Saturday, 17 September 2011

12 HONG KONG KUNG FU MOVIES THAT KICK IT...HARD!!! (Part 2)



Reantimator's back with 3 more AMAZING traditional-style Kung Fu films from Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and Chang Cheh in his rundown of 12 quality examples of martial movie making...Enjoy!


FEARLESS HYENA

 

Here we have the first entry from Jackie Chan in our list of 12 and, as it happens, this was his first attempt at directing (assisted by Kenneth Tsang, the A Better Tomorrow actor, who would face Jackie later in his career as his nemesis in Police Story 3: Super Cop)...and what a first attempt it is!

This was Chan's last full movie whilst under contract to Lo Wei, director of Bruce Lee's The Big Boss
and Fist of Fury, as well as New Fist of Fury - the second of  Jackie's 10 Lo Wei-associated productions. That list of 10 doesn't include the exploitative Fearless Hyena sequel - shambolically put together when Jackie left Lo Wei's company for the future behemoth: Golden Harvest - which used various doubles to replace Jackie, and assorted outtakes from the original movie.

Plot-wise, Fearless Hyena is standard fare. A young country bumpkin (Jackie) who lives and trains in Kung Fu with his grandfather (played brilliantly by James Tien) makes a nuisance of himself by getting in martial challenges with all 'n' sundry, even though he's been told to keep his martial arts prowess secret.

When news of this young tyke's exploits brings him to the attention of some old family enemies, it leads to tragedy...and to some great training sequences and fight scenes that REALLY put Jackie on the map.

Please get hold of this film - or Jackie will get 'Emotional'!!!

IMDB

DISCIPLES OF SHAOLIN

 

It's Chang Cheh time, baby!!!

The legendary director and the late, great Alexander Fu Sheng (who worked together on more than 20 movies) come together again for this classic slice of Shaw Brothers pizza.

The story centres around a poor young man (Fu Sheng) who winds up getting work, through the help of one of his Kung Fu peers (Chi Kuan Chun - from the brilliant Men From The Monastery, another Cheh classic), at a textile mill. Instead of fabric-producing duties, he's more prized for his fighting skills than anything else and soon becomes the focus of a rival bosses attention. He eventually lets a new-found power and wealth go to his head, leaving all his friends behind, and the rival boss takes over the mill - to the detriment of everybody's lives.

This film doesn't actually "kick it" that hard in terms of fight scenes - although that doesn't stop it from featuring a couple of choice Lau Kar Leung-choreographed set pieces. The fights aren't the basis for my recommendation, it's the fantastic story that really kicks butt, and the well-developed characters.

Johnnie To - director of Election and Exiled - obviously thought so too, as he directed a fantastic remake in the form of The Bare Footed Kid,which is also worth a look-see.

Although it's not the best of Cheh's career, and it certainly won't sate the appetites of the more blood-thirsty viewers. It's a shining example of a good "all-round" movie. Definitely one for the 'To See' list.

IMDB

ENCOUNTERS OF THE SPOOKY KIND

 

Sammo Hung's back to his usual tricks - melding different genres together in one fantastical melting pot of filmic fury.

This time, he mixes Horror, Kung Fu and Comedy in this example of a 'Jiang Shi' ('Hopping Vampire / Ghost') movie. A style of HK film that, by the time the supremely popular Mr Vampire was released in the mid 80's, were ever-present, and often starred the late, great Lam Ching Ying (who also has a great little role in this film...what a small Hong Kong movie world it is!).

Encounters of the Spooky Kind centres around Bold Cheung (Sammo), a tough chauffeur for the local big shot (the AMAZING Huang Ha) who is thrust into situations involving: real ghosts, fake ghosts, vampires, good and bad wizards (played brilliantly by Chong Fat and Peter Chan Lung), double-crossing wives...and a shoe!

Quite simply, this is near-perfect on every level and ticks all the boxes: Comedy...tick, Horror...tick, Kung Fu...DOUBLE TICK...Film Making...tick...tick, tick, tick, tick, tickety-tick!

I implore you, dear reader, if any are out there in wibbly, wobbly, web-land, watch this piece of cinematic gold...or Sammo will repeatedly punch you in the stomach and throw you on a fire!

IMDB

That's it for now...Reantimator's going to lay down his tired, metal head until it's time to power-up once more for part 3!

Part 1, Part 3, Part 4

3 comments:

  1. Lovin' every one of your blogs, Reantimator! Keep 'em coming!

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  2. Thanks muchly, but check out the weird spacing - don't know why it's doin' that...reantimator says: "Does not compute!" HaHa!!! ; )

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  3. I just don't get the "info links". Like, "level" is linked to "4 heart attack signs" and "tired" is linked to "small business opportunities". WTF. Whaddup with that crap?

    ReplyDelete

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