Hong Kong

Shock Wave (2017)

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Andy Lau becomes the target of a revenge plot as the fate of Hong Kong is in his hands in this Herman Yau-directed action thriller.

J.S. Cheung has risen through the ranks to become one of the most decorated officers of Hong Kong Police’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit. However, two years ago, he went undercover and worked for a criminal mastermind, Pang Tong, who like Cheung, is known for his skills with explosives. When Cheung helped stop a potential bank robbery, Pang escaped and has vowed revenge on Cheung, who has returned to the EOD unit and has begun a relationship with local teacher Carmen Li.

As part of his plot to seek revenge, Pang returns to Hong Kong and has taken the Cross Harbour Tunnel under siege by having everyone in the tunnel held hostage and threatening to blow it up if his demands are not met. Pang wants Cheung to return to ensure the safety of the hostages by first, forcing him and the police to release his brother Biao from prison. Biao has had a change of heart since Cheung busted him in the mission two years ago and has no interest in seeing his big brother. However, as complications arise, Cheung finds himself with the fate of Hong Kong in his hands.

Herman Yau is truly a force in Hong Kong cinema. His versatility has led him to tackle various genres. For one of his latest films, this action thriller, which he co-wrote with Erica Li, revolves around sealing the fate of the Cross Harbour Tunnel, an underwater connection between Kowloon and Causeway Bay and of course, the hero is someone with a connection to the one responsible for holding the tunnel hostage. Yes, the film does play like a Hong Kong-version of big blockbuster Hollywood action films, but there are some twists and turns set to keep the viewer engaged.

Andy Lau once again shows his prowess as a bankable lead in the role of J.S. Cheung, a member of the EOD who in the film’s opening, finds himself in an undercover investigation which involves infiltrating a criminal known for his expertise in explosives. The villain Pang Tong is well played by Jiang Wu, who seethes revenge for the bust two years ago. In a bold and smart move in the film, the love interest for Cheung is in no way glamorized, but rather an ordinary teacher played well by Song Jia. In their first meeting, Song’s Carmen is seen at a bar completely drunk and tells Cheung after meeting her at her school that she was only there that night because she wanted to see if she still “had it”, but it is clear that the relationship between Cheung and Carmen is not about having it, but is truly about love and caring for each other.

The action sequences are quite a delight to watch. From the vehicle chases to a finale that nearly rivals another Lau vehicle, Firestorm, for an insane shootout that ends with a shocker (no pun intended) of a finale that just boosts up the rating of the film. The opening chase alone is quite a watch as there are explosions involve including a final explosion (for the opening) that nearly sends a car in a tunnel, this becoming the catalyst of the core plot of the film.

Shock Wave is definitely a Hong Kong-equivalent of a blockbuster Hollywood film and who better than Andy Lau to lead the way in this tense thriller. Some notable twists and turns help make this one to definitely check out.


A Universe Entertainment and Infinitus Entertainment Ltd. Production in association with Bona Film Group. Director: Herman Yau. Producers: Andy Lam, Alvin Lam, Jessica Chan, Esther Koo, and Alice Chan. Writers: Herman Yau and Erica Li. Cinematography: Joe Chan and Mandy Ngai. Editing: Azrael Chung.

Cast: Andy Lau, Jiang Wu, Song Jia, Philip Keung, Ron Ng, Babyjohn Choi, Louis Cheung, Wang Ziyi, Felix Wong, Sek Sau, Liu Kai-Chi, Cheung Chun-Kit.


Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight (2017)

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Two best friends will find themselves having the craziest night of their lives in this horror-comedy from director Alan Lo.

Lone and Yeung are two best friends who dub themselves The Double Dragons with aspirations of being heroes someday. However, for Lone, issues start to arise when his estrange father, Wing Ngau, has been released from prison, causing more tension between the two. Wing, who accidentally caused an accident 15 years ago, attempts to make amends with Auntie Shan, who was crippled in the accident, runs the family martial arts school. And yet that’s just the beginning of everything as all hell is about to break loose.

A zombie outbreak has plagued Hong Kong. At first, Lone and Yeung are scared to do anything but run away. They soon realize this could be their chance to actually become heroes. While attempting to protect Wing and Shan, Lone and Yeung come across Shuen, whose upcoming marriage has been destroyed by the outbreak, but being a protege of Shan, has martial arts skills to boot. Together with Yit, Shan’s niece who is also skilled in fighting, the group will have to do whatever it takes to ensure survival or become the zombies’ next meal.

