# 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
Page 01 | Page 02 | Page 03 | Page 04 | Page 05 | Page 06 | Page 07 | Page 08 | Page 09 | Page 10 | Page 11
The First Vampire In China (1986) Directed by: Wong Ying

Return Of The Demon director Wong Ying dabbles in vampire territory, with an amusing opening talking of indeed the first vampire in China. Threatening to take over the country along with his hordes of other vampires, luckily there was an earthquake to bury them all. Cut to the early 20th century and the new mayor Alexander Tso (Charlie Cho) arrives with his dopey assistant played by To Siu-Ming to inspect the town, the countryside and to generally wreak havoc with their greed and ignorance. Trying to extract what they think is a jade treasure (but is in fact the jade clothed first vampire), they blow up the burial site where other vampires are laid to rest and it's chaos from there. Master Kent (Sek Kin in the Lam Ching-Ying role) may be able up this mess. By no means a yet to be discovered classic, Wong Ying provides energetic pace throughout, with Charlie Cho and To Siu-Ming being cocks and literally being transformed into ones after being attacked by an re-animated one! Further energy comes via a scene where Shing Fui-On as a hopping vampire is caught in a skipping rope contraption while Hwang Jang-Lee turns up and threatens to marry off the daughter of Kent, in the afterlife. Also with Anthony Tang, Robert Mak, Chor Yuen and Sai Gwa-Paau.

Fist Of Fury 1991 (1991) Directed by: Joh Chung

The Category III rating may have had an impact profit-wise but audience still turned out dependably, making Fist Of Fury 1991 another hit for Stephen Chow. Aside from the very funny reworking's of the classic funeral and "we are not sick men"-scenes from Bruce Lee's Fist Of Fury, this 1991 version bares little resemblance. It's all in the now established nonsense comedy style of Chow's which in this movie still relies on many verbal gags but good doses hilarious universal humour as well. Watch out for a truly disgusting spitting duel between Chow and Kenny Bee, Chow doning the famous Mark gear from A Better Tomorrow and some very funnily staged fight action by Corey Yuen.

Speaking of that, viewers might be quite uncomfortable during the finale as it's almost exclusively dark and turns incredibly Raging Bull-esque violent at times. When it then turns to comedy again, the contrast is tough to accept but it's a minor niggle as Fist Of Fury 1991 is a satisfying Stephen Chow vehicle from the early days. My favourite days of his. Corey Yuen, Cheung Man, Shing Fui On, Woo Fung and Vincent Wan co-stars while Ng Man Tat appears in a cameo that connects the worlds of Fist Of Fury 1991 and All For The Winner.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Fist Of Fury 1991 II (1992) Directed by: Corey Yuen & Joh Chung

This sequel to the Stephen Chow vehicle Fist Of Fury 1991 came close to the box office success of the first but even considering its rarity, with subtitles and in Cantonese, on home video, this is one for the hardcore fans only. There is enough inspired silliness from Chow and the cast to get us quickly through the 90 minutes but it's not as constant as other movies of his from this period and onwards. The Bruce Lee admiration by Chow obviously turns up in this film as well, most notably in the finale where he's sporting the famous yellow tracksuit. Also starring the very funny Josephine Siao, Kenny Bee, Nat Chan, Yuen Wah and, in dual roles, Sharla Cheung.

Fist Of Unicorn (1973) Directed by: Tong Dik

An interesting footnote in martial arts movie history concerns the making of Fist Of Unicorn (aka The Unicorn Palm). Conceived as a vehicle for Bruce Lee's long time friend, the late Unicorn Chan, reportedly producers had said to Chan that if he could get Bruce Lee into the movie, he would have himself a starring role. Bruce did indeed agree to support the project by coming onto the set to direct the action and to promote the film. However the film crew secretly filmed Bruce on the set and ended up integrating the footage into the storyline in addition to marketing Fist Of Unicorn as a Bruce Lee film. Whether Unicorn knew of this plan or not is unclear but it definitely put a strain on the soon to end friendship with Lee's untimely demise so close. Legal actions were taken but I haven't been able to figure out whether or not a settlement was made since the proceedings were interrupted when Bruce died.

That's about as interesting as it gets aside from the fact that the Mandarin version presented on VideoAsia's dvd doesn't have any of the poorly inserted shots of Bruce Lee or the backstory to Unicorn's character where these reside. It was clearly once part of the print (as evident by a brief shot of the Chinese/English subtitles on the English version during Lee's segment) otherwise we wouldn't have had this ruckus.

Outside of all this, Fist Of Unicorn remains poorly plotted and made with Unicorn Chan being all too wooden to be sold as the great, new martial arts hero. Points of interest turn up through young Mang Hoi's energetic performance and Whang In Sik's glorious kicking skills gets a fine showcase. Finally, Bruce's action directing is felt as selected fights are razor sharp in the to the point-way that he employed.

Fists And Guts (1979) Directed by: Lau Kar-Wing

Newly arrived in town, San (Gordon Liu) is seeking family heirlooms in possession of his former housekeeper, a master of disguise (Lo Lieh). Employing two local men looking to gain a little from helping out, the hunt is on...

