Whenever director Chang Cheh teamed up with Five Venoms, film plots were probably decided by flipping a coin - which of the fab five will play the good or bad guys, who lives or dies and which ones will do the fight. The Daredevils was just another example of Shaw Brothers’ sure fire formula to success: Venoms + Chang Cheh = maniacal frenzy x infinity. Of note, the only venom to make it in Hollywood was Kuo Chue, who choreographed the French film Brotherhood Of The Wolf and Michelle Yeoh's The Touch.
After several years of marriage, Prof. Wu Te-sheng (Alex Man Chi-leung) and his wife Wan Chun (Patricia Ha Man-jik) decide to have children. Then a medical examination shows Wu is the cause of the couple's infertility, and Wu reluctantly adopts his doctor's advice to have his wife artificially inseminated in Hawaii.
Jimmy Wang Yu had become a star in 1965's TEMPLE OF THE RED LOTUS. He became a superstar in 1967's ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN and 1968's GOLDEN SWALLOW. But this was his first fully realized personal kung-fu vision. Jimmy Wang Yu wrote, directed and starred in this classic favorite as the Chinese kung-fu superman, years before Bruce Lee would become famous for the same themes. He plays the famous Lei Ming, a noble young martial arts student who doesn't know the meaning of giving up. He faces a treacherous, blood-thirsty Japanese karate expert, played, of all people, by Lo Lieh (who was to become The Shaws' first international star in THE KING BOXER just months later). Featuring unforgettable training sequences and many fights, this box office smash would lead to a career unparalleled in its eccentricity and excitement.
Wang Yu, Lo Lieh, Wang Ping, Chao Hsiung, Cheng Lei
Stephen Chow's special brand of very modern, very Hong Kong screwball comedy entered a new phase with JUSTICE, MY FOOT!, a costume farce set in imperial China. Chow is a shyster with an equally eccentric kung-fu ace of a wife, hilariously played by Anita Mui Yim-fong. Accompanied by Chow's number one screen sidekick, Ng Man-tat, he manages to bring justice to the court and laughter to the viewer. A resounding success, JUSTICE, MY FOOT! broke box office records to become the number hit of 1992. And it's no wonder, what with skillful direction by Johnnie To and a visual sheen provided by Peter Pao, who a few years later would become the first Chinese to win a Best Cinematography Oscar for CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.
Stephen Chow, Anita Mui, Zhu MiMi, Ng Man-tat, Carrie Ng
It's rare in any film industry that Part III of a classic has the same "umph!" as it's predecessors, but when you get legendary director Chang Cheh to return for a third time to helm much of the original terrific cast that includes Alexander Fu Sheng, Ti Lung and several of the "Five Venoms," it's just a masterpiece waiting to happen...again. And it does. Based on a classic kung-fu novel, The Brave Archer 3 delivers at all levels; mystery, magic, plot twists and of course brilliant martial arts action that has always been one of Shaw Brothers' calling cards of success. Chang's heroes live for death while wrapping themselves in their own universe, and at the right time, will altruistically explode. That's what makes this film a blast.
The 18th century reign of Emperor Chien Lung has proven to be a treasure trove for Hong Kong filmmakers, and director Li Han-Hsiang, the acknowledged master of the costume drama, made a series of four blockbusters about the dashing young swashbuckler's exploits. The scenario won the Best Adapted Screenplay Award at the 1979 Golden Horse Awards, and told of the monarch's incognito journey from Beijing to southern China... and imperial mayhem that ensues!
The traditional lion dance has never looked so good as in Lion VS Lion which captures the most impressive sequences of lion dancing on film. Besides being loaded with enjoyable martial arts chicanery, film historians can revel because it's also the first film that clearly demonstrates the intricacies and differences between the traditional Northern and Southern lion dancing techniques. The Five Venom alumnus and Chang Cheh discovery, Lo Meng, teams up with Liu Chia-liang protege Wang Yu, as they inadvertently turn from vagabond kung-fu school operators into anti-Ching, patriotic fighters.
Wang Yu, Chien Yuen-sheng, Wang Lung-wei, Lo Meng, Yang Pan-pan
Cherie Chung Cho-hung, one of Shaw Brothers' most glamorous stars of the 80s has never been better showcased than this romantic vehicle. As a Flashdance-style teacher caught in a love triangle, Chung is radiant and erotic - especially in the steamy love scenes with Tony Leung Kar-fai.
It's a no-holds-barred battle to the death for possession of the invaluable Purple Sword. Assistant director Wang Po-yi also wrote this entertaining and exciting adventure which could have also been called "The Five Tigers" since there's no doubt that this quintet is the highlight of the action. Huang Tsung-shun is "Fierce Tiger," Hung Liu is "Drunk Tiger," Hsu Erh-niu is "Lame Tiger," award-winning actor Ku Feng is "One-eyed Tiger" and respected director/actor Wu Ma is "Sick Tiger" in a tangle of tussles and thrills.
Chang I, Chen Hung-lieh, Shu Pei-pei, Essie Lin Chia
This glorious pageantry was awarded Honourable Mention for Drama at the 2nd Golden Horse Awards. Li Li-hua gives a magnificent performance as Wu Tse-tien, the most famous woman in China's more than four thousand year history. The screen fairly bursts with royalty, intrigue, tragedy, and triumph as the script charts her from her teenage years to old age.
Li Li-hua, Chao Lei, Chiao Chuang, Lo Chi, Yu Feng-chi
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
Nicknamed the "Baby Queen", Li Ching plays a 17-year old schoolgirl who marries her 35-year-old teacher. Comedy ensues when Li decides to go to the same school with her husband while attempting to keep their relationship a secret. When both of them discover there are unwanted suitors after their other halves, jealousy would threaten to expose their marriage at any minute.
Yeh Yung-tsu only directed a precious few films, making each all the more distinguished. This is one of his first, a sword-filled thriller centering on the title location - an inn where the down and dirty meet to plot nefarious doings. Award winning actor Ku Feng stars as the "Whip Devil," while the luminous and lethal Shih Szu plays "The Lady Hermit" who has a surprise in store for all the double-crossing masters of mayhem.