Kung Fu | Varied Celluloid

18 Fatal Strikes

Posted by Josh Samford On December - 20 - 2013

18 Fatal Strikes (1978)
Director: Chan Yeung Jing
Writers: Chih-hung Hsieh and Sung Pe Liu
Starring: Wei Tung, Dean Shek, Wen Chiang-lung, and Lung Sze-Ma

The Plot: 18 Fatal Strikes takes place during the Qing dynasty. The film opens with Wong Wu Ti (Lung Sze-Ma) showcasing his Shaking Eagle Claw style (which has him making noises that sound like that of a cat) against a Shaolin Abbot named Wan Hung. Wan Hung is a rebel against the Manchu, and it seems that he may face certain death when up against Wong Wu Ti – but he manages to escape at the last minute. He is found and taken care of by two silly farmers, played by Wei Tung and Dean Shek, but when Wong Wu Ti comes looking for the Abbot, great peril waits for all involved.

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Four, The

Posted by Josh Samford On May - 6 - 2013

The Four (2012)
Director: Gordon Chan and Janet Chun
Writers: Gordon Chan, Maria Wong, and Frankie Tam
Starring: Deng Chao, Liu Yifei, Collin Chou, Anthony Wong

The Plot: The Four is a period tale that focuses on a town that is being threatened by counterfeit money. There are two units that are initially tasked with finding the culprits behind this illegal operation. The two groups, The Divine Constabulary and Department Six, are completely different from one another in every way. Department Six is a very covert unit that works within the shadows and they are much more in tune with the general bureaucracy found in government. The Divine Constabulary, however, is much more ethical in general. This group is very special, and not just because they have a nice sense of social ethics, but all members seem to have mastered their martial art to such a degree that they now harness supernatural powers. Reading minds and shooting projectiles are simply everyday activities within the Divine Constabulary clubhouse. Lengxue (Deng Chao) is a member of Department Six, but he is asked by their leader to go undercover within the Divine Constabulary. After a very public firing, Lengxue is eventually welcomed into The Divine Constabulary, and he befriends all who are involved. As you have maybe guessed, he will have a very difficult decision to make in the near future (which side will he choose!?), but along the way he must help take down this counterfeiting operation and bring justice to those who would fight against it.

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One Armed Swordsmen

Posted by Josh Samford On December - 20 - 2012

One Armed Swordsmen (1976)
Director: David Chiang and Jimmy Wang Yu
Writers: Ku Lung
Starring: David Chiang, Jimmy Wang Yu, Lo Lieh, and Yi Chang

The Plot: This classic wuxia tale begins with a police officer being struck down and his arm being removed by a bandit, but during the battle he also lobs off the arm of his opponent. The police officer decides, despite losing his limb, to continue studying the martial arts, and does this by reading the one-armed swordsman style handbook that was left for him by a friend. As he begins his studying, he is once again attacked – but this time by a one-armed ninja! The black-hooded ninja kills off the older lawman, but unknown to the murderer, a young child was hidden in the room and saw the death of his master. So, with this established, we move to our main story which focuses on two men: Fong Ping (Jimmy Wang Yu) and Kao Shing (David Chiang). These two men are the most powerful one-armed martial artists around. Wah (Lo Lieh) suspects Fong Ping or Kao Shing as the culprit, but he is not fully convinced yet. As he follows these two around, we find that the lines between hero and villain can be quite blurred within this small world.

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Blood Brothers

Posted by Josh Samford On December - 7 - 2012

Blood Brothers (1973)
Director: Chang Cheh
Writers: Ni Kuang
Starring: Ti Lung, David Chiang, Chen Kuan Tai, and Ching Li

The Plot: In the opening of our film, Chan Wen Hsian (David Chiang) is arrested for the murder of Ma Hsing I (Ti Lung), a very famous and respected general. When placed on trial, Chan tells the court his side of the story and why everything happened the way that it did. His story starts roughly a decade in the past, when Chan Wen Hsian was partnered with his close friend Huang Chung (Chen Kuan Tai), when the two men made it a habit to rob any travelers that they could find on the road. When they come across a younger version of Ma Hsing I, the duo find a very powerful adversary. Ma Hsing I and Huang Chung start to battle it out along the side of the road, but when their fight comes to a draw, Ma hands over his money out of respect and everyone sets off on their respective ways. Later, Ma Hsing I shows up at the home of Huang Chung and Chan Wen Hsian and he proposes an offer to the duo. If he were to join him and his faction, they could become one of the most powerful military units in the world. With the promise of money in their future, this trio set off to take over several small outposts in an attempt to strengthen their numbers. With their power growing, Ma Hsing I’s ego begins to grow along with it. His eyes eventually wander to Huang Chung’s wife, and the two begin having an affair that they try to keep quiet. This tumultuous love triangle, without spoiling anything, is bound to drive these blood brothers apart.

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Protector, The

Posted by Josh Samford On December - 6 - 2012

The Protector (2005)
Director: Prachya Pinkaew
Writers: Prachya Pinkaew, Kongdej Jaturanrasamee, Napalee, Piyaros Thongdee, and Joe Wannapin
Starring: Tony Jaa, Nathan Jones, Petchtai Wongkamlao, and Jon Foo

The Plot: Kham (Tony Jaa) is the last of a long line of guards who look after the King of Thailand’s war elephants. Growing up with these elephants, he has formed an incredibly tight bond with the animals. So, when his prized elephant is stolen by an evil British parliament member, he decides to follow a trail that leads him to Sidney, Australia. As a stranger in a strange land, Kham finds himself quickly making enemies – but he remains determined to find this elephant and bring it safely back to Thailand. In order to accomplish this near-impossible feat, he is going to have to fight his way through the Australian underworld – one thug at a time.

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