Shaolin vs Lama

The Shaolin Kung Fu training in the Classic Kung Fu movie “Shaolin vs Lama” is unique in its own way. This film is about a man named Yu Ting who wants to become a Kung Fu Master so he challenges other teachers in order to find out if they are capable of being his teacher.

Yu Ting runs into a young Shaolin Monk (Hsu Shi) who’s job is to get wine and meat for his Master. Hsu Shi tries to help by bringing him to the temple and getting his Master to teach Yu Ting.

Hsu Master refuses to teach Ting because he believes Ting to be unworthy. So Hsu and Ting try to learn kung fu by bribing the Master with chicken. This doesn’t work either.

The Chief Abbot finds out about Ting and expels him from the temple.

Yu Ting is allowed back after helping a young lady from being captured by the Skyhawk Clan. The head of the Clan is a Lama and traitor of the Shaolin temple who, twelve years ago, stole the I-Ching manual.

Hsu Shi’s Master finally takes Yu Ting on as a student but the relationship is ended after the Lama turns up and kills the master who was once his teacher. Yu now sets out to get revenge so he can defeat the Lama Chief.

shaolin_vs_lama

The Shaolin Kung Fu training is good but different than other movies like “36th Chamber of Shaolin” Some of the techniques I like that’s taught in the movie is the breathing technique and the Buddhist Finger.

The fight scenes in this film are classic and the Chief Lama’s Kung Fu skills are superb.

Yu Ting defeats Chief Lama but to me it’s the Lama that makes the movie he has some of the best lines in the movie and his fighting skills just stand out.

“Shaolin vs Lama” is a good movie that anyone who loves this genre should have.

The Hot the Cool and the Vicious

The Hot the Cool and the vicious

Martial arts stars are at their best in this old school classic film, “The Hot the Cool and the Vicious” (1976). Starring Wong Tao (aka Don Wong), Tan Tao Liang, and Tommy Lee, this movie is packed with action filled fight scenes that would make you say Dang! “I wish I could do that”.

 The plot is about and Agent, Bai Yu-Ching (Wong Tao) who arrives in a small village to find evidence of a counterfeiting scheme that’s being planned.

The plan is orchestrated by Tommy lee’s character Mr Lung. Tan Tao Liang (Lu Tun Chun) is Captain of the security force in the village. He and Bai Yu-Ching join forces to stop Mr.Lung and his diabolical plan.

There nothing in this film that you can’t love. The choreography in this movie done by Tommy Lee is top notch.

the hot the cool and the vicious 02

The intro to the movie is hot, each fight scene displays the main characters fight style. Bia Yu-Ching uses the Southern Fist style, Lu Tun Chun uses the Northern Leg while Mr Lung (Gold Head Gorilla) uses the Mantis style and Dragon kick.

I remember seeing this movie back in the early 80s and the energy it provoked in me back then when I watched it does the same thing today. The martial art stars and their movies of today are rare and few compared to what I grew up on. Which makes “The Hot The Cool and The Vicious” one of my top 10 kung fu movies.

Fist of the White Lotus

The best Kung Fu movie is considered by some to be “Five Deadly Venoms” or “36th Chamber of Shaolin” but not too many people mention a movie like “Fist of The White Lotus”. Maybe it’s because this movie was directed by Lo Lieh who is known more as an actor than a director. And maybe because Lau Kar Leung was the choreographer and it has been speculated that they had ‘creative differences’ while making this film.

Well even if they did you couldn’t tell by the finished product of this film. With Gordon Liu as the star of this film, who ironically ended playing the character Pai Mei in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill 2  years later, I place “Fist of the White Lotus” in my top 100 best Kung Fu movie list .

This movie has an interesting story that takes place during the time of the Ming Dynasty. Two Kung Fu patriots defeat Priest Pai Mei by combining their Tiger and Crane style Kung Fu that result in Pai Mei’s death and one of the heroes, Hu Ah-Piao goes to jail. While the other character Hung Wei-Ting, played by Gordon Liu, isn’t in jail and waits for his brother’s release.

