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.
Fatherless as a child, Hsiang (David Chiang) supports his mother, but gangsters kill his mother, so he starts killing in revenge. Unlike his swordplay heroes, Hsiang admits guilt, expresses sorrow and is imprisoned. Directed and played by Ti Lung, the film features great fights by Yuan Hsio-tieng (The Matrix's fight choreographer Yuen Woo-ping's father).
A special place deserves a special epic, which is what this battle between a brave brand of Chinese boxers and literally thousands of Ching troops is – complete with betrayals, intrigues, and such novel fighting machines as 108 wooden robots.
Besides his pioneering films based on authentic martial artistry and kung-fu comedies during the 1970's, acclaimed director Liu Chia-liang also embraced the master/pupil relationship to form the cornerstone of many of his other works where his characters exhibited physical and moral failure as a means to either "make them or break them". Besides directing MAD MONKEY KING FU, it's also Liu's debut as a lead actor playing down and out, monkey kung-fu master Chen, crippled by the ruthless villain Tuen (Shaw's penultimate bad guy Lo Lieh). Street boy Hsiao Hou (which means "little monkey" and played by popular martial arts aerialist Hsiao Hao) convinces Chen to teach him monkey kung-fu to avenge Chen's shame. The wacky training sequences and outlandish finale fight leave you stupefied.
To the tune of the Osmonds hit song, this is a story of adolescent playfulness & innocence lost. Two best friends grow up together and teasingly meet two delightfully impish boys leading to the four to flirtatiously intermingle. However, the innocence of partner swapping eventually leads to a roller-coaster bouts of misunderstood emotions.
Rarely has a title been more accurate, but considering the action which fills this film, it also could have been called THE BRUTAL FIVE or THE CRUEL FIVE or THE VICIOUS FIVE.... if the title referred to the villains, that is. In any case, the heroes are certainly outnumbered as gang after gang of robbing rapists invade this poor town. At first the fiends just want a village locksmith to help them open a stolen safe, but soon the entire community is being held hostage, threatened, and tortured. Although reminiscent of THE SEVEN SAMURAI, the director and his revered action choreographers, Liu Chia-liang and Tang Chia, design each of the many struggles with gritty depravity and desperate power. The result is an especially realistic, even grueling, exercise in suspense.
David Chiang, Ti Lung, Wang Chung, Chen Kuan-tai, Danny Lee
German-Chinese superstar Jenny Hu, heads up this tale of suspense and lust. Hsiu Mei (Diana Chung) works hard, but can't keep clear of old lover, Chen (Paul Chang). Spurned, Chen tries it on with Hsiu's spoilt daughter Li Lien (Hu), who eventually falls for him. When Chen turns up at Li Lien's birthday party that fateful night, he meets his death, but who killed him?
Diana Chang Chung-wen, Lo Wei, Paul Chang Chung, Jenny Hu
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.
Three young kung-fu warriors from wildly different backgrounds become students of Shaolin at the same temple. These three warriors are: Royal Guard Lo Lieh, fleeing soldier, Lo Meng, and villager, Wang Yu.
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!
The lovely Li Hsiang-chun stars as a poor beauty who has been drugged, ravished, lied to, locked in a burning store room, left to drown, and chased by sword-wielding ruffians. Her only hope is her betrayer's new wife, played by the strong and sensual Ivy Ling Po. Dawn may come, but the question is: will it be too late?
Cheng Chang-ho had already established his filmmaking fame in Korea when he was invited to join the Shaw Studio. He created new fame in Hong Kong by directing (and sometimes writing) such action epics as Valley Of The Fangs, The Swift Knight, and this tale of a decapitating swordswoman who will let nothing stand in her way when she falls in love with a bandit’s son. Chiao Chiao, made famous in One-Armed Swordsman, is the girl who won’t let such trifles as craniums keep her from freeing her man from jail. The one villain who manages to keep his head (in every definition of the phrase) is Fan Mei-sheng. The success of this film really helped the director get ahead in just two years he was to helm the very first internationally successful kung-fu film: King Boxer.
Chiao Chiao, Chen Liang, Wang Hsieh, Ching Miao, Chang Pei-shan
For lovers of the Shaw's sumptuous production and martial arts expertise, this action adventure in the "Jackie Chan style" is a special treat. A persecuted waiter turns to a "drunken master" for help when a restaurant customer turns out to be a kung-fu harbinger of doom!
Meng Yuan-wen, Yuan Hua, Wang Sha, Yu Tsui-ling, Wang Lung-wei