Shot and reshot under the direction of Alan Lo, who also edited the film, this is a very wacky film that meshes the zombie horror and comedy. With five screenwriters, the film is reminiscent of oddity films such as virtually anything from the Troma library to Sion Sono’s Tokyo Tribe to name a few. What starts out as a typical zombie outbreak film soon veers off into something even more insane with the one responsible for the outbreak having an even deadlier weapon.

Michael Ning and Louis Cheung are hilarious together as the “heroes” Lone and Yeung. Lone is the more focused of the duo due to the fact that the film’s central subplot involves his estranged relationship with his father, played by veteran Alex Man. It is also great to see Carrie Ng again. A staple of 90’s Hong Kong cinema, mainly in the action genre, her character is more relegated to being crippled and thus allows her to showcase a more dramatic side. However, the film truly belongs to the young Ning, Cheung, Cherry Ngan, and Venus Wong as the fighting survivors of the film.

The zombie effects are quite a delight as they resort to more practical effects rather than cheesy CGI. However, the highlight is actually that of the elephant in the box, or rather the chicken in the box as the one responsible is a giant squared-shaped chicken who not only unleashes some spirit that causes the outbreak but also unleashes some deadly eggs that cause its victim to turn its victim’s head into an instant skull that then falls off! While a movie of its own sound more beneficial with the deadly eggs, this twist just brings more notches in a WTF hilarity that this film is perfect for, along with some unexpected animated sequences that may may your draw drop.

Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight is your Hong Kong version of a Troma film. A wild and wacky adventure that melds various genres, the performances by the core cast make this a fun film to engage in.


Epic Pictures presents an Entertaining Power Co. Ltd. Film. Director: Alan Lo. Producers: Clement Cheng and Angus Chan. Writers: He Liangyu, Nick Cheuk, Ng Siu-Lun, Pang Chi-Hoi, and Chan Wai-Sing. Cinematography: Chan Chi-Lap and Lau Tze-Kin. Editing: Alan Lo.

Cast: Michael Ning, Louis Cheung, Alex Man, Carrie Ng, Cherry Ngan, Venus Wong, So Wai-Chuen, J. Arie.

Epic Pictures to Release Hong Kong Horror Film “Zombiology” on VOD in February


Get ready for a wild ride into a zombie outbreak with Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight when the film comes to VOD platforms on February 23. The film had a limited successful run in late January.

Lone and Yeung are two eccentric hot-blooded young men leading a devil-may-care life. They deem themselves as heroes that can save the earth. However, Lone can do nothing in life and never worked out as he wishes. Tragedy never forgets him, suddenly moved out from where he grew up; his godmother Shan has chronic depression for years; his father who just came out of the jail was so annoying to get on with; while his own idol, a celebrity called Shuen is far from reachable. On the contrary, his friend Yeung is optimistic towards life and love at first sight of Shan’s niece named Yit. This night, a monster from Lone’s favorite animation appears in the city for no reason, turning people into zombies. The outbreak of this zombie crisis is followed by a widespread chaos all round. Lone’s father happens to be out of town travelling with Shan. And Yit has gone missing too. Lone risks his life to break into the infected town in order to escort people home safely and meanwhile he realizes he is merely a loser and slick talker. At last, he decides not to avoid anymore but to fight against zombies tonight.

Michael Ning, Louis Cheung, Carrie Ng, Alex Man, Venus Wong, and Charry Ngan star in the Alan Lo-directed horror/comedy. Check out the trailer below and look for the film from Epic Pictures on VOD platforms on February 23.

Dragon Fist (1979)

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In one of his final films with director Lo Wei, Jackie Chan unleashes some of his best serious-style fight choreography in this pretty decent classic kung fu film.

During a celebration for Master Chang San-Tai, arch nemesis Master Chong crashes and challenges Chang to a duel. When Chong beats Chang to a pulp, he celebrates his own victory while Master Chang dies. However, Chong gets the shock of a lifetime when he finds his wife hanged in her room. Long ago, Chang had been in a relationship with Chong’s wife before they married and Chong always had wanted revenge. Chong, feeling sorrow and remorse for his actions, decides to chop off his own leg to respect his departed wife.