Hu Ah-Piao is reunited with his wife Mei-Hsiao and Hung Wei-Ting. Meanwhile Pai Mei’s former classmate the evil ‘White Lotus’ played by Lo Lieh, is out for revenge. 
The White Lotus sets out to find the two heroes and eventually he kills Hu Ah-Piao while Hung Wei-Ting and Hu Ah-Piao’s widow Mei-Hsiao escaped the clutches of The White Lotus and went into hiding.

While regrouping Hung Wei-Ting planned his revenge by practicing his Shaolin Crane style Kung Fu.

fist of the white lotus

He returned to The White Lotus to challenge him but gotten beaten badly and was lucky to escape before he was killed.

It wasn’t until Mei-Hsiao teaches Hung Wei-Ting Embroidery Style Kung Fu that he was able to stand a chance against White Lotus.  The Fist of the White Lotus” is a film full of action, drama and suspense that will keep you glued to the screen. I would consider this one of Lo Lieh and Gordon Liu’s best performances together.

There are a lot of movies out there that you might feel are better than this one, but staying power is what makes a best Kung Fu movie. And “The Fist of the White Lotus” has proven that it is a classic to stick around for a long time.

18 Bronzemen

18 Bronze Me

Released in 1976 features Carter Wong. 18 Bronzemen is a pretty good movie considering I was never a big Carter Wong fan growing up. It’s kind a like when you meet someone for the first time and you really don’t care for them but once you meet them and get a chance to know them they kind of grow on you.

Well I can honestly say Carter Wong has grown on me after watching 18 Bronzemen and Born Invincible. I had seen other movies by him when I was a teenager and I was not impressed, these were earlier films of his that I won’t name.

As for this movie the story is about a young boy Tang So Long, played by O Yau Man who is the son of a Imperial Ming General that’s killed by the Chings who are trying to wipe out the Shaolin temple because of the threat that they pose by receiving young monks who eventually grow up to seek revenge from the Ching government who have killed many of the innocent Mings who are considered rebels for political and financial gains.

So this boy is dropped off at the Shaolin temple by his grandmother because his parents where both killed. His father wishes for him to become a good man and to seek revenge from the Ching government.

18 Bronze Me

The movie goes through training scenes such as 36th Chamber of Shaolin, the difference is that in order to leave the temple you have to go through a maze fighting the 18 Bronze Men. The best way of defeating the Bronze men is by using the LoHan fist technique.

The character of the boy played by O Yau Man is the main character he’s the weakest of the fighters in this film. He gives a good effort and is believable in that he doesn’t make a significant jump in improvement during the course of the film to become the hero. The real hero is played by Ti Chen (Carter Wong). Wong is the confident more experienced fighter, who is there to protect the main character Tang.

Tang finds out that he’s the son of a Ming general and sets out to seek revenge, but he has to get past the 18 Bronzemen. Once that’s accomplished Tang and Ti Chen goes out to settle the score with the head of the Chings.

Over all a good movie featuring Carter Wong, good fight scenes and decent storyline.

It’s worth watching and having in one’s collection.

Ip ManThe Final Fight

Alright ! I’m going to have to say it “Ip ManThe Final Fight” is a Great Movie. I just got finished watching it and was thoroughly impressed.  It was directed by Herman Yau in 2013. I’m sorry I waited till now to see this movie but it was great from beginning to end. If any of you seen Ip 2 starring Donnie Yen, you would see how this movie resembles it in a sense.

Ip Man: The Final Fight

“Ip Man The Final Fight” is told from the view of Ip Man’s son Ip Chun, which makes this version more personable and intimate. Unlike the other Ip man movies, the story line in “Ip Man The Final Fight” is more detailed and you’ll learn more of what Ip Man was about and how he really lived. Not taking away from the other Ip Man movies they were good in there own right, but I sensed a little more glamour from those movies where as this movie seemed more realistic and honest.

This is what I mean by honest, In “Ip Man The Final Fight” you learn that Ip Man’s wife  has to go back to Foshan, which is the place where they originated from. She never came back ! And then she died ! WOW! I didn’t know that n did I have a clue from the other movies.

