I am forever indebted to the Shaw Brothers for discovering Wang Yu, Ti Lung and
Fu Sheng, the three delights of my youth. I just wish they'd release
their catalogue to video so I could stop living with n-gen boots of
my favorite movies. Anyhow, the Shaws are best known for their period
piece fighting films and no one has ever come close to doing it as
well. Now, many women dislike kick flicks but that just tells me that
they are not looking at the right ones. Cuteness factor is raised by
the adorable historical hairstyles (almost no one looks bad in a top
knot), the excellent shape those martial arts boys are in and the wealth of excellent fabrics in which they are encased. Remember, good packaging is half the battle!
Now a days there aren't too many of these except for the Tsui Hark wire fests. Even so, they are still my favorite type of movie.
And in no particular order right now...
Duel of the Iron Fist: Ti Lung, David
Precursor to the triad movie. Ti Lung is the youngest son of a local gang leader. When mayhem erupts someone has to take the rap. Ti Lung goes into hiding but his father's evil assistant destroys his brother and the clan. He teams up with a hired killer to get revenge.
The highlights are: This is among my favorites. I just wish I could find one in
cantonese, the english dub is _awful_. Ti Lung is a mere child in
this movie and he spends most of it without his shirt. This is all
the better to show off his cool tatoos. In the finale he is wet, in
silk pants and no shirt. Someone at Shaw was reading my mind.
Iron Chain Assassin: Ti Lung, Pai Pao
A man is wrongly convicted of smuggling and kills the person whoo he thinks framed him. When he gets out of jail he wreaks revenge on the gang who framed him, ultimately trying to eliminate its leader. But just who is the leader?
The highlights are: When the lady killer tries to get Ti Lung to wash her back (hell I
know I would) and when he drops into that split during the fight in
the dark building. Excellent. For the Pai Pao fans, they have poured
him into a pair of white pants that leave little to the imagination.
Iron Fingers of Death: Ti Lung, Er Tung Sheng/Derrick Yee
The Emperors eldest two sons escape slaughter. One is raised by the Three Holy Fools at Shaolin and the other is raised by the Prime Minister and prepped for revenge. The two meet, not knowing their relationship and become friends. The bad guys, headed by the evil 9th Prince track them down and try to kill them. They don't.
The highlights are: Ti Lung is working his hair for every inch. He
plays the cute nerd for every bit he can get. I get the strange
feeling that he's not acting here. Er Tung Sheng is looking serious and
princely but quite decorative. But then topknots do raise the
Delightful Forest:Ti Lung
Woo Sung is a great fighter and when he's captured he is asked in prison if he will assist in the capture of an evil bandit. He agrees and knocks the crap out of said bandit. However, said bandit has friends in high places. They frame Woo Sung and try to send him back to jail. Woo Sung ain't havin it.
The highlights are: Boy what I wouldn't do to get a good copy of this. Ti Lung in the
tub with a 5 o'clock shadow and a topknot. Excellent fights, excellent costumes
and mugging abound. One of the few times you get to see Ti Lung walk
and he can definitely go for some fries with that shake...
Duel of Fists: Ti Lung, David Chiang
A nice story about the dangers of the fight game. Fan Kay is sent to look for his illegetimate brother in Thailand. Wen Lai is a boxer trying to make it. They hit it off and only later realize they are brothers. Together they defeat the evil gang boss and leave for Hong Kong.
The highlights are: A delightful young Ti Lung in small blue
satin shorts. Then he gets sweaty in them. Oh boy! The bad 70's
clothes are also a high point; polyester skin tights do have their
place when on the right behind.
Angry Guest/Kung Fu Killers: Ti Lung
Sequel to Duel of Fists. Some of the associates of the previous film's bad guys come to Hong Kong for revenge. They steal Wen Lai's girlfriend but he and Fan Kay rescue her from Japan. There's a final showdown at a construction site.
The highlights are: Ti Lung in skin tight sweats. Ti Lung in
skin tight 70's polyester. Yasuagi Kurata in skintight polyester. I never thought I would sing the praises
of doubleknit but here it is put to excellent use.
Triple Irons: Ti Lung, David Chiang
This is a remake of Wang Yu's One Armed Swordsman. A lovely tale of honor and revenge. David Chiang is the hero in hiding. Ti Lung is the roving swordsman who helps him face his demons and destroy the man who crippled him.
The highlights are: This is one of the ones where
David and Ti Lung stare at each other strangely. Whether or not its
intentional, these two look at each other like they are a bit more
than friends. Here Ti Lung is smiling and in a top knot. Even David is cute in a topknot.
