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.
This intriguing effort has more than a touch of both westerns and detective films in the martial arts mix. It lives up to its title as a noble guard is both attacked by bandits as well as betrayed by a relative. Then it's nephew against uncle, daughter against father, concubine against hero, and the law vs. vigilante justice before the last plot is exposed and the lovers are able to ride off into the sunset...
One of Shaw's darlings of the screen, Lily Ho (Casino, The Water Margin) gives a heart-warming performance as Chef-chi, in this Cinderella comedy and romance. At a party, Chef falls in love with the son (Lin Feng) of a rich man that her father (Cheng Chun-mien, Hong Kong's answer to Elvis Presley) works as a chauffeur for. Being from such a poor family, Chef can't reveal who she is or what her father does for a living. Her father is furious that she has fallen for the boss' boy; does she have no class conscience? Mayhem, drama and a run of hilarious circumstances ensue. This asks us, can love truly cross class boundaries?
Stephen Fung stars in this Japanese horror piece. Tamotsu (Fung) dies in a skiing accident and his room mate Yoshio marries his wife, as well as "inherits" his entire fortune. At Tamotsu's funeral, Yoshio sees a badly disfigured old man and that is only the beginning of an evil downfall for him. Face To Face has a finale that ends unexpectedly...
Stephen Fung, Misaki Ito , Shosuke Tanihara , Natsuo Ishidou
The "Venoms" are back in action in this thriller of Shaolin versus corrupt Ching soldiers... with the help of the Lama, Black Tiger, and Mantis clans... headquartered at a pugilism school, a dyeing mill, and a beancurd shop. The five men director Chang Cheh made famous in more than a dozen similar high-flying, blood-splattered adventures (starting with The Five Venoms) are all here. There’s the Taiwanese Opera artist Kuo Chue, his fellow light-skill acrobat Chiang Sheng, the evil Lu Feng, the Chinese muscleman Lo Meng, and Korean kicker Sun Chien, whose skills are specially spotlighted in this production. Together they create another wonderfully fun kung-fu showcase, filled with show-stopping sequences of martial arts expertise.
A disguised and mysterious female thief has been committing crimes across the city and a police woman is determined to track her down. The temptress' impersonation skills fool even the officer's loving boyfriend. The surprise ending will blow you away!
In a rare reversal of typecasting, Shaw Brothers' perennial bad guy Lo Lieh breaks tradition to play the honorable and noble swordsman in The Swift Knight. Similar to Danny Kaye's The Court Jester without the jest, it's tale of brave knights, chivalry and fair maidens where the Swift Knight (Lo Lieh) finds himself involved in romance, court intrigue and deadly jousts while trying to protect a baby who is the Emperor's secret heir apparent.
Lo Lieh, Margaret Hsing Hui, Huang Tsung-hsing, Chin Han
Pan Lei, winner the China Literary Award for three consecutive years, wrote and directed this film about the lives and loves of a fishing village. It starred the glorious Cheng Pei-pei in her first film as a woman (she had debuted in a man’s role), and her much-lauded performance won her the prestigious Golden Accolade Award from the International Association Of Independent Producers a first for any Asian woman.
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
The roguish scamp Zhen and his best friend Chia collects proof of corruption from the officials in this comedy-drama. After a string of blackmailing, they end up in positions of power, but what is to happen next?
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.
Based on a novel by the great Eileen Chang and directed by the equally acclaimed Ann Hui, this sad but beautiful romance story sets during the World War II, where dreams of riches and love are shattered by reality.
Liu Chia-liang is arguably the best martial arts film director of traditional style kung-fu action and was a pioneer in focusing on authentic martial arts techniques and training procedures in his films. This is the why stars in his movies looked more like kung-fu experts rather than actors simply going through the motions. So although David Chiang had starred in over 40 films as a martial arts hero, in Shaolin Mantis, where he plays a man who learns martial arts from a praying mantis then seeks revenge for his wife's death, the movie contains some of Chiang's best fight scenes ever. By casting his brothers Liu Chia-yung and Gordon Liu Chia-hui into the mix, Liu further ensures that the pugilistic mayhem will be even more outstanding.
David Chiang, Liu Chia-hui, Lily Li, Huang Hsing-hsiu