Kung Fu Cinema Names Top 10 Classic Kung Fu Movies
10) The Seven Grandmasters - Never saw this film, but if it's about Priest Pai Mei travelling around and kicking ass, sounds like fun!
9) Master of the Flying Guillotine - Didn't really care for this film, although the guillotine itself was pretty damn cool. It consisted of this harness which was connected to a long chain and you would throw the harness over a person's head and then activate the guillotine which would drop a netting over the person's head and razor sharp blades would sever the head at the neck. Pretty cool. But the movie itself was kind of boring, except for the Dahlsim fighter which was pretty awesome.
8) Heroes of the East (aka Shaolin Challenges Ninja) - A fun film about a newlywed couple of a Chinese man and Japanese woman, always fighting over whose country had the better martial arts. Lots of decent fights, but not worthy of Top 10, in my opinion.
7) The Secret Rivals - Never saw this one either.
6) The Five Venoms - Maybe THE iconic kung fu film, after Enter the Dragon. The story of 5 masters whose styles are based on poisonous animals: centipede, snake, scorpion, lizard, and toad. While a little more heavy on plot than action for a standard Chang Cheh film, this film kicks all kinds of ass just for its coolness.
5) Executioners from Shaolin - Great film with Chen Kuan Tai as the legendary Hong Tsi Kuan fighting against Lo Lieh as the evil priest Pai Mei. I think everyone's who's seen this remembers the golden statue that dropped the little silver balls, a prop that Hong Tsi Kuan used to help him find Pai Mei's weak point.
4) The Magnificent Butcher - One of Sammo Hung's finest films. This film has some great fight scenes and choreography with some funny parts thrown in. I just didn't care for the guy fighting in the "cat" style. That was pretty lame.
3) The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (aka Master Killer) - Another film that every kung fu fan is familiar with. Gordon Liu stars as San Te, a young man who goes to the Shaolin Temple to train to get revenge. He goes through all of the Temple's 36 training chambers and also invents the 3 sectional staff along the way. One of the greatest kung fu films ever.
2) Fist of Fury (aka The Chinese Connection) - My 2nd favorite Bruce Lee movie after The Big Boss (aka Fists of Fury...I know, confusing, yeah?). This movie starred Bruce as a Chinese student, hungry to get revenge on the Japanese after learning they were responsible for killing his teacher. A classic film. Later remade by Jet Li as Fist of Legend.
1) Drunken Master - Jackie Chan as legendary character Wong Fei Hung. Jackie is at his best here as he combines comedy and kick ass action in another telling of the Wong Fei Hung story. While I thought this was a good film, I don't think it deserves Top 10 recognition. I even thought Drunken Master 2 was better than the original.
If it were my personal Top 10 list, I would've included more classic Shaw Brothers films since I grew up watching Black Belt Theater every Friday night on TV and also lived right across the street from the old Empress Theater on Beretania street where they would show Hong Kong kung fu films. Here are some films that I would've included:- 5 Shaolin Masters (aka 5 Masters of Death) - This movie is simply perfect. An all star cast (Fu Sheng, Chi Kuan Chun, Ti Lung, David Chiang, etc.) and an awesome story about 5 Shaolin students who escape the burning of the temple and train to face off against 5 masters of the Ching army. I can watch this film over and over again.- Shaolin Temple (aka Death Chamber) - A kind of prequel to 5 Shaolin Masters. The story of a bunch of young men trying to gain entry to the Shaolin Temple to learn martial arts. Once they're accepted, they each learn a specific skill and then they're forced to apply their knowledge when the Ching army raids the temple at the end of the film. Lots of good training sequences with another all star cast that combines Chang Cheh's old regulars (Fu Sheng, Ti Lung, etc.) with his new regulars (the Venoms)- Kid with the Golden Arms - Probably the best film featuring the Venoms. Lots of good fight sequences, memorable dialogue, and cool nicknames. Golden Arm, Silver Spear, Short Axe, Long Axe, Iron Robe, Brass Head, Iron Feet, Sand Palm. How can you not love a film with those character names?- Avenging Eagle - One of the few Shaw kung fu films not done by Chang Cheh, but still great nonetheless. Ti Lung and Fu Sheng star in this film about an assassin who wants to quit but his boss won't let him and sends his 12 other assassins to take him out. One big reason of my love for this film is that it features the coolest weapon in film, EVER. Fu Sheng's wrist blades are beyond awesome. I made my own home made version of them after seeing the movie as a kid and I thought I was really badass when I wore them.- Five Element Ninja (aka Super Ninjas - Although it doesn't feature the strongest cast, the coolness of the Ninja elements more than made up for it. Who can forget the gold, wood, water, fire, and earth stages of the ninja challenge?