In the meantime, Tang Hao-Yuan, Chang’s top student, arrives with Chang’s widow and daughter in an effort to seek revenge for the death of his master. However, upon learning what Chong has done, Chang’s widow forgives Chong and soon a new bond is formed. However, that bond will soon begin to be threatened.

Master Wei, an evil warlord, intends to prove he is the best in the land. However, he resorts to dirty tactics. When Chang’s widow is poisoned, Tang is shocked to learn that Wei is the only one with the antidote. Wei blackmails Tang to perform various “jobs” in exchange for the antidote. Will Wei be able to keep his promise or will he use Tang as just a pawn in his mission to prove he is more powerful than everyone?

When director Lo Wei signed on Jackie Chan in 1975, he had Chan star in a series of films that were complete bombs. The reason seemed to be is that Lo Wei was so bitter about his relationship with Bruce Lee after The Big Boss and Fist of Fury that he attempted to mold Chan as a new “Bruce Lee”-like hero. While films such as New Fist of Fury and Shaolin Wooden Men seemed to be more in comparison with Lee and the Shaw Brothers, this one had potential.

Of course with his collaborations with Lo Wei, Jackie Chan plays the big heroic fighter. He has no comic scenes here, but is able to show he can play a serious role when needed. He is seen wanting revenge only to learn that the man he was after knew of his wrongdoing and repented. He goes from being friends with his one-time nemesis to ultimately seeking revenge against a tyrant who is the only one capable of curing his master’s widow. It is this brand of twist in the story that delves from becoming a typical revenge film to one that is actually well done.

While many would see Lo Wei as quite the evil director, this is definitely one of his better films. It helps that Wang Chung-Pin’s screenplay brings out the twists and turns that have the themes of not just revenge, but romantic affairs, penance, and redemption. While the film ultimately becomes one of revenge, it is Chan’s amazing choreography that drives the film. Chan makes good use of his fellow cast, including Hsu Hsia (who would shine in Chan’s Seasonal hit films of the 70’s), the late Eagle Han, the ever popular James Tien, and that of legendary bad guy actor Yen Shi-Kwan.

Dragon Fist is definitely the better of the Lo-Chan collaborations, all due to the screenplay’s twist and turns not to mention Chan’s nice and crisp choreography.


A Lo Wei Motion Picture (HK) Co. Ltd. Production. Director: Lo Wei. Producer: Hsu Li-Hwa. Writer: Wang Chung-Pin. Cinematography: Yim Jin-Hwan and Chen Jung-Shu. Editing: Vincent Leung.

Cast: Jackie Chan, Nora Miao, Yen Shi-Kwan, Pearl Lin, James Tien, Ou Yang Sha-Fei, Ko Keung, Wang Kuang-Yu, Hsu Hsia, Eagle Han, Peng Kong, Tsui Fat, Wong Yiu.

Crystal Fist (1979)

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Once hailed as a rip-off of Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow and Drunken Master, this action packed film is truly one of the best to star Indonesian martial artist Willy Dozen, known to martial arts fans with the more impactful name Billy Chong.

Wen, a young man who only has one wish: to learn kung fu. When he goes to a local school to pretend to be an instructor, he is beaten by the two assistant masters. However, the master offers to give Wen a job as a cook in the kitchen. There, Wen butts heads with the elder cook. As Wen constantly finds himself bullied by the two assistant masters and the elder cook, Wen finds himself at a standstill.

Meanwhile, Yen, a master in the Double Phoenix Eyes, has been causing trouble with his two assistants Blind Man and Deaf Man. Yen is looking for Pai Yi-Chang, an old master in the Eagle Claw who is the reason why Blind Man and Deaf Man are just that, blind and deaf.

Soon enough, Wen and the cook begin to make amends when Wen learns that the elder cook is a kung fu master himself. As if it comes to no surprise, the cook is none other than Pai Yi-Chang and he decides to teach Wen the Eagle Claw technique. However, when Yen and his associates see Wen use the art, they demand to know who his teacher is. When Wen refuses, he is maimed and let go. When Pai learns who Wen really is, he teaches him a new technique, the Shadow Claw.

Once hailed as a rip-off of Jackie Chan’s breakthrough films, the film is now hailed as one of the best films to star Indonesian-born martial artist Billy Chong. Born Willy Dozen, Chong possesses some comic flair and yet, he is quite a martial artist. He got his start in Indonesian action films, and had supporting roles in films like Black Belt Karate and Incredible Monkey Fist. This film marks his first lead role in a Hong Kong film and he does well in the role of young Wen, who for the first half of the film provides mainly comedy, but by the film’s end showcases his nice crisp handwork and kicking skills.