Deadly Duo: David Chiang, Ti Lung
Ti Lung is the leader of rebellious patriots. David Chiang is the guy they enlist to rescue the exiled Prince. They rescue the prince but not everyone escapes.
The highlights are: The sneak entrance into the enemy camp is my favorite. Tied up, no
shirt and leather pants, oh my. An extra large fries to go with that
Opium and the Kung Fu Master: Ti Lung,
Chen Quan Tai
Ti Lung is the local martial arts hero. He seems to be on top of things but when he foils a rival martial artist's plans, he loses the ensuing challange because of his opium addiction. He beats that addiction to take revenge for his student and to redeem himself in front of the townspeople.
The highlights are: Elegant over robes for everyone and I love the way Ti Lung works
that braid. Chen Quan-tai looks marvelously evil in this.
Warrior's Tragedy 1&2: Ti Lung
Fu the destroyer is set upon killing his mother's enemies. Not much gets in his way. But then the question comes up, who is his mother and who are her enemies? It may not be who he thinks they are.
The highlights are: Ooohh baby. Bad hair, a limp and a Machete. Don't stand in his
way... His fights are beautiful and his tragic love affair is just
beautiful. He is just beautiful, especially when he smiles...The
hired killer has lovely dimples as well.
Five Masters of Death: Ti Lung, Fu
Sheng, David Chiang
Five Shaolin men who escaped the temple's destruction travel the country to get recruits to fight the usurpers.
The highlights are: Not enough Ti Lung, but instead you get more Fu Sheng. He is so
cute you can eat him up. A lovely well built boy who removes his
shirt for a goodly portion of the movie. Ti Lung has a lovely white
vest which shows off his magnificent chest and he fights in the water
Avenging Eagles: Ti Lung, Fu Sheng
Ti Lung as the bandit who through human kindness has changed his ways...Well somewhat, he still wants to kill the leader of his old troupe and then die at the hands of the man who's wife he was forced to kill. Sometimes your enemies are your friends..
The highlights are: The yum factor is over the top here. Ti Lung looks the most
scrumptious ever in the costumes for this movie. Fu Sheng is equally
well clad. These two have a marvelous chemistry and its so cute to
watch them squabble through the movie.
5 Deadly Venoms: Kuo Chue, Chiang Sheng, Lo Mang, Sun Chien, Lu Feng, Wei Pai
The old master is dying and he sends out his last student to check up on the previous students. The problem is he doesn't know their real identities. Eventually the good guys band together and the bad guys band together for the final showdown over the old master's treasure. There's an interesting comment on the judicial system as well.
The highlights are: Something for everyone here. Lizard is absolutely beautiful. He
has one of the most beautifully sculpted bodies ever. Chiang Sheng is
sweet as the student. The under rated Wei Pai is most decorative as
Snake. He certainly fills out that white satin outfit to perfection.
Lo Mang muscles his way around.
Crippled Avengers: Kuo Chue, Chiang Sheng, Lo Mang, Sun Chien, Lu Feng, Chen Quan tai
Tuo tin to is attacked by his enemies but as he is not there, they maim his family. This trips him over the edge. He and his son start a regin of bitter terror over their town. He blinds one man, cuts the legs off another and strikes on deaf and dumb. A good hearted martial artist sees this and while attempting to avenge these losses, he is made brain damaged. Fortunately there is a letter on this guy and the others return him to his master, who then teaches them Kung Fu. They return to face Tuo and his son.
The highlights are: Kuo Chue as the blind man, well his white training outfit is
delightful. For the Muscle fans, Lo Mang is shown off well in his
training outfit. Chen Quan tai is looking elegant as the villain.
Those two grey streaks suit him fine.
Snake in the Eagles Shadow: Jackie Chan
Jackie is the slow ward of a local kung fu master. While the master is out of town at a tournament, the idiot under teachers treat him cruelly. Everyone thinks he can't learn kung fu except for an old man who is escaping from a rival master. This old man takes pity on Jackie and teaches him snake style. Then everyone shows up for the final running fight.
The highlights are: So Young and soooo cute. It pains me to watch that sunburn spread
over than oh so white skin of his. He is working that cuteness for
every inch here. A personal favorite.
Heroic One/Inheritor of Kung Fu: Ti Lung
Ti Lung is the good guy who falls in love with the tough chick but his master hates her. Fortunately they continually run into each other and after she saves his life (yet again) and he sees his master for what he is, they battle the evil guys and triumph together.
