How far would you go for love? Or lust? These are the questions posed in this sinfully entertaining Sung Dynasty period effort. Split into two tales, the first one involves a devilish magistrate who tries to tempt a Buddhist monk out of his self-professed celibate control by hiring a pretty prostitute. The second story is the tragic tale of an exploited young girl, the queen of femme fatale Shaw Yin-yin, who is forced to work in an unscrupulous couple's brothel.
Liang Jia-jen delivers an awesome display of screen presence and martial art prowess in Secret Service Of The Imperial Court where he plays secret service agent Chao Pu-fun, who must rise up above the odds to protect the innocent against a power-crazy Eunuch (Liu Yung).
Kung-fu and drama merge in this unusually poignant and popular action film from the golden age of martial arts. Lo Lieh is given one of his most memorable roles as a tough gas station attendant who plots to kidnap his boss's son, only to find himself and his girlfriend (Hu Chin) enmeshed in a web of greed and murder from which it is impossible to break free.
Lo Lieh, Hu Chin, Liu Wu-chi, Tung Lin, Lin Wei-tu
It all started with THE FIVE VENOMS, the internationally loved kung-fu thriller which introduced director Chang Cheh's recurring cast of martial arts masters. It continued through more than a dozen high-flying, bloody good entertainments featuring the same action actors in pairs, trios, quartets, and, most memorably, quintets. While this is considered the last official "Venoms" movie, what a film it is. The title does not lie: an evil prince has secreted stolen imperial treasures in a building that practically bristles with booby-trapped blades. Bodies are pierced, limbs are cut off, and there's one plasma-spurting attack after another as heroes and rogues alike try to solve the secrets of the hell house. The core Venoms themselves choreograph the gory fun in this fond farewell to their worldwide film series sensation.
Lu Feng, Wang Li, Lung Hien-Chiang, Chien Hsiao-Hou
The young Chen Chi-chin (Liu Yung) loses heavily to experienced gambler Hu Kuan-ten (Lo Lieh). His father loses at cards and dies of shock. Chen appeals to his uncle who summons seven fellow professional gamblers to carry out vengeance. Much more than a gambling film, this is a thrilling melting pot of martial arts stars, extortion, illicit love, poker-face vengeance, and all sorts of edge-of-your-seat gambling duels. Featuring two of the leading action stars of the era, Chen Kuen-tai and Lo Lieh, in a series of intense poker game standoffs. Famed director of the genre, Wong Jing, also has a guest appearance as one of the Notorious Eight.
Liu Yung, Chen Kuan-tai, Wong Jing, Lo Lieh, Linda Chu
In the vein of Romeo and Juliet Hong style, the small ensembled cast and little known director Michihko do a big league job with their rendition of Romeo and Juliet in this film. Although poor boy (Derek Erh Tung-sheng) and rich girl (Yu An-an) are from opposite ends of the spectrum, their undying love refuses to let anyone get in their way, including their parents.
This is one of writer/director Shen Chiang's last films, but it's an incredible action-packed adventure of a female Lone Ranger, decades before Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon made feminist-empowerment kung-fu films an international phenomenon. The wonderful Shih Szu is the title character, with Shaw Brothers' first international star, Lo Lieh, joining her as an adoring associate. Together they track down the dirty deeds and duplicity of a raping and robbing masked bandit, before, literally, riding off toward their next adventure!
Respected veteran director Li Han-hsiang capped it all off with this fascinating period drama of royal intrigue. Li Kun plays the ingenious Lord Liu, whose intelligence is envied by the Emperor (Liu Yung).
This internationally popular tale of a brother and sister, seeking vengeance for the death of their parents through using the mythical yin/yang Holy Flame kung-fu technique. It's an outstanding epic choreographed and co-starring lead "Venom" Kuo Chue (aka. Philip Kwok).
Liu Hsueh-hua, Max Mok, Pai Piao, Kuo Chui, Weng Tsing-tsing
A benevolent and kind Emperor, Chien Lung (Anthony Lau) sometimes goes incognito to mix with the common folk to understand the wants and needs of his followers. To achieve that goal, Chien Lung turns to gambling and meets high-kicking Li Pao (Wai Ying-hung), who tears her way through casino goons like a true kung-fu princess! The Emperor gets arrested and is nearly beheaded… but there is the fact that he is the Emperor!
Master of the "brotherhood" films, award winning director Chang Cheh has always had a good eye for martial art talent and in INVINCIBLE SHAOLIN he re-introduces what was to become known as the THE FIVE VENOMS to the world of heroic bloodshed. Chang intelligently weaves a mythical tale of treachery centered around the historic attempts of the Ching Dynasty trying to destroy the Shaolin Monasteries. It's a story of misunderstanding, revenge and doomed heroes who finally realize their error in judgment through the sanctity of their martial arts. The various fighting styles used are choreographed with such amazing precision and insanity, that it's hard to believe that all this psychotic stylish action was shot and made up as they went along. It's marvelous to behold.
Acclaimed director Ho Meng-hua tackles fantasy in The Human Goddess, a genre bending film that features a love story between an alluring female fairy, played by the real life sexy goddess Li Ching, who seeks love in the world of mortal men and finds it in a man who takes care of an orphanage. Ho was one of the first directors to give Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung their first breaks as extras in his early martial arts films.
Pao Hseuh-li started his film career as a cinematographer, beautifully lensing such important films as Golden Swallow. This was one of his films as director. Lo Lieh, soon to be Shaw Brothers' first international star, stars as Sung Dynasty patriot Chin Liang, who runs afoul of a corrupt and ambitious ex-friend. To avenge the villains' treachery, he must make an oath of death, purposely maiming himself to accomplish his ultimate triumph.
One of Shaw Brothers' highly successful film series based on the classic Chinese novel Journey To The West, this takes up where The Monkey Goes West, Princess Iron Fan, and The Cave Of The Silken Web left off. The Monk, Monkey and Pigsy find themselves in the title realm, where women can only give birth to women, unless loved by a man...