# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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Fight Among The Supers (1979) Directed by: Huang Kuo-Cho

Imagine Dean Shek (Drunken Master) and Karl Maka (Aces Go Places) team up and do exactly what they do "best" (cue audience groans) and you can well imagine how this Taiwanese indie feels like.

Starring Lu Feng and Chiang Sheng, two out of the team that Chang Cheh assembled from Taiwan for his Venoms films at Shaw's (although Chiang didn't participate in the original The Five Venoms) as the god of plates and chopsticks respectively, the two have a tradition of dueling it out every 10 years. After the last ferocious battle involving, you guessed it, plates and chopsticks, they decide to challenge each other to find the best human disciple instead. The choice falls upon two teahouse waiters and the gods begin to put them through all kinds of embarrassing hell.

Best described as a kung fu cartoon (complete with the expected sound effects), director Huang Kuo-Chu is clearly having a ball! Pace and energy is borderline frantic, surely making a lot of jokes fly by without knowing they were ever jokes in the first place. The Drunken Master influence is definitely well on its way into the picture but it's quickly a thought ejected considering the craziness otherwise on display, in particular wonderful opening duel between the gods. The bizarre nature makes it very much less a carbon copy, I'll tell you! It all makes for entertaining viewing even though honestly nothing on display will tickle your funnybone to the extreme. Fight Among The Supers is also a good tester to see how receptive you really are to the low-brow comedy of Asian cinema, especially since it occupies most of the running time here.

As for traditional action, various skilled acrobatics from the leads crop up during the running time and the final reel becomes more of a conventional showdown but one with the Taiwanese players strutting their stuff in a lively way. Shame about some of the undercranking but somehow it makes sense and adds on to the entertainment value of this slice of Taiwanese kung fu cinema.

Fight Back To School (1991) Directed by: Gordon Chan

Stephen Chow plays Sing who goes undercover in a school in order to retrieve a stolen police gun. A sufficient frame plot-wise for Chow and co-star Ng Man Tat's antics, this time directed by the reliable Gordon Chan.

While the films of this period are no cinematic showcases, they are Chow's funniest works without a doubt, even though Fight Back To School elicits "only" chuckles for some stretches with some inspired laugh out loud moments from Chow sporadically. However all that's ok because director Chan keeps entertainment level high and intrudes very little on Stephen's excellent work here. A choice even Wong Jing knew was a suitable one when directing Chow. A particular strong point is Chow's observation of his bizarre surroundings (a scene with a rather dim-witted chemistry professor becomes the culmination in that regard) and the interplay with Ng Man Tat is as always great, with relatively little full on verbal gags employed. Also with Sharla Cheung, Gabriel Wong, Roy Cheung, Paul Chun, Dennis Chan and Barry Wong.

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Yesasia.com

Fight Back To School II (1992) Directed by: Gordon Chan

No need to change a winning concept but that's ok because the original Fight Back To School actually was a winner. This time Gordon Chan and company add synch sound to the hilarious, if slightly calmer antics of Stephen Chow, proving his masterful handling of the range concerning verbal dexterity and in my opinion the most hilarious of the act here, him in his odd surroundings trying to cope. Gordon Chan again knows to not interfere but the direction is as always solid, with a decent gunplay ending worthy of his talents. Perhaps not Chow's though. Reprising their roles are Sharla Cheung, Ng Man Tat, Gabriel Wong while Athena Chu, Deannie Yip, Michael Chow, James Wong, Spencer Lam and Blackie Ko are added to the mix. Since the plot revolves around foreign terrorists, some of the resident gwailo players such as Mark Houghton, Mark King and John Wakefield also appear. Paul Fonoroff however plays a head of the police force.

