Reviews by Country
In light of the Hong Kong box office success of Once Upon a Time in China (which was the 8th highest earner in 1991, making HK$29,672,278.00 over its 56 day run), it was only a matter of course before at least one sequel would get spawned. This being a Film Workshop baby, one could also justly expect the ante to be upped in the second work of what turned out to be a six movie series. The appointment of Yuen … (read more)
Oh, look, it’s another brightly-coloured Chu Yuan fantasy swordplay film, like the squillions of other ones he made for Shaw Brothers — except that this one has a number of features that make it a little different, and a bit of a surprise as well. Made in 1977, this film stars Derek Yee (David Chiang’s younger brother, and director of 2004’s great One Nite in Mongkok) as Third Master, reputedly the number one swordsman in the world. His stature … (read more)
This film certainly made my jaw drop, mostly for all the right reasons. I spent many, many moments trying to reconcile extremely important questions such as; is that scrawny squirt with a permanent smirk on his face really David Chiang?
And was Ti Lung really that cool and not to mention ravishing in a Mongolian warrior get-up? It wasn’t that I didn’t know David Chiang, Ti Lung and many others were in Chang Cheh’s films, I guess I just wasn’t … (read more)
Popular Shaw Brothers babes Ti Lung and David Chiang star in yet another Chang Cheh film about fraternal love, Duel of Fists. This came runner up to The Big Boss in the 1971 Hong Kong box office, but it’s much better.
Chang Cheh keeps things very simple in terms of plot, leaving as much room as possible for the action—on his fathers dying wish, Fan Ko (David Chiang) goes to Thailand to find his brother Wen Leih (Ti Lung), … (read more)
Arguably the best film director for traditional style kung-fu action, Liu Chia-liang (a.k.a. Lau Kar-leung) was a pioneer in exploring authentic martial arts technique and training procedures in kung-fu films. So although David Chiang is a kung-fu veteran, it’s no wonder that in The Shaolin Mantis, where he plays a man who learns martial arts from a praying mantis then seeks revenge for his wife’s death, the movie features some of his best kung-fu fights to date. — (from … (read more)
All Men Are Brothers is another huge Chang Cheh-directed production from Shaws when they were at the height of their powers, with just about all their action stars and four of their action choreographers (including my favourite, Lau Kar Leung). It picks up its story from the same source as The Water Margin and doesn’t go to much trouble introducing the characters… so you’re advised to watch The Water Margin first, so you know why David Chiang has his own … (read more)
The Water Margin is big. Really, really big. Even for a Shaw Brothers production directed by Chang Cheh at the height of his popularity, it’s huge. Involving just about all of the action stars on the Shaws payroll at the time, enormous sets, lots of outdoor shots and four action choreographers, it really does show off the ‘house style’ that Shaw Brothers are famous for.
The film is an adaptation of a small part of the Chinese classic of the … (read more)