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.
Sun Chung had been recognized as an expert comedy and crime thriller director, but he was to gain even greater acclaim for his soulful, powerful, intelligent, and beautifully-made martial arts epics. This stands alongside The Deadly Breaking Sword and The Kung-fu Instructor as one of his very best. It's not so much the plot - a master swordsman protects a treasure chest on a dangerous journey - that makes this great, but what Sun does with it, inspiring the cast and crew to some of their finest work.
Cheng Chung (Derek Yee) and May (Liu Hsueh-hua), a pair of lovers working on the police force, camp on an outlying island. Awakened by a strange sound, May goes out onto the beach where a violent frenzy grips her. After her return from leave, May insists Inspector Wang (Yueh Hua) in a bid to rescue some hostages. She shoots the thug under most peculiar circumstances. Then a series of tragedies occur. Her two colleagues die mangled in a lift accident and Inspector Wang is injured at his desk by a snake. Wang's exorcist sister (Hsia Ping), who performs rites for him, also dies in an accident. And so does a fortune-teller who refused to read May's fortune.
Three young martial arts students and their teacher are beaten up badly by a wandering man who proclaims himself 'a corrector of bad kung-fu.' Determined to avenge their teacher and regain their honor, the three students go their separate ways to find kung-fu masters who will take them as students.
Lute demon Chin Mo (Pai Piao) has reappeared in the world to wreak havoc. Hsiao Feng-ling (Hui Ying-hung) is ordered to help find a special bow and arrows that can counter the demon. Only Chiao Yin (Lung Tien-chiang) knows the whereabouts of the weapon. Hsiao and her classmate Old Naughty (Yuan Te) sets out on an arduous journey to find Chiao. After fighting off many obstacles, they catch Chin Mo's man trying to snatch the bow, and stop him in time...
Betty Ting Pei stars as a singer from Taipei who comes to Hong Kong in search of her missing sister; nearly getting raped by a street gang and rescued by a handsome composer. Among the girls she meets during her investigation are "queen of Shaw kung-fu", Lily Li, and elegant Ouyang Sha-fei. It's all handled with taste and verve by the studio's Japanese import, writer/director Inoue Umetsugu, who made viewers rediscover Hong Kong's splendors and dangers with an outsider's perspective.
Betty Ting Pei, Yang Fan, Lily Li, Ou Yen-ching, Hsia Ping
Master martial arts moviemaker Liu Chia-liang wanted to make a movie about Chinese royalty’s relation to the common people. He accomplished it with one of the greatest kung-fu adventures ever made, incorporating at least three of the most brilliantly conceived and executed fight sequences ever caught on film. Wang Yu is the streetwise title character while the director’s adopted brother, Gordon Liu Chia-hui, plays an incognito prince who uses Ho as a dupe to try avoiding court intrigue. But any description of the plot cannot communicate the beauty and ingeniousness of Liu's invention and vision. Combining laughs and thrills, the monumental director adds to his legend with a film that only gets more impressive with each successive viewing.
Superstar Linda Lin Dai in one of her most acclaimed roles. The story is about a forbidden love between a country maiden and the emperor. Emperor Cheng-te met Li Feng on a visit to South China. It was love at first sight for the lovely girl and the handsome emperor. Cheng-te left with a promise that Li Feng would be his empress. One year later, when the emperor sent for Li, her weak health cannot stand the arduous journey, she arrived just to die in the arms of her man.
Lin Dai, Chao Lei, Chin Chuan, Yang Chi-ching, Wong Yuen-loong
There are martial arts epics and "brotherhood hero" films but then there is nothing out there that comes even close to THE WATER MARGIN. Based on the classic novel and true legend, ALL MEN ARE BROTHERS about how 108 rebels bravely fought against the Sung Dynasty, just about every big Shaw Brothers’ star around at the time, David Chiang, Ti Lung and Chen Kuan-tai to name a few, were called in to do this film to make it one of the most dynamic films in the history of cinema. The film exhausts you with its wild and wooly, yet heroically primitive battle scenes that ultimately end in sharp and visually effective images of death, defeat and heroism. It won Honorable Mention for Dramatic Feature at the 1972 Golden Horse Awards.
David Chiang, Ti Lung, Lily Ho, Chin Feng, Yueh Hua
There is no Chinese novel more famous than Journey To The West; and while there have been many movie adaptations, this memorable version presents a unique interpretation with humour, action, and fantasy galore. Ho Fan (who later became a celebrated erotic film director) plays the monk who undertakes a journey for Buddhist scriptures, encountering Monkey, Pigsy, and a damsel in distress (played by the actress named "The Most Beautiful Creature In China"), among many fun and fascinating others.
Imagine pint-sized Godzillas fighting the DC Comic superhero "IRONMAN", have Shaw Brothers improve on this outrageous mix by adding kung-fu choreography, and then you have SUPER INFRAMAN, one of the most far-out, fantastical films ever made. Starring the up and coming Danny Lee (who achieved international superstardom in John Woo's THE KILLER), the film pits Lee as the thunderbolt-fisted Inframan battling maniacal monsters from the Earth's center lead by the evil Demon Princess (Terry Liu). Adding to the psychosis is the fast paced fights choreographed by the acclaimed action director Tang Chia, beautiful camera work by He Lan-shan (Bruce Lee's cinematographer in THE WAY OF THE DRAGON), and fights that feature an actor who later starred in kung-fu flicks under the moniker of Bruce Lee.
Chiang Sung-ping (Chiao Chuang) is a nightclub drummer, he take care of his passed-away teacher, Su's daughter Su Ling (Ivy Ling Po). Chiang trains Su Ling to be a popular singer and they admire each other. Vocalist Pai Lu (Shen Yi), who has feel affection on Chiang, worried he may fall for Su Ling. Pai Lu starts Chiang off on drug habit and tells Su Ling. In desperation, Su Ling decides to leave Chiang...
In Swift Sword, popular director Ho Meng-hua exposes a whole cast of established talent to create a searing martial arts extravaganza that reeks of steel-slashing bewitchment worthy of any swordplay epic.