You learned little secrets in this movie about Ip Man that was never shown in the other movies. For instance, he had a little mistress after his wife died and he had a stomach sickness that lasted until his death. And how they handled the mistress character in the movie was done in a very classy way.

What was really fascinating was how the movie gives us a tiny glimpse of  Ip man and Bruce Lee’s relationship, hinting at how Bruce try’s to offer help and to get approval from his Master. I leave it up to you to see the movie and develop your own opinion. But it’s very interesting to say the least.

Now , the fight scenes are terrific. There’s not as much wiring like you see in a lot of the more modern Kung Fu and Wushu films you see today, and Anthony Wong did his thing. His fighting ability is very convincing as well as to the point. What I really like about this film is that Ip Man’s students hold their own when they are confronted to fight during the movie. There’s this female character in the film who is one of Ip Man’s student’s, She is the most fierce and intense female fighter I’ve seen on scene in a long time. All through the movie she gives it her all whenever she’s in a scene. Much props to her and I want to see more of her in the future.

I’m not going to get into the details with this movie because I want you to see it. I highly recommend watching “Ip Man” starring Donnie Yen before seeing “Ip Man The Final Fight”. It’s such a good movie that I’m going to watch it again tomorrow . Oh also I forgot to tell you that the version I watched was sub titled, but it didn’t matter. It still got it’s point across and even had me shedding a tear or two, but don’t tell my girlfriend, I was holding my arms over my head so she couldn’t see me. LOL

Here is a Great Scene where Ip Man and a neighboring Master play by well know Asian Actor / Martial Arts Actor Eric Tsang. Watch them go toe to toe.

“Last Hurrah for Chivalry” 1979

“Last Hurrah for Chivalry” 1979, was filmed by director John Woo. This film was wrapped nearly 20 years before his blockbuster hit Face/Off, which would bring him mainstream acceptance in Hollywood in 1997. This is a tale of two assassins who are master swordsman with no allegiance who decides to help a wealthy local resident Koa played by Damian Lau whose family has been killed and home taken by Pak Chung To.

This movie’s plot has lots of twist and deception to keep you engaged throughout the movie. I really enjoy the swords play in this movie. As the film progress, you will notice that the choreography will get increasingly better which is smart in keeping you locked into the film.

Last Hurrah for Chivalry

‘Last Hurrah for Chivalry” as a whole is a great movie, has great fighting, story, and cinematography. It took me a long time before I decided to look at this film, I guess because it was a swords play film and at the time I was not a big fan of those films. But after watching this film it totally changed my opinion of these films.

What stood out for me in this film was the fighting skills of Chang Saam played by Pai Wei, aka The Snake in the “Five Deadly Venoms“. I didn’t know he could fight as well as he could until I saw this film. In the Five Deadly Venoms, his fighting was limited. In Last Hurrah for Chivalry, he displayed great swords skills as well as fighting skills.

Last Hurrah for Chivalry

One of the aspects that have always attracted me to these movies is a code of ethics that is always incorporated. Regardless if you are a drunkard or a falling master there’s still a trace of chivalry put into these movies. Because of this, you can always learn something from these movies. I guess that why they call these movies Chinese Westerns.

“Last Hurrah for Chivalry” has all you could want in a movie, full of action, great plot, beautiful scenes, and a love story also but without getting too mushy. Last Hurrah for Chivalry is a Classic Kung Fu Movie must-have for anyone who enjoys these great movies.

“Dirty HO” Shaw Brothers

“Dirty Ho” I would say was one of those movies I use to always hear about but never seen. It also had a funny name so I guess I didn’t take it seriously, but we all know you shouldn’t do that with Kung Fu movies.

So I finally purchased “Dirty Ho” a couple of years ago and was pleasantly surprised. It stars my man Gordon Liu and Wong Yue. Who plays Ho.

Gordon’s (Mr. Wang) character is the 11th son of the Chinese Emperor and is traveling the town enjoying the finer things in life while maintaining his Kung Fu mastership but undercover, so no one really knows who he is.

Dirty Ho and Mr. Wang’s characters meet in a brothel under unfavorable circumstances. Ho is a thief and a conman who gets outsmarted by Mr. Wang. Because of this, Ho is determined to even the score with Mr. Wang and get what’s his.