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Fight Back To School III (1993) Directed by: Wong Jing

For the Lunar New Year of 1993, Wong Jing takes over a series that doesn't thoroughly match its English title anymore but indeed has Chow Sing Sing (Stephen Chow) go undercover again, much to the dismay of girlfriend Man (Sharla Cheung). After finding a millionaire murdered with an ice pick, Chow goes undercover as the husband to find out who the murderer is. Good thing he looks exactly like him and off he's into a world of wealth with the beautiful wife of the deceased, Judy Tong (Anita Mui)...

Aside from Wong Jing interfering with some crude, rather offensive jokes against amongst others homosexuals and his trademark steal whatever is hot commodity right now (in this case Basic Instinct is parodied in obvious ways), the third installment is predictably hilarious stuff from Stephen Chow. He finds endless ways to create the unpredictable, serious, droll, manic gags and while basically only Anita Mui plays along well, you tend to forgive and forget that a large amount of the other cast such as Nat Chan and Leung Kar-Yan are acting out the style of Wong Jing's. Watch out for references to past Chow vehicles such as when Paul Chun appears as the rival gambler from All For The Winner and Chow dressing up as his gambling self from said film... only to say his imitating David Copperfield instead. Chow also drives an elevator very fast in one scene. Also with Anthony Wong and Phillip Chan.

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Fighting Fist (1992) Directed by: Casey Chan

The sole good idea the producers behind Fighting Fist had was putting Sibelle Hu in leather. Not often associated with sexiness, Hu owns the screen even when doing nothing but much derails as soon as clothes are changed. Standard story of vigilante actions and the morals that come with the territory are mixed up to poor effect, with only sparse, highly indistinguishable action on display. About half a tussle between Chin Kar-Lok and Ken Lo is worth it before the former buys the farm in a welcome, macabre way. Welcome in a sense that the movie could've benefited from this excursion but director Casey Chan utilizes his momentum extremely poorly. Relocating to Japan and introducing training sequences akin to the old school kung fu movie furthermore illustrates the poor fit Chan's elements are. Sonny Chiba also appear sporadically.

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The Fighting Fists Of Shanghai Joe (1974) Directed by: Mario Caiano

Darker than the other Asian and spaghetti Western mash up's such as Blood Money (aka The Stranger And The Gunfighter, starring Lo Lieh and Lee Van Cleef) but a whole lot of simple, violent fun, The Fighting Fists Of Shanghai Joe (aka The Dragon Strikes Back) stars Japanese actor Chen Lee (a given stage name) as Chinese immigrant Chin Hau coming to America to realize the dream of becoming a cowboy. Encountering racism and upright citizens in fact being human smugglers, Chin Hau fights a world of constant bloodshed with constant bloodshed...

Not a whole of complexities or comedic interludes are present. No, director Mario Caiano takes the simple template of a action packed, fighting-ride but goes to town with the violent aspect of it,. Very audience pleasing therefore, Chen Lee comes off as a sufficient fighter while the whole package has room for harsh racist remarks, bloody shootings, Klaus Kinski scalping people alive and Chin Hau himself picking the eye balls and hearts out of those who deserve it.

The Fighting Fool (1980) Directed by: Patrick Yuen

Unless you were a filmmaker like Lau Kar-Leung, Shaw Brothers never really countered the increasing popularity of the kung-fu comedy made independently at Seasonal and starring Jackie Chan. There's desperation in The Fighting Fool as well and no breakthrough in any performer in sight but having said that, some fun and complex action makes the trek worthwhile. Meng (Meng Yuen-Man) and Zhu Tou Bing (Chun Wong) team up to find the former's master and to retrieve a retractable pole weapon before the evil bastards at Eagle Mansion do. Featuring your basic plot with forced comedy but the product does move quite fast, an actual pee testing scene as ordered by the Indian played by Jamie Luk is very funny (especially the pay off) and you got to snicker at the fact that our character's names are translated as Stupid and Pig Head. Hsu Hsia's action along the way is usually fast and fluent and a benefit for the production. Especially for those who won't respond to the comedy. Co-written by Wong Jing.

