It's back to the Shaolin Monastery for one of the most unusual action-packed tales to invade its hallowed halls. Lo Lieh is the ringleader of the Snake Sect, intent on reviving a particularly deadly faction known as the "Five Poison Web" (which is also THE WEB OF DEATH's Chinese title). To achieve his ends, he has an affair with the sexy ringleader of the Scorpion Sect, Angela Yu Chien. But there is also the Centipede Sect to contend with, as well as other assorted martial artists, among them such top Shaw Brothers talents as Yueh Hua, Ching Li, and Lily Li. Under the fluid direction of Chu Yuan and action choreographers Tang Chia and Yuen Cheung-yan (member of the martial arts world's esteemed Yuen Family and brother of Matrix master Yuen Woo-ping), THE WEB OF DEATH goes places where no other Shaolin kung-fu movie has gone before or since.
It's the Sung Dynasty versus the Chin invaders as the "Iron Triangle" of director Chang Cheh and stars David Chiang and Ti Lung truly hit their stride with this crowd-pleasing kung-fu epic. When a handsome Prince is taken captive and guarded by a martial arts master, it's up to two powerful patriots to fight overwhelming odds to pull off the impossible: rescue the royal son and get out of the Chin stronghold alive. It's action as only Chang can film it, with supremely charismatic acting and fighting as only Chiang and Lung can perform it. From the first fascinating minute to the final desperate battle to the death -culminating in an unforgettably evocative conclusion - this duo is dynamic as well as deadly.
Li Han-hsiang wrote and directed this charming and fascinating comedy, Forbidden Tales Of Two Cities. The two cities in the picture are Macau, where a love quartet is a morally-unsound source for sexual entertainment; and Hong Kong, where a woman enters a gambler’s apartment to find four shackles hanging from his ceiling to aid in kinky activities...
Director/actor Chan Friend joined award-winning social satirist Alfred Cheung Kin-ting to create and act in this delightful variation on the hugely successful British Carry On! film series. It all takes place at St. Morant Hospital where a harried but lovely administrator (Meg Lam) must deal with lusty interns, chaste (and chased) student nurses, a delirious surgeon, a dissection fiend, a criticizing Commissioner, and gross negligence at regular intervals. This group couldn’t fix anything...but your funny bone.
One of Hong Kong's top action directors of all time, Liu Chia-liang makes a mind-numbing directorial debut in The Spiritual Boxer, which not only quickly established Liu as a genius director but also encouraged other martial art choreographers to take up the directing reigns. It was also the debut film of kung-fu comedienne Wang Yu as the main character, who in reality was part of Liu’s clan of stars that he personally trained for a film career. Its Ghostbusters meets George C. Scott’s The Flim-Flam Man as Wang plays a fake ghost catcher who catches more than he bargained for. With this film, Liu is also credited with introducing comedy in to the kung-fu genre; the pre-cursor for Jackie Chan's kung-fu comedies.
Stephen Chow's special brand of very modern, very Hong Kong screwball comedy entered a new phase with JUSTICE, MY FOOT!, a costume farce set in imperial China. Chow is a shyster with an equally eccentric kung-fu ace of a wife, hilariously played by Anita Mui Yim-fong. Accompanied by Chow's number one screen sidekick, Ng Man-tat, he manages to bring justice to the court and laughter to the viewer. A resounding success, JUSTICE, MY FOOT! broke box office records to become the number hit of 1992. And it's no wonder, what with skillful direction by Johnnie To and a visual sheen provided by Peter Pao, who a few years later would become the first Chinese to win a Best Cinematography Oscar for CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.
Stephen Chow, Anita Mui, Zhu MiMi, Ng Man-tat, Carrie Ng
After a remarkable career helming such diverse cult favorites as THE FLYING GUILLOTINE and THE MIGHTY PEKING MAN, trusted director Ho Meng-hua started wrapping up his Shaw Studio career with this memorable kung-fu adventure starring internationally renowned David Chiang. While he was best known for his roles as a grinning, streetwise, fighter in many Chang Cheh - directed classics, David Chiang rarely played a noble warrior monk, making this production all the more notable. Here he portrays the great Chih Shim, the monk who saved the Southern Shaolin Temple from the Ching Government and traitors alike. Shaw's first international star, Lo Lieh, returns to the role he also made famous - that of Shaolin renegade Pai Mei. Rounding out the superlative action cast is the "first lady of Shaw kung-fu," Lily Li, as one of Monk Chih Shim's best allies. They unite for a true martial arts epic of the first order.
No list compiled of all the screen's comic geniuses would be complete without Michael Hui. He created a hilarious and lovable comic persona that was both uniquely Asian and universally beloved. The Warlord, his first film, not only showcased his incomparable sense of humour but also a revolutionized Hong Kong comedy. Evoking Chaplin, he plays a warlord in early 20th century China, but makes the role his own with comedy. Some of the sexiest ladies on the Shaw Brothers lot add on to the ingenuity of the movie.
Sun Chung started exploring the kung-fu genre with this fascinating tale which mixes music and martial arts. It's a tale of conflicting clans and a mysterious song called 'The Proud One' which leads to slowly blossoming love as well as sudden death.
As the names of Chang Cheh and Liu Chia-liang became legendary, all-too-often the name of their equally valued collaborator, Tang Chia, is omitted. That may be, because, unlike the previous pair, the veteran kung-fu choreographer only went on to direct three movies of his own. Of course, that makes this trio all the more special, and this first effort perhaps the most special of all. It may be an eye-filling, mind-bending martial arts tale of two royal princes battling for the rightful recovery of the throne, but it's also a party, where Tang invites two cinematographers, three editors, and no less than five other choreographer friends to almost literally shoot the works. The results are kung-fu configurations not only never seen before, but never even imagined!
During World War II, a singer and her lover face invaders, insurgents, and a warlord's beautiful daughter. Released two years after Linda Lin Dai's suicide, the sequel to the original box office hit becomes all the more moving because of it.
Famed actor/director Yen Chuan helmed this martial arts melodrama of a lady-warrior who raises the son of the swordsman who scorned her, but arranges to have his sister raised by her sworn enemy, hoping to make the unknowing twins kill each other in a death duel. Essie Lin Chia is the evil lady-warrior while Lily Ho and Kao Yuen reunite after starring together in The Golden Knight for this suspense thriller of familial love gone wrong.
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.