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
Wong Jing, who is now considered one of the leading lights in Hong Kong cinema, wrote, directed, and co-starred in this Asian-accented Cinderella story starring the glorious Maggie Cheung Man-yuk as a TV actress who inadvertently buys a shoe with a stolen diamond secreted in it. That makes her the target of the two bumbling thieves, as well as a bunch of greedy killers. After action, laughs, and romance, it, of course, turns out that she lives happily ever after…!
Wang Jing, Chan Pak-cheung, Maggie Cheung, Wang Yu
After a remarkable career helming such diverse cult favorites as THE FLYING GUILLOTINE and THE MIGHTY PEKING MAN, trusted director Ho Meng-hua started wrapping up his Shaw Studio career with this memorable kung-fu adventure starring internationally renowned David Chiang. While he was best known for his roles as a grinning, streetwise, fighter in many Chang Cheh - directed classics, David Chiang rarely played a noble warrior monk, making this production all the more notable. Here he portrays the great Chih Shim, the monk who saved the Southern Shaolin Temple from the Ching Government and traitors alike. Shaw's first international star, Lo Lieh, returns to the role he also made famous - that of Shaolin renegade Pai Mei. Rounding out the superlative action cast is the "first lady of Shaw kung-fu," Lily Li, as one of Monk Chih Shim's best allies. They unite for a true martial arts epic of the first order.
As the names of Chang Cheh and Liu Chia-liang became legendary, all-too-often the name of their equally valued collaborator, Tang Chia, is omitted. That may be, because, unlike the previous pair, the veteran kung-fu choreographer only went on to direct three movies of his own. Of course, that makes this trio all the more special, and this first effort perhaps the most special of all. It may be an eye-filling, mind-bending martial arts tale of two royal princes battling for the rightful recovery of the throne, but it's also a party, where Tang invites two cinematographers, three editors, and no less than five other choreographer friends to almost literally shoot the works. The results are kung-fu configurations not only never seen before, but never even imagined!
Shaw's and TVB's biggest stars join hands in this ensemble cast tale of the woes of falling headfirst into a hunger chase for money and riches. In 1973, the Hong Kong Heng Seng Index hit extraordinary peaks, and people from all walks of life go stock market crazy. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's social problems pile up without anyone paying any attention to what's happening to the crazy lives of this mad city that so many people call home. An ingenious tongue-in-cheek tale from talented director Chu Yuan.
After making superstars of Jimmy Wang Yu, Ti Lung, David Chiang, Chen Kuan-tai, and others, esteemed martial arts movie master Chang Cheh decided it was time to cement the stardom of soon-to-be international favorite Alexander Fu Sheng. This film - following the director's SHAOLIN MARTIAL ARTS, FIVE SHAOLIN MASTERS, and DISCIPLES OF SHAOLIN - was clearly Fu's showcase. Rather than sharing the screen, as he had in the previous Shaolin trio, here he was clearly the sole hero, and took full advantage of that fact. He gives both a great dramatic and martial arts performance as an honorable carriage driver who finds love and death when he comes to the rescue of a girl being harassed by particularly venal, homicidal punks. This fight-filled thriller was made even more special by its introduction of the unusual 'Tsai' 'Li' 'Fu' kung-fu style - for which it had its own separate off-stage instructor (Yen Yat liang).
Alexander Fu Sheng, Jenny Tsang, Wang Lung-wei, Liang Chia-jen
"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.
Tsung Hua and Ching Li fall prey to a lecherous general (Feng Tsui-fan) who rapes and forces the latter to become his concubine. With the help of two street performers (Chen Kuan-tai and Shih Szu) he once helped, Tsung hatches a plot to save his beloved, with deadly consequences.
Ching Li , Tsung Hua , Feng Tsui-fan ,Li Jing,Chen Guan Tai
One of Hong Kong's top action directors of all time, Liu Chia-liang makes a mind-numbing directorial debut in The Spiritual Boxer, which not only quickly established Liu as a genius director but also encouraged other martial art choreographers to take up the directing reigns. It was also the debut film of kung-fu comedienne Wang Yu as the main character, who in reality was part of Liu’s clan of stars that he personally trained for a film career. Its Ghostbusters meets George C. Scott’s The Flim-Flam Man as Wang plays a fake ghost catcher who catches more than he bargained for. With this film, Liu is also credited with introducing comedy in to the kung-fu genre; the pre-cursor for Jackie Chan's kung-fu comedies.
Part horror, part kung-fu, 100% outrageous, HUMAN LANTERS has a special place in the Cult Film Hall of Fame. Some of the biggest stars in Hong Kong martial arts movies enter the twilight zone in this over-the-top bloodfest, with Lo Lieh an insane swordsman who comes up with a unique way to avenge past humiliations. He opens a lantern workshop with the lampshades made from the beautiful hides of his enemies’ sisters, courtesans, and wives. Liu Yung steps down from the Emperor roles that made him famous to play a deliciously evil bad guy, and Chen Kuan-tai matches him in pride and power-lust. Lust of another kind is supplied by Tanny Tien Ni and Linda Chu, two ladies whose beautiful skin proves to be a most unwelcome asset. A rare entry in the horror-kung-fu genre, and one of Hong Kong’s most distinctive action films.
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.
Julie Yeh Feng gets to perform on a melodramatic platform to showcase her versatility in this poignant tearjerker. Yeh plays socialite Pai Li-lan, whose life is disrupted when she contracts severe tuberculosis. It is under harsh, trying circumstances that love unexpectedly blossoms between Li-lan and Chang Chih-ping (Ling Yun), the music teacher of her daughter Chin Shiao-lan (Fung Bo-bo). Unfortunately, the odds are stacked sky-high against their love. Can love essentially be enough to see them through?
This top ten box office hit reunites the star duo from COME DRINK WITH ME in another classic tale of action and intrigue. Cheng Pei-pei (a quarter-century before gaining Hollywood fame as the villainess of CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON) radiates grace and beauty while wielding the deadly "shadow whip." The weapon is almost as major a character as Cheng, implicated as it is in multiple murders, a major heist, and an enigmatic mystery that sets in motion a pursuit by both good and evil knights. Cheng finds herself in the eye of the storm, and whether single-handedly fighting sixteen bandits or avenging her father's brutal end, she demonstrates why she was Hong Kong cinema's number one swordswoman - - and no slouch when it came to the whip!
Cheng Pei-pei, Yueh Hua, Tien Feng, Ku Feng, Wang Hsieh