Fight To Survive (1989) Directed by: Wai Chi-Ho

Brutal violence highlights this otherwise ordinary triad actioner. Alex Man plays a suspended cop that takes on the triad way, rising through the ranks much to the dismay of characters such as those played by Shing Fui On and Phillip Ko. Despite all kinds of familiar elements and clichés popping up to say hi, there lies a charm in efforts such as this and the era it's from. The filmmakers certainly doesn't set out to develop characters to any great extent and just as the martial arts movies of the 70s took inspiration from successful concepts, the triad genre also made sure to feature those elements, with freshness rarely attempted. Fight To Survive goes about its business quick, giving us the triad brutality and brawls in a gritty manner and that's about all you can expect. Kind of hard to be disappointed therefore. Carrie Ng, Eddy Ko and O Chun-Hung co-stars.

Filthy Guy (1978) Directed by: King Weng

Not the strongest Sammo Hung vehicle of the time, he plays a farmer with a diseased ridden head who aspiring emperor (Carter Wong) wants out of the way so that HE can earn that honor instead. Initially fairly strong comedically, the movie takes a hard nose dive into comedy that further clouds story comprehension (Dean Shek is the main reason for annoyance here). Sammo is at hand to make the physicality and action solid however but such scenes aren't reference examples in a career with tons of them. Also with Yueh Hua.

Final Justice (1988) Directed by: Parkman Wong

Self-reliant cop Cheung (Danny Lee) causes problems with his superior (Ricky Yi) when catching small time hoodlum Boy (Stephen Chow) who is the key to catching a vicious gang of robbers (led by a quiet Shing Fui-On and a psychotic Tommy Wong). As Boy is about to be charged as part of the gang and Cheung has to bust him out of prison and use the next 24 hours to crack the case...

Quite basic and clichéd, Parkman Wong keeps the pace up in his directing debut though. The buddy formula with Lee and Chow works very well despite expected beats of initially being enemies to being pals and coupled with select violent shootouts from action director Yuen Wah, Final Justice provides a fair balance. One of its themes is the difference between the street cops, anyone behind a desk, the hassle of paperwork and while not a fairly portrayed balance (Ricky Yi's character gets few chances to state his point clearly), it's an intelligent backbone of the film. Stephen Chow was nominated at the Hong Kong Film Awards for his performance. Also with William Ho (despite this being his pre-Category III days, he still manages to end up in a sex scene), Victor Hon and Ken Lo.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Final Run (1989) Directed by: Phillip Ko

Phillip Ko's absolute best film as director (it could stand proudly alongside Killer's Romance though), this very simple tale of revenge gets big, vast and epic because of the quite unbelievable roster of talent gathered up for one movie. In no particular order, Miu Kiu-Wai, Simon Yam, Phillip Ko himself, Francis Ng, Yukari Oshima, Ridley Tsui, Dick Wei, Ha Chi-Jan, Ha Ping, Shum Wai, Luk Chuen, Leung Kar-Yan, Mark Houghton and in the lead, Cheung Kwok-Keung which is the lesser name compared to some other bankable ones in the cast. Essentially it starts when Cheung's customs inspector gets unwillingly drawn into the narcotics business of childhood friend played by Miu Kiu-Wai. With a rash badass by his side in the form of Phillip Ko, Cheung's family is wiped out and the flick re-locates to Thailand where control of drugs and the Golden Triangle is high priority for many. Connected to and getting in the way are the likes of Dick Wei and Yukari Oshima. Aside from the likes of Francis Ng, Phillip Ko gives many of his players time to shine with either the usage of fists, legs or guns and the assault is quite wonderfully entertaining. A freight train of a movie with often very well-done action (in particular Dick Wei and Yukari Oshima taking on a bunch of henchmen) and the guerilla camp finale fires on all cylinders, not only for martial arts fans. It's not art but very well performed within its parameters.

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