A Chinese costume version of the legend of French King Louis XIV, Shin Yung-Kyoon plays the double role of twin sons of the Emperor who are separated as children. One is a brave noble warrior, the other is a debauched ruler whose suspicion is so great he orders his very own sibling's face to be hidden by an iron mask. The ever-talented Li Ching co-stars as the princess, a love interest for both brothers.
Jimmy Wang Yu was ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN. But he had moved on to become THE CHINESE BOXER. So Chang Cheh, the man who had helped make him a star, wasn't kidding with the title of this fondly remembered epic (which deservedly won a prestigious Golden Horse Award for Editing). He took his charismatic new star, David Chiang, and made him an all-new-one-armed hero - a man who chops off his right arm rather than live with dishonor. But when the love of his life is kidnapped and his best friend is murdered at a gang's stronghold on Tiger Mountain, its one-armed chopping time. The climatic battle on an amazingly engineered moat bridge is a particular favorite among true fans of martial art masterpieces.
Even at an early time during Hong Kong's erotica cinema development, highly renowned directors were willing to sacrifice their reputations and established actresses were lining up to take off their clothes. In Facets Of Love, the undisputed king of epic dramas, director Li Han-hsiang, gets some of Shaw's sexiest ladies to strip for camera. It's three sexy vignettes centering around a Ming Dynasty brothel that steams with secret erotic myths, trysts and twists of pleasurable indulgence.
The "Venoms" were no more. After five years and more than a dozen films together, the only one of the original five who proved so successful for the director was the muscleman Lo Meng. But with just that one "venom" and his incredibly agile new star Cheng Tien-chi, he made this spectacular, internationally popular, favorite. Evil ninjas (who attack with, and from, fire, sun, wood, water, and the ground) brutally slaughter a noble Chinese kung-fu school's students. The one survivor finds a teacher and four students who are ninjitsu experts. The five graduates take revenge. With this strong structure and exceptional kung-fu choreography (from the star and co-star Chu Ke), Chang Cheh produced platinum. This film was one of the director's best of his superheroic, grand guignol period. By any name, it could be called, almost literally, "bloody good" entertainment!
Applauded director Li Han-Hsiang was one of few directors that made soft porn acceptable by mainstream audiences; using the thematic device of "sex on a mission" cynicism, suggesting that sex was the ultimate power. In the sex comedy The Scandalous Warlord, the true power that drove the country's many warlords were the prostitutes that these men would routinely visit. Therefore, the power in this film lies in the hands of the sassy Shirley Yu and the titillating Shaw Yin-Yin.
The Golden Lion (Chao Hsiung) is a bandit with mysterious strength who robs from the rich and gives to the poor. One night, he is ambushed and poisoned by the evil bounty hunter Wang Ching-Tsao (Wang Hsieh) and his gang, who hunt him at the behest of legal authority. Friends take him to a righteous doctor, who cures the wounded bandit despite the threats of Wang Ching-Tsao. The doctor travels with the Golden Lion, his surly son and courageous daughter Lu Wen-fang (Li Ching) to a mountain to develop a life-saving antidote, and they are beset at every perilous turn by Wang Hsieh, who will stop at nothing to catch his quarry!
In one of his early contemporary martial arts actioners, Alexander Fu Sheng teams up with director extraordinaire Chang Cheh in CHINATOWN KID to battle the Five Venoms before they poisoned themselves into cult status. Although Chang was chastised for using San Francisco stock shots to make like it was filmed in America, it's reminiscent of Jackie Chan's New York stock shots for RUMBLE IN THE BRONX. But to CHINATOWN KID'S credit, the incredibly violent fights are immensely satisfying as man on the run Tan Tung (Alexander Fu Sheng), one by one defeats each triad gang related venom while succumbing to the seductive powers of the ultra-sexy Shirley Yu only to realize that, in typical Chang Cheh style, materialism and heroism leads to nihilistic desecration.
Fu Sheng , Kuo Chue , Sun Chien , Shirley Yu , Shaw Yin-yin
The 18th century reign of Emperor Chien Lung has proven to be a treasure trove for Hong Kong filmmakers, and director Li Han-Hsiang, the acknowledged master of the costume drama, made a series of four blockbusters about the dashing young swashbuckler's exploits. The scenario won the Best Adapted Screenplay Award at the 1979 Golden Horse Awards, and told of the monarch's incognito journey from Beijing to southern China... and imperial mayhem that ensues!
This follow-up to the classic THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN shows kung-fu's the illustrious Liu brothers at their lethal best. Director Liu Chia-liang has more than a few new kung-fu tricks up his monk's sleeve as he transports brother Gordon Liu Chia-hui back to the Ching Dynasty and the Shaolin Monastery. And not just any part of the monastery, but the clandestine 36th chamber, where the most advanced methods of kung-fu are taught to the deserving few. Alas, Gordon is not one of the anointed elite and must find a way to covertly observe the secret training in order to obtain the skills necessary to battle the hated Manchus. Though the movie's conclusion is never in much doubt, the Liu Brothers have a lot of fun getting from points A to Z with plenty of murder and mayhem in between.
The team behind the fantasy epic The Monkey Goes West visualizes a new chapter of the popular classic literature. This time the Monkey King and his gang are confronted by the evil Princess Iron Fan, Madam White Bone and her two sexy sisters (Lily Ho and Cheng Pei-pei), plus loads of fanciful characters like the Princess Jade Face, Ox Demon, and Golden Toad. The outcome is a non-stop fantasy action galore for fans of this genre.
Pat Ting-hung, Cheng Pei-pei, Ho Fan, Yueh Hua, Peng Peng
This is one of writer/director Shen Chiang's last films, but it's an incredible action-packed adventure of a female Lone Ranger, decades before Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon made feminist-empowerment kung-fu films an international phenomenon. The wonderful Shih Szu is the title character, with Shaw Brothers' first international star, Lo Lieh, joining her as an adoring associate. Together they track down the dirty deeds and duplicity of a raping and robbing masked bandit, before, literally, riding off toward their next adventure!
One of director Kuei Chih-hung's early works, this film is a coming-of-age tale of the lower-class Hong Kong teens in the 1960s. Its no-holds-barred presentation of societal issues brings an ultra-realistic feel to the story. Wang Chung is the title character - a hotheaded and rebellious teen who is tempted by the dark side... costing him his life. His vivid performance caused a vigorous sensation and debate among critics and audience of the time.
In the arsenal of classic martial arts secret weapons, there is none more lethal than the Buddha's Palm, a technique by which an ordinary hand is transformed into a formidable force. Ku, a blind recluse living in a cave, knows its secret, which proves to be as much a blessing as a curse as it attracts all manner of mayhem...
Shaw's and TVB's biggest stars join hands in this ensemble cast tale of the woes of falling headfirst into a hunger chase for money and riches. In 1973, the Hong Kong Heng Seng Index hit extraordinary peaks, and people from all walks of life go stock market crazy. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's social problems pile up without anyone paying any attention to what's happening to the crazy lives of this mad city that so many people call home. An ingenious tongue-in-cheek tale from talented director Chu Yuan.