“Dirty Ho” is full of comedic scenes and great fighting, one of the funnier scenes is when Ho fights The 4 Cripples, these guys are all posing to be crippled but have martial arts skills. None of the 4 Cripples is a match for Ho, he eventually one by one expose their fraudulent ways.

“Dirty Ho” has plenty of great fight scenes in it, although not your typical fight scenes. Most of the fight scenes are hidden so Ho doesn’t get a chance to find out why Mr. Wang is being sought after throughout the film.

Mr. Wang is very clever, the whole time he is leading Ho into his web so that Ho becomes his disciple. Ho is resistant the whole time until he realizes that Mr. Wang is the son of an Emperor and doesn’t care about his prestige, he only cares about wine, fine arts, and Kung Fu.

For example, Mr. Wang fight against Mr. Fan (played by Johnny Wang) a well-known wine expert, their fight scene is very creative in that they use different types of wine cups made of metal to employ in there fighting.

Next, you have the fight against Mr. Chu, Mr. Chu is an antique collector he has knives hidden in his shoes so you get to see some great leg Kung Fu.

As usual, a Shaw Brothers trademark, the training scenes are unique in that Ho has to use candles to train with. This training is to help develop his leg kung fu.

“Dirty Ho” is one of the many Shaw Brothers classics that stand up.  I would strongly suggest any Kung Fu enthusiast to purchase “Dirty Ho” this Martial Arts gem.

Hero’s of The East

“Heroes of the East” is a hot, hot movie. I’ve always heard about this movie but never saw it. Well, I saw it and was pleasantly surprised. Gordon Liu is at his best in this film, he demonstrates various Kung Fu fighting styles as well as his ability to fight with different Chinese martial arts weapons.

What I liked about this film is that it showed how other cultures can co-exist with one another. This was a bold move for Lau Kar Leung who directed this movie.

Gordon Liu shows more of his acting ability in ” Heroes of the East”. Also, this is the first film where he has a love interest plus she was from Japan so they had a language barrier to deal with.   This movie is about a son and daughter from different cultures who have an arranged marriage through their wealthy fathers who are business partners.

Once married, Gordon’s character Ah To learns that his wife Kung Zi practices Karate and he’s not that impressed. 
Kung Zi almost destroys Ah To’s home by breaking everything around her. Ah To explains to her why Kung Fu is more suited for women and this angers Kung Zi so they both go through different moments of fighting one another trying to prove who’s Martial Arts better than the other.

Ah To wins and Kung Zi leaves Hong Kong Upset and unwilling to return until she has mastered the art of Karate. Ah To sends her a letter to try and persuade her back to Hong Kong, but her Sensei reads the letter and assumes that it is a challenge to all Japanese.

So, he gathers other Karate Masters who join him to challenge Ah To back in China.  Once they arrive in Hong Kong Ah To is surprised to find 7 Masters at his doorstep challenging him to a duel to prove whose martial arts is better.

Gordon Liu is fantastic in the fight scenes, he shows styles and moves you usually don’t see in his other films which makes this such a great film.  The Japanese Masters are great too, I really like the way they choreographed both styles so they would compliment each other. I really dislike some Karate movies because the choreography never flows the way I like it.

Yasuaki Kurata, Kung Zi’s teacher is a Ninjutsu expert and he is also in Jet Li‘s movie “Fist of Legend” His performance is great. Gordon and Yasuaki have great chemistry fighting each other in this film.

It was great that Lau Kar Leung was able to get real Japanese Karate masters to cast in this film. It made this film even that more authentic.

Oh yeah, and Lau Kar Leung was the Drunken Master in the film too.  “Heroes of the East” Is a must-see and a movie I’m glad I purchased. I’ve already watched this movie twice. So if you get a chance get this one” Heroes of the East”. You won’t be disappointed.

THANK YOU AGAIN JASON RUTLAND FOR RECOMMENDING THIS ONE.

” The Buddhist Fist ”

Ok, I saw ” The Buddhist Fist ” about 10 Years ago and I was pleasantly surprised after watching it.

