The "godfather of the kung-fu film", Chang Cheh, hit upon a winning formula when he combined three Taiwanese Opera artists with a muscular Chinese and a Korean kicker. Their first "official" film as stars, THE FIVE VENOMS was a hit, so the director/co-writer decided to launch a series with the same actors in different roles. Supporting this beloved sequel was real-life kung-fu champion Chen Kuan-tai, who Chang Cheh had already made a star. He plays a martial arts master (driven insane by his wife's death and his son's dismemberment), who replaces his child's missing hands with metal versions, then proceeds to blind, deafen, render retarded, and chop off the feet of anyone who even mildly annoys him. The abused bystanders band together and brilliantly train to take their revenge. The result is a totally unbelievable, but totally awesome, super heroic delight.
Chan Kuan-tai, Lu Feng, Kuo Chue, Lo Meng, Sun Chien, Pan Ping-chang
This is widely regarded as one of the most controversial and erotic films in Hong Kong cinema. Chu Yuan helmed this 1972 cult classic featuring Lily Ho in her most audacious role as a beautiful and mysterious courtesan caught in a web of sex and murder with her powerful and ruthless madam (Pei Ti). The film's unprecedented genre crossover of lesbian-themed period thriller with eye-popping martial arts is a real screen gem for generations of movie aficionados.
Lo Wei's reputation was cemented by his being credited as director on both Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan's first major starring roles. But before The Big Boss and New Fist Of Fury, Lo Wei was acting, writing, and directing at Shaw Studios. This, however, was his very last Shaw Brothers film - the fabulous tale of a frostbitten swordswoman out to get her parents' murderers. An audience can only marvel at Li Ching's talent as she struggles to cure her hypothermia in time for the final "snow-down."
Li Ching, Yueh Hua, Chang Chung, Tien Feng, Chiao Chiao, Ku Feng
It's Meng Yuan-wen (star of The Master Strikes) versus Kuan Feng in this wild and wacky wushu saga of a priceless pole with a spectacular secret. A master martial artist's silly disciple struggles to save it from an evil white slaver, the slaver's duplicitous wife, and even his own bone-headed, but greedy, companion. Hsu Hsia choreographs the abundant action, as he had for both Five Superfighters and Drunken Master. The result is both sublime (for its kung-fu) and engagingly ridiculous.
Meng Yuan-wen, Chin Huang, Pan Ping-chang, Kuan Feng
Beloved comedian Yi Lei stars in this horribly amusing 1980 comedy. Yu Nan (Yi Lei) is a compulsive gambler. When his debt collector decides he wants Yu's wife as down payment, a reluctant Yu agrees. But when Yu's wife discovers the trade-off, she leaves him. Yu decides that it's best to kill himself but is stopped when he's offered the hand of a beautiful ghost (Pei Ju-hua) as his new wife...
Although director Chu Yuan's collaboration with famed novelist Ku Lung is the stuff of legend, what is often missed was his titanic teaming with equally respected, equally inspired author Chin Yung – creator of this unforgettable saga. Set during the Yuan Dynasty, it tells the fascinating story of the "Sacred Fire" sect, the Wu Tang swordsmanship clan, the disciples of the O Mei group, The Book of Chu Yang (which can make the reader immortal), and the destruction of Shaolin. And that's just the start of the fascinating intrigues and ingratiating characters found here. Eminent martial arts instructor Tang Chia led a cast of screen idols, lovely starlets, and such veteran kung-fu artists as Lo Lieh on an incredible adventure that ranks as a favorite from Asia to America. And it's just the beginning. Someone is wiping out all of Shaolin and the seven sects. Can they be stopped? Only the sequel knows for sure...
Laughter and action come fast and furious in Doubles Cause Troubles with Dodo Cheng and Maggie Cheung Man-yuk - two of Hong Kong's best actresses - as squabbling cousins who find themselves in over their heads after their tenant ends up dead. The gangsters are after them, the law suspects them, and they still don't know what they've done wrong! As the girls get more confused, they get drawn deeper into trouble. Will they be able to climb out again?
Carol Cheng, Maggie Cheung, Wilson Lam, Chan Pak-cheung
Derek Yee is a magic solar baby sent Earthbound by a benevolent god, raised by an old carpenter, has martial art superpowers and "green kryptonite" loses them during solar eclipses. That's when the evil baby counterpart shows up. Demon-paced martial arts action by Jackie Chan's kung-fu classmates Yuan Pin and Yuen Hua compliments Toho Studio style special optical effects.
The Pure and The Evil begins with two teen girls who are inseparable but ends like Fatal Attraction where guttered sexuality leads to insanity. Rose and Fang were from opposite ends of the spectrum, but nevertheless were close. The refined Fang moves to America but returns years later to see her old buddy Rose who immediately takes an eye to her fiancé. Things quickly digress into erotic deteoriation as Rose's thorns begin to stick in Fang's and her fiancé’s sides.
The Deadly Breaking Sword elevated director Sun Chung to the martial arts directorial rank of Chang Cheh. Starring the incomparable Ti Lung and Jackie Chan's kung-fu comedic rival Alexander Fu Sheng, acclaimed fight choreographer Tang Chia had a field day increasing the stars' venomous fighting appeal. Armed with the "Deadly Breaking Sword" technique, Tuen Cheng-tsin (Ti Lung) joins forces with thief Ko Mun (Alexander Fu Sheng) to defeat an assassin being "acupuncturingly" controlled by the evil Dr. Kuo.