Category:Film & Animation Rating: 9/10 - Very Good Tags: Shaolin, Deadly, Kicks, Kung, Fu, Martial, Arts, Fighting Disclaimer
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One of Tan Tao Liangs Best movies, imported by JARS to America way back when we where known as Joe's Video Values in1980 from Ocean Shores Video, JARS gives this movie *** Stars for great leg fights first kicker movie i saw, still this to be one o f the best, for more info. wwwjarsvideo.com for more Reviews coming soon.
In this action packed martial arts adventure, the famous General Stone is struck down in battle, under mysterious circumstances. His talented son, Flash Legs (Tan Tao Liang), vows to investigate his strange death and get to the truth of the matter.
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A regional champion martial artist that moonlights as an honour-bound assassin, Tu Ta Shen, solidifies his reputation by challenging top fighters en route to the other champion, Nan Pa Tien, in order to unify both titles. Along the way he defeats a man who's shame in defeat drives him to suicide.
SHAOLIN RED MASTER is one of those kung fu movies where everything is shrouded in mystery for so long into the story that by the time we learn what we need to know, we find it wasn't worth the effort. This is too bad because there are some good performers and a handful of good fights, including a great knockdown, drag-out hand-to-hand bout at the end between star Chi Kuan-Chun and villain Chang Yi.
Directed by Sung Ting Mei, the film opens with a lengthy treatise on Tibetan Buddhism and its spin-off Lamaism and its Red and Yellow branches, all of which have virtually nothing to do with the movie proper. Instead, the plot is all about a stolen box of Ancient Ginseng originally prescribed for an ailing kung fu master by a doctor who was then killed. Ten years later, the doctor's son, Su (Chi Kuan-Chun), seeks revenge and winds up mixing in with a group of shady characters including Flying Tiger Chi Pao (Lung Fei) and the attractive but deceptive Miss Hung (Hu Chin). All paths eventually lead to a `Red Master' called `Old Devil' (Chang Yi) who is also looking for a hidden Jade Buddha.
Su continuously intervenes when other characters are attacked, usually by killer monks, but he gradually arrives later and later until, one by one, the various characters die before he can save them, none of which seems to bother him very much. There is a fat waiter and his equally hefty wife who help out Su, but also provide questionable comic relief, including a scene where the couple is about to make love but are interrupted by the boss lady, Miss Hung.
It's not a bad movie, but the unnecessarily busy plot slows things down and actually keeps the hero from doing what he does best, i.e. fight! Better known for playing Hu Wei Chien in several of Chang Cheh's Shaolin Temple films, Chi Kuan-Chun is in fine form here, as fit and toned as ever. Short, but with long and well-muscled arms and legs, Chi found few opponents who made a good fit with him on screen, but he is particularly well-matched with Chang Yi in the final battle. Chi made lots of films in Taiwan after leaving Shaw Bros., from the sublime (EAGLE'S CLAW, also with Chang Yi) to the ridiculous (IRON NECK LI). SHAOLIN RED MASTER was shot on location in Taiwan and while it's well-directed it pales next to the same director's TRAITOROUS (1976).
Iron Neck Li (1978) Full Movie
AKA: Tie Bo Zi Li Yong (original title); Kung Fu Forever
Action I Comedy
Director: Cheung Yan Git
Stars: Chi Kuan Chun, Siu Foo Dau, Su Chen Ping, Choi Wang, Ma Cheung & O Yau Man
Iron Neck Li signs on as a personal bodyguard for a Chinese prince. The potentate plans to visit the lawless island of Formosa, where there are criminals who would love to take a crack at the rich prince. But small time gangsters are the least of Li's worries when he encounters a powerful clan. Li must now put everything on the line to save the young prince.
DEATH DUEL OF KUNG FU (1979) is an unsung kung fu gem featuring two of the most dynamic Taiwan-based kung fu movie stars of the era, John Liu and Wong Tao, reunited here after their co-starring turn in the fan favorite SECRET RIVALS (1976). Like that film, this was shot in South Korea, although this film is actually set in China. The two stars are at their kung fu-fighting peak here and offer their fans a generous array of martial arts battles, both with each other and with a formidable array of opponents, all shot on Korean locations including the grounds of ancient Buddhist temples.
The story takes place in the early days of the Qing dynasty and follows the efforts of Ming patriot Shun Ching Kwei (Wong Tao) to join up with the exiled Ming forces on Taiwan after he kills the Qing field marshal. The character is a famed Southern fist fighter and is pursued by the Qings' hand-picked kung fu warriors. John Liu plays Sun Sen, the Northern kicking champion, who intervenes to help Wong Tao at key points, although his loyalties and motives aren't always clear. Wong is joined on his journey by a beautiful Japanese woman (who appears nude in one scene, her body adorned with snake tattoos) whose loyalties are also in question, although her feelings for Wong appear to be genuine.
The chief villain is Lord To Ko Lan, whose fighting skills pose such a threat to the two heroes that they realize they must join forces in order to beat him. Han Ying (aka Eagle Han Ying), who plays Lord To, is at least as good a fighter as his two co-stars (and possibly better), playing a master skilled enough to counter the crane fist techniques of the Southern champ and the high kicking of the Northern champ.
The story, written by Shaw Bros. house scribe I Kuang, takes its characters over vast distances yet manages to bring them together for a series of spectacular bouts, all staged by actors Chien Yuet San and Meng Hoi. The result, directed by Cheung Kay (aka Chang Chi), is a lean, stirring, well-photographed-and-directed kung fu movie with no fat and no waste. The only major distractions are the below-average English dubbing and the music soundtrack's reliance on long stretches lifted from Dominic Frontiere's score for the Clint Eastwood western, HANG 'EM HIGH (1968).