"Godfather of the kung-fu film" Chang Cheh, is famous for introducing the revolutionary concept of "yanggang" (macho) martial arts movies – paving the way for Bruce Lee, among many others. Until then, female stars (often in male swordsmen roles) ruled the screens. So collaboration between writer/director Chang and swordswoman supreme Cheng Pei-pei (now famous for CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON) is exceptional indeed. Here she plays a righteous woman warrior who incurs the wrath of a "flying knife" master after she kills his rapist son. Lucky for her that an honorable dagger master played by Lo Lieh (the star of Shaw Brothers' first international kung-fu hit KING BOXER) is on her side. Although extremely attractive when she only played heroes, Cheng could hold her own with any man, freeing Chang to create the best of all possible martial arts worlds.
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!
Acclaimed actor Danny Lee, known for his role in John Woo's The Killer has his directing debut in One Way Only, a Hong Kong "Easy Rider", where the road and motorbikes are symbols of freedom against government oppression, which Jack Kerouac sees as a way of discovering oneself. Li plays a motorbike workshop owner that although injured during an illegal motorcycle race, continues to race regardless of the physical consequences and the law, because the road rules all.
This is a film that has won the Best Colour Film Art Direction at the 1977 Golden Horse Awards. Liu Yung (one of Bruce Lee's favorite co-stars) takes center stage as the Ching Dynasty main character, who seeks out court corruption with the help of a streetwise youth played by Wang Yu (Dirty Ho). They use wit and style to teach the corrupt officials a lesson, and when those officials learn that Liu Yung is the emperor, they beg for his forgiveness. This production proved so popular that director Li Han-hsiang took over to helm two successful sequels.
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
A disguised and mysterious female thief has been committing crimes across the city and a police woman is determined to track her down. The temptress' impersonation skills fool even the officer's loving boyfriend. The surprise ending will blow you away!
Avid international kung-fu films fans have a special place in their hearts for this outstanding martial arts drama, which marked the ascension of director Sun Chung and action choreographer Tang Chia to legendary status. Tang also appeared as the "Chief Security Officer" in this powerful tale of the Thirteen Eagles Assassination Sect of the infamous Iron Boat Clan. Ku Feng is excellent as the poisonously patriarchal leader of the killers, but conflicted "son" Ti Lung and vengeful victim Alexander Fu Sheng command the screen as consummate warriors united in tragedy. Everything is exceptional in this endlessly entertaining production: from the cinematography of Lan Nei-tsai, to the script by Shaw Brothers' writing wizard Ni Kuang, to the editing of Chiang Hsing-loong and Yu Hsiao-feng, which deservedly won the Golden Horse Award.
One of Shaw's darlings of the screen, Lily Ho (Casino, The Water Margin) gives a heart-warming performance as Chef-chi, in this Cinderella comedy and romance. At a party, Chef falls in love with the son (Lin Feng) of a rich man that her father (Cheng Chun-mien, Hong Kong's answer to Elvis Presley) works as a chauffeur for. Being from such a poor family, Chef can't reveal who she is or what her father does for a living. Her father is furious that she has fallen for the boss' boy; does she have no class conscience? Mayhem, drama and a run of hilarious circumstances ensue. This asks us, can love truly cross class boundaries?
Director Sun Chung was the first Shaw Brothers' director to use the Steadicam and in the mid-70s was one of the most productive directors Shaw Brothers ever had. His action films had strong tension, snappy editing and slow motion, the things that influenced up and coming martial arts director John Woo. Sun Chung joins forces with kung-fu comedienne Wang Yu, a ballistic kid on a mission to clear his father's name, in THE KID WITH A TATTOO which also features plentiful ripsnorting martial arts at the hands of Liu Chia-liang's 10-year, exceptionally creative, choreographer partner Tang Chia. Jackie Chan's long time kung-fu classmates Yuen Hua and Yuan Pin along with best martial arts fighting villain Wang Lung-wei, add wickedly wild altercations to the melees of death.
Wu Sung (Ti Lung) beats a vicious tiger to death in Yang Ku on his way back to the town. The local magistrate appoints him assistant chief constable because of his bravery. When he comes across his ugly brother, Wu Ta-lang (Ku Feng), he is taken home to meet his alluring wife Pan Chin-lien (Wang Ping). Pan is smitten with Sung and attempts to seduce him, but Sung forcibly rejects her. When her husband returns, she accuses her brother-in-law instead. Wu Ta-lang does not believe her, but Sung nevertheless leaves quietly on a mission to another town.
Tou Kuan (Chang Chan-peng) is a wealthy Kwangtung brat with a good kung fu background, he has only one ambition: to pit his wits against three shady masters of the North. The first, conman Che Tsai (Alexander Fu Sheng). The second, a professional romantic dubbed The Terrific (Nat Chen Pai-chiang). Terrific introduces Tou Kuan to his third rival, Thief Shih San-shou (Wang Yu).
Yu Hsieh-erh, an adept knight, meets robbers Fang Tien-lung and Kuo Tien-yun. He donates all their stolen gold to the victims of a disastrous flood. Soon after he rescues Chiang Ling, sister of the chief knight in Wei Sheng protection order, Chiang Wei. Yu escorts Ling to Huang Tung town to meet her brother. Unfortunately, Ling is abducted by a villainous robber Kung Wu before she meets brother Wei. Yu then confronts Kung, who misleads Yu into thinking he's also a Robin Hood. Kung further enlists Yu's help in their next robbery. Yu senses something wrong and finally discovers Kung and his men are evil. Chiang Ling escapes from Kung's stronghold and hears Yu took part in the robbery. She refuses to believe it and goes in search of Yu. When she finds him, Yu admits his guilt; explaining he's been tricked, he promises to retrieve the loot. Yu slays 5 chief bandits in Kung's hideout. Kung, meanwhile, is selling the loot to the Poisonous Dragon Gang in the woods. When the Dragon men try to get rid of Kung, he kills them. When Yu arrives, he slays Kung but is himself mortally wounded. After handing back the treasure to Chiang Ling, who arrives with her brother, Yu dies.