Why the film works so well is the fact that the Yuen Clan were involved in the film. Simon Yuen, best known for playing Jackie Chan’s mentors in his breakthrough films, brings back the mentor role to a tee in the role of the elder cook who soon becomes Wen’s martial arts teacher. Chu Tiet-Wo is menacing as the evil Yen, who is determined to find his arch-nemesis for his defeat and the crippling of his two associates. The associates, Blind Man and Deaf Man, are well-suited for Addy Sung (known for his lazy eye and was even nicknamed “Big Little Eye”) and Simon Yuen’s son Brandy Yuen.

As for the fight choreography, it is truly top-notch. While elder son Yuen Woo-Ping was not involved in the film as he was with Jackie Chan’s films, his brothers Brandy and Shun-Yi were heavily involved with the choreography. Assisting in the choreography are Corey Yuen (not related), Chin Yuet-Sang, and Hau Chiu-Sing, the latter who provides a memorable cameo as Wen’s father, who is killed by Yen in the opening of the film. The film highlights Chong’s unarmed combat skills and Corey Yuen assisted in doubling Chong on some of the staff work while Brandy Yuen did triple duty as co-star, choreographer, and doubling for his father in the acrobatics department.

Crystal Fist is definitely a delight to watch as the world is formally introduced to Billy Chong. While some may see Chong as a Jackie Chan-ripoff, Chong truly holds his own and with the Yuen Clan helping, this is truly a fun kung fu film.


An Eternal Film (HK) Ltd. Production. Director: Hwa I-Hung. Producer: Pal Ming. Writer: Lin Chin-Wai. Cinematography: Nico Wong. Editing: Poon Hung.

Cast: Willy Dozan (Billy Chong), Simon Yuen, Chu Tiet-Wo, Hau Chiu-Sing, Ma Chung-Tak, David Woo, Lun Ga-Chun, Addy Sung, Brandy Yuen, Alexander Grand.

Shaolin Deadly Kicks (1977)

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Superkicker Delon Tan shines in this very exciting kung fu film that he would virtually remake a decade later in America.

A band of robbers known as the Eight Dragons have stolen a rare treasure map. They decide to take the map and divide into eight pieces, one for each member. The leader of the gang makes the decision to wait three years before reuniting and getting their hands on the treasure. At first, tension nearly leads to dissention, but everyone eventually comes into agreement and waits the three years.

The three years have passed and it is time for the Dragons to reunite. However, it will not be as easy as they plan. When one of the members is arrested, he meets a young man who is willing to help him escape. When the young man tells the Dragon that he knows where some treasure can be found, they head with another member of the gang to an undisclosed location. The two Dragons soon learn it is all a trap and the young man is revealed to be police constable Hsiao Huang-Yi, who along with his partner Chun-Wei, are able to stop the Dragons. However, when Chun-Wei is killed in battle, Huang-Yi uses his flashy kicks to stop the Dragons.

From there, Huang-Yi begins to track down the members one by one to get all the pieces of the map and return it to its rightful owner. After a promise to Dragons member Chang Fang to help his sick son, Huang finds himself betrayed by the treacherous Fang and is forced to kill him. When Huang-Yi is set up by a goon hired by two more members, Huang-Yi fakes his death and is able to fight both members on separate occasions to defeat them. Huang-Yi eventually meets his match in Master Chi, who uses a poison blade to strike the kicking constable before he meets his maker.

Huang-Yi is eventually nursed back to health by Jade, a young woman he saved from bandits earlier in his mission. Jade turns out to be the daughter of the Dragons leader, the Chief. The Chief has changed tunes and has become a doctor. Jade knows nothing of the robbery and while Huang-Yi reveals himself and wants to help the Chief live a peaceful existence, things are about to go full speed. The final Dragons members, the Cutter, has returned and plans to do whatever it takes to get the treasure, even if it means betraying his own leader.

This is definitely an underrated martial arts film from the 70’s. While the likes of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Sammo Hung dominated the classic kung fu era, there are some well-known names worth mentioning, notably Delon Tan and Lo Lieh. Tan, a grandmaster in the art of taekwondo, starred in the 1976 John Woo film Hand of Death alongside a young Jackie Chan while Lo Lieh starred in the first kung fu film to hit American shores, King Boxer, released as Five Fingers of Death, in early 1973.