Mixing Lau family trademark action, creative scenarios and comedy grinding the movie to a halt, Fists And Guts survives on its selling aspect quite well when all is said and done. Scenarios involving weapons fighting, quiet fighting and a scene at an island inflicted with leprosy, capping it off with a tricky, steel pole entrance into Lo Lieh's chamber gets Fists And Guts its thumbs up where it matters as the Lau's (Lau Kar-Leung co-choreographed the action) let loose in enthralling ways as usual.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Fists Of Bruce Lee (1979) Directed by: Ho Chung-Tao

Starring and directed by Ho Chung-Tao (otherwise known as Bruce Li), here's yet another poor Bruceploitation that completely misunderstood that by avoiding the obvious Bruce Lee references you automatically was a clever filmmaker. Case in point, Ho directs a dull cops and gangsters story, with himself playing a cocky agent infiltrating one gang while others are out to do something else too. Yes, I stopped caring early and when we don't get any relentless, shameless, attempts at echoing the Little Dragon's legacy, the film stands on its own and feels completely embarrassed. And it should, despite one good fight scene at a playground, the theme from Live And Let Die and the actual James Bond-theme rearing its head as well as a Bond-esque villain weaponry turning up in Lo Lieh's hands. Or rather, his hand is suddenly on a chain while squaring off with Li. Extremely minor tangents of fun, otherwise Fists Of Bruce Lee is a torture consisting of poor dubbing galore that has no chance reaching the all important area (and the only area where these efforts could compete) of fun.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Fist To Fist (1973) Directed by: Jimmy L. Pascual

Although listed as assistant director, John Woo directed all of or a significant part of this basher two years before his actual debut The Young Dragons. Even a story strand about a blind girl appears here and it's perhaps no coincidence it's an integral part of John's 1989 heroic bloodshed classic The Killer too. Fist To Fist (aka Fists Of The Double K) is not working with scope, tons of extras or even complex story as police officer played by Henry Yu (also lead of Woo's debut) heads to an abandoned town run by bandits to take revenge. Which is fine as a frame work if you paint your genre well with the element expected out of you. Fist To Fist delivers exceptionally well in the second half in particular (first is quite an uneventful trek) as concepts of an opponent with a knife in his ponytail and Yu with a sharp boomerang slicing his foes are executed with admirable intensity and skill. But being a basher, the Yuen Woo-Ping and Yuen Cheung-Yan choreographed action gets time to shine in several extended, intricate and primal fight sequences. Simon Yuen and Fong Yau also appears and further members of the Yuen family can be spotted in the roles of 'thugs'.

Five Friends Of Tai Po's (1989) Directed by: Chou Tan

So disconnected from its audience that you only ever notice two friends as the core of the story, Chou Tan's mix of young adults doing their utmost to desperately find love passes by without effect. Also preassured through poor situations in home lives, decisions on further education, the film is energetic and peppered with pop songs so certainly not as low in frequency as something like The Story Of Pei-Li by Chou Tan. But merely basic acknowedgement of what's even going on here as the latter reels involve a loyalty no matter thread is what one gets out of Five Friends Of Tai Po's.

Five Girls And A Rope (1992) Directed by: Yeh Hung-Wei

Co-produced by King Hu acting regular Hsu Feng, early images of the young girls dressed in red having hung themselves is a terrific, eerie start to trigger curiosity. And for a while, Yeh Hung-Wei (Home In My Heart) paints a tragic picture of some of these girls as they are stuck with tradition, village superstition and darkness that gets inflicted on either them or their friends. It's all very episodic, questionable in terms of the film deserving its darkness but the starkness combined with a static direction works for at least half a flick. But the difficulty in relating to customs on display and telling the characters apart ultimately makes Five Girls And A Rope outstay its welcome. The journey leading up to the deadly fates has its opportunities to shake you in a low-key way but director Yeh loses us over the course of the 2 hours, despite the final moments leading up to the opening reel shot being quite superbly eerie as well.

Five Shaolin Masters (1974) Directed by: Chang Cheh

Lensed in Taiwan by Chang Cheh's company (Chang's Film Co.) and distributed by Shaw Brothers, the stars that made films on the giant backlot may be there but this is scaled down to the point where it literally feels like one of many non-studio, independent productions. Not a bad thing as this mostly shot outdoors tale merely has an action-agenda. Thankfully there is a team here to make this assault of choreography fun and varied. Shaolin Temple has burned down and the Manchu's are pursuing the Han rebels. The group of characters David Chiang, Ti Lung, Alexander Fu Sheng, Chi Kuan-Chun and Mang Fei plays ward off a number of attacks, join their fellow rebels and train in seclusion for a year in order to take on the primary Manchu oppressors for the 20 minute fight finale (the colorful team of Leung Kar-Yan, Fung Hak-On, Tsai Hung, Kong Do and the Han-betrayer played by Johnny Wang). That's your traditional template that despite a hefty running time greatly entertains because Lau Kar-Leung and Lau Kar-Wing's choreography is always exemplary. A variety of movie fighting styles and fun weapons are employed and it's a miracle that despite so much of the movie's quality resting on their shoulders that no martial arts ever bores. Stripped down kung-fu never felt better.

Page 01 | Page 02 | Page 03 | Page 04 | Page 05 | Page 06 | Page 07 | Page 08 | Page 09 | Page 10 | Page 11
BACK TO TOP