Incredibly, the title serpent is not a harbinger of horror, but actually the film's hero. This virtuous viper sniffs out bombs, fights gangs, battles a baby-killing rodent and even takes on a duplicitous woman. This one-of-a-kind thriller will be applauded by reptile fans everywhere.
Ask any martial arts movie aficionado for his or her list of all-time action greats, and there's a good chance that Killer Clans ranks somewhere near the top. Based on a popular swordplay novel, Killer Clans (whose Chinese title literally translates into the poetic "Meteor, Butterfly, Sword") has enough conspiracies, stratagems, and sword fights to make even non-action fans happy. They are masterfully staged by Yuen Cheung-yan, brother of Matrix martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-ping. The cast includes some of Shaw Brothers' leading swordsmen and swordswomen, and they bring to life the novel's epic battles between underground clans, where the line between good and evil is not always so clear-cut or obvious.
Cheng Pei-pei plays Hsiao-yun, a young singer forced to choose between love and her ultimate career. After filling in for another singer at the eleventh hour, Hsiao-yun becomes an overnight sensation. However, with success comes a heavy price and her relationship with a pianist Li Yen-nan (Peter Chen Ho) suffers. As if that is not enough, she must also deal with the unwanted affections from an influential backer Tu Pang-chieh (Chiang Kwong-chao) of her show...
It is little wonder why Chang Cheh is considered legendary. Not only did he usher in a whole new kind of "yanggang" (macho) cinema, but he was also one of the most prolific and consistent directors in the world. He made more than 70 films in the period between 1960 and 1975, but this was considered one of the most notable. A nominal sequel to the equally acclaimed SHAOLIN MARTIAL ARTS, this powerful production came a year later and cemented Alexander Fu Sheng's superstardom with a performance many proclaimed the best of the young lead's career. It is also one of the last Chang Cheh films choreographed by Liu Chia-liang, who was becoming a legendary director in his own right. Together, they made this tale of the Shaolin vs. Manchu conflict -- played out at a textile mill -- one of the highlights in kung-fu film history.
In one of the indomitable Ivy Ling Po's (Vermillion Door) first appearances in her trademark male roles, we are treated to a tale of love, fantasy and music! It took two directors, three assistant directors, and four cinematographers to capture this incredible epic about life in the Heavenly Palace. The Jade Emperor's seventh daughter (Fang Ying) is so naughty that she is banished from heaven and sent to live among humans. There, she meets and becomes enchanted by the young village lad Dong Yong (Ling Po) and asks the God of the Earth and her other fairy sisters to lend a hand. But her meddling among humans can only go so far before the will of heaven is disturbed. How long is it before she gets caught?
The “Venoms” are back in action again! After creating an international sensation in The Five Venoms, Taiwanese Opera artists Kuo Chue, Chiang Sheng and Lu Feng reteamed with Chinese muscleman Lo Meng and superkicker Sun Chien for this politically charged thriller. Set in the early Republican years, some skilled refugees run afoul of a powerful traitor, and from then on it’s one amazing battle after another.
Talented director Chen Gang wrote and co-directed this tale of a Chinese Zorro who wages a one-man war against the venal and tyrannical county authorities. Chi yau-tung (actor/director Ling Yun) is the "bandit with a thousand faces". After holding up a caravan taking money to the capital and escaping with a slash on his face, police officer Ma Tak (Tien Feng) is on Chi's tail. So Chi calls on his twin brother, Yau-lan (also Lin!) to help. Soon he needs rescuing too!
Lily Ho is perfectly cast as a gun-for-hire who always gets her man - in more ways than one! The cast and crew shot on location in Japanese scenic spots such as Mount Fuji; and there are plenty of over-the-top thrills, as Lily even masquerades as a nun.
Like many of the swordsman films of the sixties, The Magnificent Swordsman centers on the hero vowing vengeance against evil bandits that killed his family when he was a child. Influenced by Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai, the hero (played by Huang Tsung-shun who starred in Bruce Lee's Fist Of Fury), recruits several friends to help peasants rid their village of marauding bandits, the leader of course being the man that killed his family.
Shu Pei-pei, Huang Tsung-hsing, Tien Feng, Ching Miao
The noted actress Li Li-hua, star of more than sixty films since 1947, beautifully portrays the drugged, then disgraced wife of a peddler in the waning days of the Ching Dynasty. To make matters worse, she's soon framed for her husband’s murder by her rapist - the son of the local magistrate! And even that isn’t the end of her woes. It's best to have a box of tissues nearby as two expert directors ratchet up the emotional suspense in this consummate tearjerker.
Li Li-hua, Kao Pao-shu, Ouyang Sha-fei, Kwan Shan, Ku Wen-chung
Three of Shaw Brothers' finest martial arts directors, who, between them, had made more than a hundred classics, united for this unique anthology film. Yueh Feng writes and directs a clever love-and-kung-fu triangle, Cheng Kang both writes and directs kung-fu courtesans battling brigands, and the "godfather of the kung-fu film," Chang Cheh, creates a cliff-hanging, swashbuckling mini-movie with maxi-action. It's three times the substance, style, skill, and stars in what truly stands as a motion picture event.
Shih Szu, Yueh Hua, Lily Ho, Lo Lieh, David Chiang, Ti Lung
As its name implies, Songfest is an Eastmancolor-Shawscope costume musical, traditionally Chinese and timeless in content; yet revealing a spirited and modern technique. Shot on location at Taiwan's beautiful Sun-Moon Lake, it's a turbulent romance between a passionate tea picker Sung Yu-lan (Margaret Tu Chuan) and a charming fisherman Li Chun-yang (Chiao Chuang).
Margaret Tu Chuan, Julie Shih-yen, Chiao Chuang, Lily Ho