Directed by Yuen Woo Ping around 1979, this movie starts out with a group of little kids that’s picking on one little orphan boy. The orphan is rescued by a Shaolin Monk who is around the same age as the orphan.

What makes ” The Buddhist Fist ” stand out for me is the story in combination with the fight scenes.  This is a good movie about friendship and what happens when friendship is betrayed.

Starring Yuen Shunyi and Tsui Siu Ming , two guys that I was not as familiar with but I sure enjoyed their performances.  Yuen plays the orphan grown up and Tsui Siu Ming character is the Shaolin Monk as an adult.

The Buddhist Fist

The orphan and the monk grow up as friends, the orphan is good-natured and is considering becoming a monk himself. While the Monk is fighting his negative side breaking all kinds of spiritual laws.

This Kung Fu movie is full of great fight scenes and funny moments throughout. There’s a great fight scene with one of my favorite Kung Fu stars who makes a cameo, Sam Seed. He plays a Buddhist Monk protecting a Jade Buddha only to have Tsui Siu Ming (the young Monk) try and steal it from him.

The choreography is top notch classic stuff that you can watch again and again.  ” The Buddhist Fist ” ends with a classic one on one fight scene that last for a pretty long while, but its entertaining all the way to the end.

I highly recommend this movie. It’s a classic that maintains all the elements that make watching these films so much fun. Definitely one for your collection.

Hell”s Windstaff – by Alan (County Durham, UK)

This is one of those films that you hear about, but never quite expect it to be as good as it is. “Hells Windstaff” aka “The Dragon and Tiger Kids” is an extremely well-paced little genre flick, with strong central performances and immensely satisfying action. Whilst it has a somewhat basic story and simple production values, it more than makes up for its ordinariness by gluing your eyes to the fighters.

Where to start? The story perhaps. Tiger Wong (Yuen Man Meng) and Stone Dragon (Hoi Mang) are two undisciplined friends who get caught up in deep trouble. Tiger is particularly unruly until a con-man is persuaded to become his master. This leads to a brief battle of wits between the pupil and his master, with inevitably humiliating results. The comedy on show here will put some people off, but I found it well-meaning, lighthearted and amusing.

Later, Tiger and Stone Dragon encounter the Four Snakes, a gang of badass experts who are selling the locals as slaves. This proves to be a fatal interference, as word reaches the local crime boss, a villain with an eye patch, who enlists the help of his master, the formidable Korean super kicker Hwang Jang Lee, to attack Tiger’s father. In the ensuing battle, Tiger’s master is killed helping the young lads to escape.

The rest of the film consists of the two lads trying to master various styles, with a new master, in order to take down their adversaries and exact revenge.

The balance in this film is weighed firmly in favor of action. The comedy lasts right until the last scene, but from halfway through the film it only ever pokes its head above the action a few times. Action is the name of the game here. There’s a superb exhibition of fluent pole fighting, and a variety of shapes-work to add detail to the sequences, such as Dragon Hands, Devil Claws, Snake Fist, and Eagle’s Claw.

The performers throw themselves into the scenes with abandon, resulting in some eye-opening, truly impressive fights. The camerawork is also worth a mention. Too often in Hollywood movies, the camera is flying and jumping about so violently you can’t actually see anything happening, it’s like watching a film playing in a tumble dryer. This film, though, like so many from the region, balances the camerawork beautifully. The fights are very well choreographed, and the camera often moves right into the action, yet in such a way that makes everything completely visible. The martial arts sequences are beautifully framed.

The two cocky young bucks make for likeable leads, with fantastic energy in their performances. Hwang Jang Lee delivers a masterclass of kicking, shapes work and pole fighting in this film. He showcases his versatility in a typical bad guy role.

Hells Windstaff

I would recommend “Hells Windstaff” to people who like their action fast and pleasing on the eye. The simple story is inoffensive and acts as a solid framework to the numerous actions sequences. I’ve watched it a few times now and I’ve never been disappointed.

I would recommend “Hells Windstaff” to people who like their action fast and pleasing on the eye. The simple story is inoffensive and acts as a solid framework for the numerous actions sequences. I’ve watched it a few times now and I’ve never been disappointed.