While Lo takes a step back to play lead villain Cutter, it is Tan who truly shines here. Next to the “King of Leg Fighters” Hwang Jang-Lee, Tan is perhaps the second dominant kicker in classic kung fu films. Tan has flashiness in his left leg, thus earning him the rightful nickname of “Flash Legs”. Coincidentally, Flash Legs was an alternate title for this very film. While Tan does use some crispy handwork at times, the film is clearly a showcase to show his impeccable kicking skills. What will astound fans is that Tan’s left leg serves as a machine gun, shooting out at least 5 times or he would do his trademark “hopping kick”, where he hops his right off and shoots off a mid-level to high kick with such accuracy.

The plot of the film is quite interesting as well. While it may seem basic, it is noteworthy that cast in the film as the Eight Dragons are some well-known villain actors. Lung Fei (known to Western audiences as Master Pain/Betty in the spoof Kung Pow! Enter the Fist, Tsai Hung, and Wang Chieh prove to be the biggest competition for Tan in the film. However, for Tan’s opening fight scene, I was a little impressed with Li Hsiao-Ming, who plays one of the first members of the gang to fall victim to Tan. Li does some nice kicking himself and had he gotten just a little more flexibility, it would have been quite a nice kicking duel.

Tan would use the very theme for this film and twist it up for his 1990 Hollywood B-movie Breathing Fire. Using bank keys stolen in a robbery and melting them down in a fake “pizza”, the item is split between robbers. Tan would use the pseudonym “Delon Tanners” and came up with both the story and served as executive producer. He would also train the two stars of the film, The Goonies’ Jonathan Ke Quan and Eddie Saavedra in taekwondo.

Shaolin Deadly Kicks is truly a highlight for Delon Tan as the superkicker shines in the film with some very good support from veteran Lo Lieh as the villain. Definitely worth seeing for Tan’s superior kicking skills.


A Wah Tai Motion Picture Co. Ltd. Production. Director: Wu Ma. Producers: Kwan Sin and Tung Chen-Ching. Writer: Chu Hsiang-Kan. Cinematography: Liao Wan-Wen. Editing: Ko Tan-Hung.

Cast: Delon Tan, Lo Lieh, Wang Hsieh, Doris Lung, Kam Kong, Lo Ti, Tsai Hung, Ou-Yang Sha Fei, Wu Chia-Hsiang, Lung Fei, Chan Wai-Lau, Gam Sai-Yuk, Tsang Chiu, Chan Sam-Lam, Lee Siu-Ming.

The Secret Rivals Part II (1977)

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It is always a rarity when a sequel is just as good or at times, more superior to the original film. This sequel to Ng See-Yuen’s hit 1976 film proves to be one of those rarities with John Liu and Hwang Jung-Lee back to using their impressive kicking skills with Tino Wong making a worthy replacement for Don Wong (no relation) as the Southern Fist expert.

Six months after Shao Yi-Fei and Sheng Ying-Wei defeated the evil Silver Fox, it is revealed that the Silver Fox has a twin brother, Chin H. Chin Hu is also known as the Gold Fox. Upon learning that his brother is killed, he begins to not only look for the two heroes, but an 8-diagram map that leads to the gold that was robbed three years ago.

However, Sheng Ying-Wei has left to do government duty in the West. Before leaving, he entrusted the map to his younger brother Sheng Ying-Wu. Like his elder brother, Ying-Wu is an expert in the Southern Fist style. Gold Fox hires local thug Hsin-Yi to find Ying-Wu and get the map. Hsin-Yi will do the job only if he marries Gold Fox’s daughter. Reluctant, Gold Fox agrees.

Meanwhile, Shao Yi-Fei has returned to take on a former classmate turned troublemaker. On the other hand, Gold Fox has invented a new spinning weapon and has hired four assassins trained in kicking and four assassins trained in fist styles to take on the duo of Yi-Fei and Ying-Wu. This comes after Ying-Wu has avenged the death of his younger brother Ying-Yang by killing two of Gold Fox’s men while Yi-Fei defeated the remaining two after defeating his former classmate. With no option, Ying-Wu and Yi-Fei must devise a way to stop Gold Fox once and for all.