The highlights are: Ti Lung is doing the cute nerd thing here. He's looking mighty
sweet in those manchurian clothes. I love his expression when the
swordswoman keeps saving him. I especially like the part where he is
Return of the One Armed Swordsman: Wang
Yu, Ti Lung, David Chiang
Jimmy as the famous 1 armed Swordsman goes to the tournament to foil an evil plan.
The highlights are: As much as I hate to admit it, Jimmy is very cute in this. Ti Lung
has a small spot in what I think must be his first film. Oh baby is
he fine in that white vest. He looks barely teenaged but must have
been in his early 20's.
New Fists of Fury: Jackie Chan
There is a plot, sort of, but don't bother with it.
The highlights are: The only reason to see this is to see Jackie as the most adorable
teenager in HK. Fast forward past the spots he is not in. If anyone
tells you they are watching it for other than the vivid shot of
Jackie's lily white behind, they are lying...
Masked Avengers: Kuo Chue, Chiang Sheng, Lo Mang, Sun Chien, Lu Feng, Chin siu ho
Kuo Chue is a gang boss in hiding. Unfortunately his gang wants him back. He befriends one of the cops sent to eradicate the gang and goes on to destroy them.
The highlights are: Kuo Chue and Chin Siu ho become friends in this. Fortunately this
means they are almost always on the screen. Chen is adorable with
that wicked little smile and pouty lip thing. Kuo is poured into his
outfits. Very good scenery.
Moon Warriors: Andy Lau, Kenny Bee
Andy befriends the prince and helps him defeat his evil sibling.
The highlights are: Andy in a topknot, mugging. Nuff said
Drunken Master 2: Ti Lung, Jackie Chan,
Andy Lau, Ken Lo, Chin Kar lok
Wong Fei hung trys to stop being naughty long enough to stop the evil guys from ransacking China's antiques and from being just generally nasty creeps. His poor father.
The highlights are: In some scenes there is simply too much to look at. Andy Lau in a
cute little uniform makes a cameo. Jackie is hanging from a gate
wearing only a banner...Ti Lung in elegant clothes. Ken Lo in tight
pants so he can kick over everyone's head. Chin fills in those rare
gaps where the others are not shown.
Spearmen of Death/Flagmen of Death: Kuo Chue, Chiang Sheng, Lo Mang, Sun Chien, Lu Feng
Kuo Chue is in hiding. Unfortunately his gang wants him back. He befriends one of the cops sent to eradicate the gang and goes on to destroy them.
The highlights are: Kuo Chue is again poured into interesting little outfits. He and
Chiang Sheng stare at each other a lot.
Eagle Snake Fist: Jackie Chan
Typical tale of vengence against the evil Japanese.
The highlights are: Very old and really boring, but Jackie is no more than 17 in this
and has a crewcut. The shot of him waggling his butt in the screen is
worth the ticket.
The Pirate: Ti Lung, David Chiang
Robin Hood on the south china sea. Ti Lung is Robin Hood. David Chiang is his noble adversary. They like each other too much for David to arrest him.
The highlights are: The whole opening consists of wet boys in shorts. Watch carefully
in the scene in the hold where the hole in the boat is being patched.
Wet cotton clings very nicely... And such a wide assortment that it
is clinging to. Ti Lung is most elegant and quite young.
Fong Sai Yuk: Jet Li
Jet li is the cute but naughty son eventually helps his father with his revolutionary activities.
The highlights are: Jet Li is too cute to stand here. Much better than the scowling ultra
heroes he usually plays. He is quite charming and sweet in this. He
and Josephine Siao Fong fong play off of one another perfectly.
Spiritual Kung Fu: Jackie Chan
Jackie is a naughty student at the Shaolin temple who finds the secret book of the 5 animals style and defeats the bad guy to win the girl.
The highlights are: Jackie spends most of his time mugging and without a shirt. Well
worth it for that. When he pees on the ghosts it is too funny to
Enter the Dragon: Bruce Lee, Yang Tze
Tell me you don't know about Han's Tournament...Bruce is on the track of a drug ring but in the meantime you get to watch the Martial Arts tournament.
The highlights are: Well if you look carefully at the cannon fodder, you will see
billions of current HK stars. Jackie is clearly seen getting his neck
snapped and Sammo is the darling chubby boy Bruce fights in the
beginning. But this is Bruce's show. The culmination of his persona.
Not too shabby in that black track suit and he conveniently loses the
top portion fairly quickly. For the muscle fans, Yang Tze shoulders
his way into many shots.
The Invincible Constable: Wong Chow San
The hero tracks down the missing Imperial Sword, stolen by the Rat gang.
The highlights are: Wong Chow sang in a historical kick flick...He looks darling in
the outfit but the Rat boy steals the show.
