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.
"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.
Connecting all the antics of bosses, monks, beggars, and thieves is the slippery and sinuous efforts of three pickpockets so adept at their chosen skill that they can even trick three beauties of their underwear without missing a step.
Of all the classics maximal martial art moviemaker Liu Chia-liang made, this one really stands out. It is almost more a slapstick comedy than any film he had previously created, and a tailor-made showcase for the "odd couple" skills of international favorite Alexander Fu Sheng and the elegant "Cary Grant of kung-fu" Cheng Shao-chiu (ZU WARRIORS FROM THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN, SHAOLIN AND WUTANG). Their wushu squabbling for supremacy ultimately imperils an incognito emperor, leading to a bang-up battle featuring the participation of both the director's and star's brothers (Gordon Liu Chia-hui, Liu Chia-yung, and Chang Chan-peng). Also in the mix are MY YOUNG AUNTIE Hui Ying-hung, MAD MONKEY KUNG FU Hsiao Hou, and Shaw villain supreme Wang Lung-wei. The result is a sparkling, unexpected family affair from the king of kung-fu filmmakers.
Long before CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON wowed the western world, COME DRINK WITH ME set an entirely new standard for martial arts movies in the Far East. Director King Hu not only broke new ground but set the groundwork for all the action films that followed, including CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON. COME DRINK WITH ME tells the story of a mysterious swordswoman nicknamed "Golden Swallow", and the even more mysterious swordsman, "Beggar". They join forces to free a kidnapped official from a Buddhist monastery run by a corrupt abbot with incredible kung-fu powers. But the real attention-getters are the ingeniously staged action scenes and a cast of characters that looks as cool today as when the film burst upon the cinema scene in 1966.
Thirty year film veteran Yueh Feng cast almost equally experienced heroine Li Li-hua as a swordswoman out to reclaim her murdered husband's "Green Sword" the sharpest blade in the world. Li Ching, a lovely new star, plays the role of Li Li-hua's student, who must take up the fight when her teacher falters. Action fans and art film lovers alike will appreciate this "woman warrior" epic, which premiered more than thirty years before the Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon resurrected the same themes.
Li Li-hua, Li Ching, Chiao Chuang, Wu Ma, Chen Hung-lieh
Li Ching plays, Ah Chiao, a girl from a rural village stranded in the city, who befriends a kind-hearted tramp and a retired actor. They are all poor, but Ah Chiao’s fortune change for the better when she becomes a singer. However, she ultimately learns money can't buy happiness.
The most prolific kung-fu director in Hong Kong martial arts cinema, Chang Cheh, ushered in a new phase of his career and a new generation of action stars with THE FIVE VENOMS. The setting is ancient China's School of Five Venoms, so named for its five types of kung-fu based on five venomous animals: centipede, scorpion, serpent, toad, and lizard. The school is notorious for the evil deeds of its disciples, leading to another classic battle between righteousness and depravity. THIS INTERNATIONAL HIT, LAUDED IN RIC MEYERS' PREMIERE, GROUNDBREAKING BOOK MARTIAL ARTS MOVIES AS ONE OF THE GREATEST, SPAWNED A SERIES FEATURING THE SAME ACTORS IN NEW ROLES WHICH WAS ALSO ENJOYED FROM AMERICA TO ASIA.
Kuo Chue, Sun Chien, Chiang Sheng, Lo Meng, Lu Feng
Director Wong Jing is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of the gambling genre films, and now Shaw Showcase brings to you one of his earliest blockbusters from two decades ago. Starring genre icon Shih Hsien with the stellar cast of Wang Yu, Huang Chin-sang, Chen Kuan-tai and Huang Hsing-hsiu. Embedded with Japanese spies, Shanghai tycoons, beautiful starlets, and enough twists and turns on the gambling table, Challenge Of The Gamesters promises to deliver superb entertainment.
Wang Yu, Huang Chin-sang, Shih Hsien, Chen Kuan-tai, Huang Hsing-hsiu
Pao Hsueh-li, the trusted co-director for several of Chang Cheh’s most memorable productions (including THE WATER MARGIN), here creates one of his own. It features a brother who loves books and a sister who loves swords taking on men-haters, women-haters, and even monsters. The yellow-robed warrior, the Red Python, a sinuous snake-charmer, and a silk-masked beauty (who must kill or wed the first man to see her face) are just some of the fascinating characters these siblings must face before they bring peace to their battle-addled family. The versatile actor Danny Lee, future star of John Woo’s THE KILLER, stars as the brother, while the striking Tanny Tien Ni, is the sister in this familial fight fest. Respected kung-fu choreographers Tang Chia and Huang Pei-chi controlled the swordplay and even the feared "moonlight blow" in this special, cliché-smashing production.
King of tension, Sun Chung directs this insightful melodrama into the hopes of young 1970s kids for love and romance, and rarely for a Hong Kong film, sex! In order to escape from her mother fiddling in her love life, young office worker, Li Mingli (Lin Chen-chi) moves away from home to live on her own. Now independent, she falls in love with novelist, Gu Nongfeng (Tsung Hua) and moves in with him. But all's not smooth sailing in a city where free love and illicit affairs are frowned upon, and rebellion is just not done!