Ng See-Yuen proves that lightning does in fact strike twice with this second installment of the Secret Rivals films. Once again, Yuen finds a fantastic choreographer, this time being the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping. Woo-Ping definitely utilizes the talents of superkickers John Liu and Hwang Jang-Lee. However, as Wang Tao was unavailable (possibly shooting the similarly themed The Hot, The Cool, and the Vicious), a suitable replacement was found in former stuntman and bit part actor and martial artist Tino Wong.

Liu gets to show more of his kicking skills here and he spends most of his sequences going in full action mode. While the first film gave him a sense of mystery as to who he was, he gets more action here, even showcasing a hell of a fight against the late Blacky Ko. This time, Corey Yuen and Hsu Hsia get some action in as two henchmen of the Gold Fox, played by the awesome kicker Hwang Jung-Lee.

Similar to the first film, the finale is truly a delight to watch. Unlike the original, the film is more a smooth transition of just pitting Liu and Wong against Hwang, who resorts to not only using his trademark kicking skills, but a deadly weapon that looks to be two sticks that spin with the flick of his wrists. Aside from the added weapon, expect lots of kicking and acrobatics and even a surprise end to the finale.

If you liked the original Secret Rivals, then chances are you will love The Secret Rivals Part II. Liu and Hwang once again shine with their kicking skills and Tino Wong actually makes a suitable replacement for Don Wong here.


A Seasonal Film Corporation Production. Director: Ng See-Yuen. Producer: Ng See-Yuen. Writers: Ng See Yuen & Tung Lo. Cinematography: Chang Chi. Editing: Poon Hung.

Cast: John Liu, Tino Wong, Hwang Jung-Lee, Charlie Chan, Corey Yuen, Hsu Hsia, Yu Chung-Chiu, Sham Chin-Bo, Philip Ko, Blacky Ko.

One-Armed Swordsman (1967)

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In what would be the breakout performance of his career, Shaw Brothers veteran Jimmy Wang Yu stars in this very nicely-paced action drama that focuses on revenge and honor.

Fifteen years ago, the evil Long-Armed Devil mortally wounded a swordsman, Fang Chang. Before he died, he asked his teacher, Chi Ju-Feng, to take care of his young son Kang. Chi makes the promise to “adopt” and teach Kang the art of sword-fighting.

Flash forward to present day. Fang Kang has excelled in sword-fighting and yet, is constantly given orders from Chi’s daughter Pei-Erh. Furthermore, Kang is constantly ridiculed by two prominent students of Chi. However, Kang has skills that outshine both Pei-Erh and the two rich boys. When Pei-Erh and the rich boys hatch a plan to go after Kang, at the same time Kang decides to leave the school . When Kang heads towards the forest, he is challenged by Pei-Erh. When they fight bare-handed, Kang wins. However, when he approaches Pei-Erh, she whips her blade out and cuts off the right arm of Kang.

When Kang is found nearby the home of young Hsiao-Mei, she helps nurse him back to health. Kang, shocked that he lost his right arm, decides to live a quiet life with Hsiao-Mei. Meanwhile, Chi has found himself targeted by the Long-Armed Devil, who has conspired with “Smiling Tiger” Cheng Tian-Shou. The Long-Armed Devil has developed a weapon that will counter Chi’s Golden Blade technique. As many of Chi’s students begin to fall under the new weapon, Kang is given a manual once given by Hsiao-Mei’s father, a master swordsman. The manual enables its user to fight one-armed. However, Kang needs a shorter blade and uses his father’s broken blade to combat the new style. When he gets wind of the Long-Armed Devil’s plans, he intends to take him on for both honor and revenge.

The legendary Shaw Brothers and their prolific director Chang Cheh have come up with a brilliant masterpiece with this film. Influenced by the likes of Kurosawa, Chang uses bloody realism to create a visual film that borders not only on terrific action, but inspiring drama as well. Cast as the titular “One-Armed Swordsman” is Jimmy Wang Yu, a former swimming champion turned actor. Wang truly shines in the role of Fang Kang. Seen as a man of honor, he finds himself the target of envy until he falls victim to a jealous spoiled brat who chops off his arm in anger. Wang then displays subtlety as Kang finds himself conflicted with being a master swordsman and wanting to live the life of a farmer after falling for the woman who rescued him.