Clan of Amazons:Wong Chow San
Forget the plot... Very Slashy though...
In a topknot...sigh. He look good in that historical stuff!
Chinese Odessy: Pandora's Box: Stephen
Imagine Stephen as the Monkey King...Who'd have thought...Two demon sisters and the Gautama Buddah search for the reincarnated Monkey King. Part of the Journey to the West.
The highlights are: The scene
where they are wearing what they think to be paper charms of
invisiblity is to die for. Stephen is quite fetching in his paper bow
tie and little else. I am convinced that all men should be clad in
Chinese Odessy: Cinderella: Stephen
The Monkey King faces himself and comes to his true fate.
The highlights are: The cute wedding scene, Ng Man Tat as Pigsey, Stephen and Athena Chu on the parapets staring down each other.
Thief of Time: Stephen Chow Sing-chi,
Andy Lau Tak-wah
A relic called the Holy Child takes our three heroes through time. Each time is actually a spoof of a famous TVB historical soap opera.
The highlights are: A funny movie even if you have no idea which TVB soaps are being
spoofed. Andy is yummy in his topknot and historical outfit. Stephen
is yummy in his. Lo Mang is in the very beginning as a Tibetan Monk and looks wonderful for his age. The best part is the end where they show the
outtakes and bits of the original soaps...boy are they young!
Sword of Many Loves: Lai Ming
Leon as the dorky hero. He falls for the girl he can't have and the girl he can have falls for him. Obviously no one is happy.
The highlights are: Leon sucking the malt sugar of that lucky girl's fingers. The best line ever in a movie..."Hey! You're not supposed to like her!...You're supposed to stay here and be my sex slave!"
Hail the Judge: Chow Sing Chi, Ng Man Tat
Stephen is a judge. While trying to help save an innocent woman he is doublecrossed by the bad officials. He escapes to work in a brothel where he learns verbal kung fu from the madam.
The highlights are: Stephen with the bow sleeping in all the bribe money. The Circus leader thinking Stephen is a girl. The clothes are gorgeous.
Justice My Foot: Stephen
Stephen is a corrupt, short Lawyer. His wife is a Kung Fu Master. They come to the aid of an abandoned pregnant woman and get into all sorts of trouble.
The highlights are: The platform shoe scene is hilarious. He looks absolutely adorable in the historical clothes.
Shanghai 13: Ti Lung, Beardie, Andy Lau, David Chiang, Wang Yu and pretty much the whole of the Shaw Brothers studio.
Get the General and the secret papers out of the country before the bad guys get him.
The highlights are: Someone must have been bored...This is non stop fighting but how wonderful it is. Wang Yu is the safecracker. The glasses were it. Beardie looks mighty fine in those clamdiggers and disco shirt. I almost fainted when Andy Lau fliped in. He's about 30 pounds heavier than he is now and what an improvement. If he put that back on, I'd even be a screaming fan... Ti Lung , well, can I be that pipe?
Kung Fu Kid: Chin Kar Lok, Lam Ching Ying.
Another interpretation of the Fong Sai Yuk Story.
The highlights are: Chin Kar Lok is adorable. He was doing his best Fu Sheng impression in the beginning but settles down later on. He is luscious with that long queue. I am hoping that was his butt in the bathing shot but you never can tell. Lam Ching Ying is a joy to watch. His hands are just too delicate to believe. Lots of mugging.
Royal Tramp: Stephen
A storyteller rises to be the Emperor's right hand.
The highlights are: If I ever see him in that tiger hat in person, I will not be responsible for what happens... He looks absolutely adorable in the historical clothes. Chingmy Yau rapes him and he cries... My head exploded.
Young Master: Jackie Chan, Wei Pai, Yuen Biao
A tale of friendship.
The highlights are: Wei Pai sweaty and shirtless, Jackie Chan buck nekkid!!!, Yuen Biao young and cute with bad hair. Something for everyone.
Operation Scorpio: Chin Kar Lok, Liu Chia Liang
Unfocused boy finds help from a mentor.
The highlights are: Chin Kar Lok is completely faceless. He looks good in the body building attire. He looks good in the traditional clothes. He is so cute you could eat him alive.
Fist of Fury 1991 II: Stephen Chow Sing Chi, Kenny Bee, Josephine Siao Fong Fong
The second of the series. Martial Arts mainlander escapes his enemies for a short time and traines in the secret arts with the mother of his friend.
The highlights are: Sing jai is soooooo yummy in this. He is nekkid in the shower. He is blushingly trying to fool Josephine by pretending to seduce her. The fights are fun. Kenny Bee has a lovely six pack going on here.