS
        Release date: 1979
        Starring: Fu Sheng

RETURN TO THE 36TH CHAMBER
        Release date: 1980
        Alternate titles: Return of Master Killer
        Director: Liu Chia-liang
        Starring: Liu Chia-hui
        Plot: Interestingly, this is sort of a spoof of the first film, 36TH
                CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN. Chia-hui plays a con-man who impersonates
                San-te, the monk hero of the first film. When his bluff is
                eventually called, he must learn real kung-fu quick.
        Review: Good, but not great.

REVENGE OF THE ZOMBIES

        Alternate titles: Black Magic II
        Starring: Ti Lung, Lo Lieh
        Plot: An evil wizard uses voodoo to create zombies and keep himself
                young. One man discovers the treachery and decies to put an
                end to it all.
        Review: No kung-fu despite Ti Lung and Lo Lieh being in it. This is a
                really ugly movie--Lo Lieh is really ugly, everyone wears
                ugly shirts and bell bottoms and those stupid sunglasses that
                start out dark and gradually get lighter. But Still, it has
                some decent gore, and Lo Lieh puts spikes in people's head.

SAVAGE 5
        Release date: 1979 (American release date, anyway)
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Ti Lung, David Chiang, Chen Kuan-tai, Danny Li Hsiu-hsien
        Plot: A savage gang rolls into town and starts torturing, raping, and 
                killing. Five heroes nad together to cleanthe streets up.

7 BLOWS OF THE DRAGON
        Release Date: 1972
        Alternative titles: Water Margin
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: David Chiang, Ti Lung
        Plot: Based on the famous novel, WATER MARGIN, this tells the story
                of the 108 Mountain Brothers, a band of noble renegades 
                fighting against the Ch'ing government. This film tells the
                story of their efforts to rescue captives and kill anyone
                who gets in the way.
        Reviews: David Chaing is great. Every time he does something slick, 
                he gets a cool, "chooka-chooka choo" sound effect. The best
                thing about this film is the old trailer. In one part, the
                screen magnificently announces, "Featuring the 18 tumbles
                of Young Dragon!" and then cuts to a shot of David Chiang
                awkwardly rolling down a hill. Filmed largely on outdoor
                sets with tons of extras, this is a great period piece with
                plenty of action.

SEEDING OF A GHOST 
        Plot: A man uses voodoo to ressurect his adulterous wife, and uses
                their demonic offspring as a tool of revenge.
        Review: no kung-fu at all, but there is tons of great gore, and some
                really impressive creature effects, even by today's standards.
                Bloody as hell, with a dose of gratuitous nudity in order to
                assure sales. All in all, a pretty good film if you are into
                horror.

7 SOLDIERS OF KUNG-FU
        Release Date: 197?
        Alternative titles: All Men are Brothers, 108 Heroes
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: David Chiang, Ti Lung.
        Plot: The heroes try to infiltrate a walled city, and have many grand
                adventures.
        Review: More of the same. More action than 7 BLOWS, which this is a 
                sequel to.

SENTIMENTAL SWORDSMAN
        Release date: 1977
        Starring: Ti Lung

SENTIMENTAL SWORDSMAN RETURNS
        Release date: 1980
        Starring: Ti Lung

SHADOW GIRL
        Release date: 1970
        Starring: Lily Li

SHAOLIN CHALLENGES NINJA    see CHALLENGE OF THE NINJA

SHAOLIN MANTIS   see DEADLY MANTIS

SHAOLIN MARTIAL ARTS
        Release date: 1974
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Fu Sheng, Chi Kuan-chun, Liu Chia-hui
        Plot: Fu Sheng plays Fong Sai-yuk. Some guys train to beat a murderous
                master, but they don't tran enough and are killed half-way
                through the film, leaving the battle to men like Fu Sheng.
        Review: I like it if for no other reason than the people who look like
                they will be the main characters are killed half-way through the
                film.

SLICE OF DEATH
        Alternate titles: Abbot of Shaolin
        Starring: David Chiang, Lo Lieh
        Plot: A monk leaves the temple and fights a lot of people, including a
                Tibetan lama.

SPEARMEN OF DEATH
        Release date: 1980
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Kuo Chui, Chiang Sheng, Lo Meng, Lu Feng, Sun Chien

SPIRITUAL BOXER
        Release date: 1975
        Director: Liu Chia-liang
        Starring: Yung Wang-yu
        Plot: A drunken master and his students try to convince townspeople
                that their clan are masters of spiritual boxing, which makes
                them completely invulnerable. They end up protecting the town
                from bandits despite being shams themelves.
        Review: Liu Chia-liang's first film. Yung Wang-yu's first film. One
                of the first kung-fu comedies ever made. Needless to say, it's
                a classic.