It is the “love triangle” of the film that helps drives the dramatic side of things. It is clear that Kang sees the jealous Pei-Erh as a “little sister” figure, having himself adopted after his father’s death. However, Pei-Erh eventually reveals her true feelings for Kang. However, Kang has feeling for Hsiao-Mei, the woman who rescues him after his arm is cut off. She feels conflicted as her mother warned her never to fall for a heroic swordsman as he will have tragedy befall upon him. Despite her mother’s words, Hsiao-Mei truly loves Kang and goes as far as help him learn his new style of swordplay.

Choreographed by legends Lau Kar-Leung and Tang Chia, the fight scenes are well done. While the hand-to-hand combat is more reminiscent of the black and white Wong Fei-Hung films than the later days of the 1970’s kung fu genre, the sword fighting scenes are a delight. To drive the film, Chang developed a new weapon called the “blade lock”, which looks like a pair of pliers that locks on the blade of Chi’s students and when it locks, the lock’s user then whips a dagger to kill his opponent. In addition, Kang uses a broken Golden Sword as his new weapon to enable the use of his left arm.

In 1995, Hong Kong auteur Tsui Hark developed a version of this film, entitled The Blade. While the setting is different from this classic, the theme is truly the same. Wushu champion turned action hero Vincent Zhao played the Jimmy Wang Yu role while Xiong Xin-Xin played the role of the “Flying Dragon”.

The One-Armed Swordsman is truly a classic Shaw Brothers film, thanks to the breakout performance from Jimmy Wang Yu and a story that combines frenetic sword fights and subtle drama.


A Shaw Brothers (HK) Ltd. Production. Director: Chang Cheh. Producer: Runme Shaw. Writers: Chang Cheh and I Kuang. Cinematography: Yuen Chang-Sam and Kuang Han-Lu. Editing: Chiang Hsing-Lung.

Cast: Jimmy Wang Yu, Chiao Chiao, Tien Feng, Pan Ying-Zi, Yeung Chi-Hing, Fan Mei-Sheng, Tang Ti, Wong Sai-Git, Chang Pei_Shan, Fan Dan, Ku Feng, Chen Yan-Yan.

Come Drink with Me (1966)

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One of the most beloved classic wuxia pian (heroic chivalry) marked the debut of a young ballerina turned legend. Her name: Cheng Pei-Pei.

“Golden Swallow” Chang is the daughter of the local governor who is sent on a mission. Her brother, Master Chang, has been kidnapped by a group of bandits led by the devilish Jade Faced Tiger. Master Chang is held in exchange for the release of Jade Faced Tiger’s leader. During her travels, she is followed by the mysterious Drunken Cat, a beggar who seems to quite an expert with the staff.

During a confrontation at the local temple, Golden Swallow finally comes face to face with the Jade Faced Tiger. When they fight, he uses a poisonous dart to wound her. Drunken Cat comes to her rescue and it is soon discovered that the beggar was once a bandit himself. However, growing tired of the bandit lifestyle, he resorts to being a beggar and hero. When Drunken Cat is challenged by the bandits, Golden Swallow arrives and hatches a plan to stop the bandits and rescue her brother while Drunken Cat must live up to his past to once and for all move on.

Directed by the legendary King Hu, this classic swordplay film has proven over the course of time to become of the well-loved films of Asian cinema. Aside from its Kurosawa-esque influence, the film’s major highlight is that of Cheng Pei-Pei. The ballerina turned actress gives out a superb performance as the young Golden Swallow. Under training from the legendary Han Ying-Chieh and a young Sammo Hung, Cheng performs well with the sword and even dishes out a little kicking at the same time. She proves that women can be equal to men in the martial world.

As for Yueh Hua, he does great as the mysterious Drunken Cat. As a beggar, he follows Golden Swallow around at times like someone who is madly in love or someone who respect her as a swordswoman. He goes as far as helping her when she is poisoned. Despite his eventual secret being revealed, he truly shows he is a man of honor. While Cheng Pei-Pei leads the film, it is Yueh Hua who gets the final fight of the film, against the notorious leader of the bandits.

The swordplay sequences are a delight to watch, notably that of the one against many fight at a local temple. This scene is where fans see Cheng at her best. Taking on the late Chan Hung-Lieh (who whiteface looks like he can pass as a wuxia version of the Joker) and goons, she dishes out punishment with the use of two daggers. What is interesting is the tension that builds before the punishment. This is where the film has that Seven Samurai feel to the film. That is, before she is nearly killed by the poisonous dart of the Jade Faced Tiger, setting up the climatic battles of the film.

A sequel, Golden Swallow, would be released two years later as more of a vehicle for Jimmy Wang Yu, but Come Drink with Me is definitely Cheng Pei-Pei’s show. She is truly a delight to watch and any martial arts film fan wanting to see a classic will enjoy this one.


A Shaw Brothers (H.K.) Ltd. Production. Director: King Hu. Producer: Sir Run Run Shaw. Writers: King Hu and Ting Shan-Hsi. Cinematography: Tadashi Nishimoto. Editing: Chiang Hsing-Lung.

Cast: Cheng Pei-Pei, Yueh Hua, Chan Hung-Lieh, Lee Wan Chung, Yeung Chi-Hing, Hao Li-Jen, Wong Chung, Cheung Hei, Tony Ching, Alan Chui, Mars, Han Ying-Chieh, Simon Yuen, Ku Feng, Fung Ngai.

Bruce Lee the Invincible (1978)


Bruce Lee clone Bruce Li (Ho Chung-Tao) and “the Headcrusher” Chan Sing star in this action packed that whose notoriety is the appearance of kung fu fighting gorillas!

Cheung Li-Kung is a rogue student of Shaolin who plots to kill a local businessman. However, he is stopped by Master Fok and his star student Yu Fong. When Cheung tries to resist Fok and Yu Fong, Cheung is ultimately stopped by their master. Cheung makes a promise to go to Malaysia to start a new life and not cause trouble. Anyone who has seen these type of film know that is not what he is planning to do.

Cheung does arrive in Malaysia. However, he is up to no good. He runs a local casino where he plans to rip off the local migrant workers. Cheung also plans to kidnap Wai Sin, the girlfriend of Shu San. What doesn’t help is that Shu San is a student of Master Fok, who has learned of Cheung’s actions. Fok and Yu Fong head to Malaysia to help Shu San rescue Wai Sin and put an end to Cheung’s criminal activities. However, they learn there are many obstacles that stand in their way.

While the film is titled Bruce Lee the Invincible, there is not one but two true stars to the film. One, of course, is Bruce Li. Interestingly enough, the opening credits lists Li under his real name of Ho Chung-Dao. The other is Chan Sing, one of the veteran powerhouses of 1970’s Hong Kong action cinema perhaps best known at the time for his hulking figure and tenacity to play usually the hero with some top villain roles as well. Li and Chan actually make a pretty decent student-teacher duo here as they team up with Cheung Nik to take on a former student played by the ever popular Michael Chan Wai-Man.

Chan, a former boxing and kickboxing champion, gives a great villain performance as renegade Cheung Li-Kung. He plans to both rip off the local migrant workers in Malaysia through his casino, but with the help of some local barbarians and bandits, become a virtual crime lord in the area. The barbarians and local thugs are played by the likes of a young Eric Tsang, Fung Hark-On, Peter Chan Lung, and in a bold move, the legendary Chin Tsi-Ang as a nanny who abuses Wai Yin until her cousin rescues her.

Wong Mei and Cheung Nik handled the fight sequences here. The duo make the hulking Chan Sing look good with his karate skills. Ho Chung-Tao or Bruce Li always shines with his skills, even doing some intricate leg holding when he exposes the secret of the casino in loaded dice. Cheung Nik looks like he might have done his own fights and showcase his impressive spinning kicks. However, the real highlight of the film involves Chan and Li taking on two gorillas who are skilled in kung fu. It is obvious that the gorillas were actually stuntmen complete with cheesy kill effects.

Nevertheless, Bruce Lee the Invincible is a pretty decent Bruce Lee clone flick. While Bruce Li continues to impress in the action department, the fight choreographers make good use of the rest of the cast. The fight scene pitting Chan Sing and Li against the gorillas is definitely a cult fight fan’s dream.


A Wuzhou Film Co. and Hua Hai Cinema Co. Production. Director: Law Kei. Producers: C.P. Keung and C.Y. Yang. Writer: C.Y. Yang. Editing: Tony Chow.

Cast: Chan Sing, Ho Chung-Tao, Cheung Nik, Michael Chan, Chan Wai-Ying, Fung Hark-On, Lam Yeung-Yeung, San Kuai, Bolo Yeung, Wong Mei, Mars, Eric Tsang, Sammy Lau, Chan Lung, Chung Fat, Chin Tsi-Ang.