SPIRITUAL BOXER II
        Release date: 1979
        Director: Liu Chia-liang
        Starring: Yung Wang-yu

STREET GANGS OF HONG KONG
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Plot: A man seeks revenge against his father's murderers by becoming
                invovled in with gangsters he hopes will lead him to the
                murderers.
        Review: Boring, plain and simple. Lots of bad bell bottoms and gold
                medallions. Uninteresting kung-fu, odd since Liu Chia-liang
                helped choreograph it. A real stinker.

SUPER NINJAS 
        Release date: 1982
        Alternate titles: Chinese Super Ninjas, Five Element Ninja
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Chien Tien Chi, Lo Meng
        Plot: A kung-fu clan is dessimated by a band of ninja imported from 
                Japan. The ninja then destroy the people who imported them
                and set themselves up as rulers of the martial world. Only
                one man, a survivor of the ninja's first attack, can defeat
                them, and he does so by teaming up with some other guys and
                learning the tricks of the ninja himself.
        Review: A masterpiece of kung-fu, and possibly one of the goriest
                kung-fu films of the earlier years. One scene has a man stabbed
                through the abdomen, and as he keeps on fighting, his 
                intestines slowly seep out of his belly. He is killed when he
                accidentally steps on his own innards and trips. In the end,
                the heroes pull the villain in two with their bare hands.

SWORD AND THE LUTE
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Lo Lieh, Jimmy Wang Yu

TEAHOUSE
        Release date: 1974
        Starring: Chen Kuan-tai

TEMPLE OF THE RED LOTUS
        Starring: Jimmy Wang Yu, Lo Lieh

TEN TIGERS OF KWANGTUNG
        Release Date: 1979
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Ti Lung, Fu Sheng, Kuo Chui, Chiang Sheng, Lo Meng, Lu Feng,
                Sun Chien
        Plot: Story of the famous band of heroes--one of whom was Wong Fei-
                hong's father.
        Review: A mess. But a guy does get his head kicked off at the end.

THIRD MASTER'S SWORD
        Director: Chu Yuan

36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN
        Release date: 1978
        Alternate titles: Master Killer
        Director: Liu Chia-liang
        Starring: Liu Chia-hui
        Plot: A movie with lots and lots of training, but in a good way. A
                young man named Liu Yu-te (Chia-hui) escapes to Shaolin temple
                after his family is massacred by Manchu soldiers. For the next
                hour of the film (it is nearly two hours long), Yu-te trains
                as a Shaolin monk. After he has done this for years, he goes
                out to recruit more soon-to-be famous monks and kill the
                people who murdered his family.
        Review: An amazing movie. The training scenes are incredibly inventive
                and fun, and the fights are superb. This is probably the most
                well-known and successful martiala rts film outside of Asia, 
                and excluding the obligitory Bruce Lee films. Rightfully so,
                as the film is great.

TRAIL OF THE BROKEN BLADE
        Starring: Wang Yu, Lo Lieh

TREASURE HUNTERS    see MASTER OF DISASTER

TWIN SWORDS
        Starring: Jimmy Wang Yu, Lo Lieh

TWO CHAMPIONS OF SHAOLIN

UNBEATABLE DRAGON
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Kuo Chui, Lo Meng, Chiang Sheng, Lu Feng, Sun Chien
        Plot: Conniving Ch'ings pit North Shaolin against South Shaolin in a
                bid to destroy them both.

USURPERS OF EMPEROR'S POWER

VENGEANCE

        Release date: 1970
        Alternative titles: Kung-fu Vengeance
        Director: Chang Cheh
        Starring: Ti Lung, David Chiang, Chen Kuan-tai
        Plot: Peking Opera guys battle gangs.
        Review: Lots of gore. Bleak, intense--it even won some awards.

WANDERING SWORDSMAN
        Release date: 1970
        Director: Chu Yuan
        Starring: David Chiang, Lily Li

WARRIOR OF STEEL
        Alternate titles: Man of Iron
        Starring: Chen Kuan-tai
        Plot: Tale of a man who rises through the bloody ranks of 1930s 
                gangland.

WATER MARGIN   see 7 BLOWS OF THE DRAGON

WEIRD MAN
        Starring: Lo Meng

WHITE JADE TIGER
        Director: Chu Yuan

YOUNG LOVERS ON FLYING WHEELS
        Release date: 1974
        Director: Ti Lung
        Starring: Ti Lung

YOUNG REBELS
        Release date: 1975
        Director: Ti Lung
        Starring: Ti Lung


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