The Big Boss (1971)The world's first true intro to the awesomeness of Bruce Lee (except for Kato) this one is a lot of fun. Bruce stars as Cheng, a new worker at an ice factory who also happens to be master of all martial arts. But when the boss, who's a local dope runner starts taking out Cheng's cousins he has to violate his promise of no violence (aka promise not to be awesome.)My only gripe with the film is a handful of shots are cut a little too quickly (one dog attack in the film is laughable) but Bruce's charm and awesomeness shine through. Also, this may have just been me but due to multiple viewings of the underrated Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story I was expecting one fight scene filled with exploding ice and was a little disappointed not to get it, oh well this movie is great promise breakingsploitation!
Circle of Iron aka The Silent Flute (1978)Original screenplay conceived by and partially written by Bruce Lee and James Coburn, starting David Carradine, Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Eli Wallach, and an unaccredited cameo by Chuck Norris. According to the film’s lore Bruce Lee imagined it as an introduction to Eastern philosophy, he wanted to show western audiences the ideals of Zen and the martial arts. What we get is a heroes quest, wherein a hero journeys to find the great Zetan played be Christopher Lee, challenge him, and recover a book which contains all the world’s wisdom. Along the way he meets Eli Wallach in a cauldron of oil, David Carradine as leader of the Monkeymen, Death, a blind flute player and the shadowy Chang-Sha, and Chuck Norris as a man working on a boat. Circle of Iron also marks the one and only directorial outing by Richard Moore, the cinematographer that created Panavision.And now for the rest of the day I shall answer every question with a question.
That trailer just gave me ADHD. I'm itchy.
Tai Chi Zero (2012)Not really exploitation (it obviously had a huge budget) but I couldn't resist when I read the description on Netflix. Kung fu against steampunk machines? Count me in! This one has so much going for it - an appealing hero and heroine, a sympathetic villain, tremendous production design, well-done action scenes, and a fun visual style that was obviously inspired by Scott Pilgrim Versus the World. And yet it whiffs the ending, because there IS no ending! Infuriatingly the movie stops mid-stream and we get previews for the NEXT film to come, Tai Chi Hero. Are you freaking kidding me? Of course, when Tai Chi Hero becomes available I'll be there (you bastards).
I just read that they made this movie for 12 million. Holy crap! If this had been made in the states, it would have cost 5 times that much.
And look out Steve it appears there will be a third film in the series as well.
KILLER OF SNAKE, FOX OF SHAOLIN (1978)This is by FAR my weirdest watch of Junespolitation. To even describe the plot of this movie would do it no justice. All I'll say is that there animal transformation galore, a rape/subplot involving a ghost, an intervention by God, a romance that boarders on "Fatal Attraction" territory, really bad dubbing, a WTF ending, in some kung-fu fighting in between. It's on YouTube, enjoy!
The Five Deadly Venoms aka The Five Venoms (1978)Because great F This Movie minds think alike. I thought the initial concept for the movie was awesome (5 fighting styles based on venomous animals) and so did Quentin Tarantino. But there are long stretches between the fight scenes that bored me, and, frankly, I had a little trouble following the plot. I'm not sure anyone is coming to Kung Fu cinema for intricate plots. Still...there's awesome fight choreography and acrobatics, as well as cool, creepy masks that remind me of vintage 70s Doctor Who bad guys (think Talons of Weng Chiang). I'm glad I own it.
Black Belt Jones (1974)I kinda just want to cut and paste everything Hollywood Heath said on blaxploitation day. This movie is exactly what you want it to be. I wasn't in the right mood for it when it started, but it quickly won me over. Fun, silly, and probably the best soundtrack of Junesploitation so far (though rock & roll day is coming up, so who knows).
Hey, hey! Let's go to McDonalds!
Jim Kelly passed away yesterday. :-(http://www.grindhousedatabase.com/index.php/Jim_Kelly
I just saw that! Sad. Let's all watch Black Belt Jones in his honor. He was too cool.
"Do those dishes or somethin'...":-)
Enter the Dragon (1973)I was going to watch something new for kung fu day, but had to rewatch this one anyway for a review. I could do worse. Maybe the "classiest" kung fu movie ever made this side of Crouching Tiger, but never skimps on being totally badass. The best Bruce Lee there is, PLUS Jim Kelly and John Saxon? This is to kung fu movies what Dawn of the Dead is to zombies.
Were you reviewing the new blu-ray? If so, would you recommend an upgrade over the first blu-ray?
Yes I was! The new bonus features aren't worth it, but the transfer and audio are top notch. Maybe wait until the price drops or they release it as a standalone disc (without all the dumb little collectible items). Then it's worth it.
STREET GANGS OF NEW YORK, aka THE DELINQUENT (1973) on Amazon Prime for the first time.What a waste of time and a dud, not to mention false advertising (the poster/plot summary advertised a totally different movie!) and THE shittiest video transfer (clearly a rental VHS) I've ever seen on a streamed movie. There are no gangs (just random groups of thugs), there is no Hong Kong and there aren't even any streets since the movie takes place in the past. All we get is a typical male good-at-fighting-and-nothing-else lead character that robs tombs to steal corpses' jewerly so he can bet at the local casino (because a gambling addiction is such a hero turn-on) that accidentally revives the spirit of the man in the ashes of the cemetery pot he pisses on (twice... on camera!) that then makes him his tool for revenge against the men that killed him... read that last part twice. I fell asleep three times, rewound the movie to the portions that I missed and, at the end, I wished I had slept through the whole movie. Decent kung fu scenes here and there, but the fact the hero is such an unlikable, moronic dude that just happens to be good at pretend-fighting is a constant turn-off. Avoid!
HONG KONG... STREET GANGS OF HONG KONG, not New York. I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue! (sniff, sniff) :-(
STREET FIGHTER. No, not the Van Damme one, the one with Sonny Chiba! The plot kind of ran away from me – something about a kidnapping and two rival crime families, I don’t know. Of course it’s all an excuse for Chiba to fight everybody. These martial arts are not flashy choreography, but a more down n’ dirty face-to-face style. Some might call this sacrilege, but I was reminded of Steven Seagal. Chiba in this movie is the character and fighting style that Seagal keeps trying to do, except that Chiba is a lot better at it. Also, this movie has some brutal kills beyond any Seagal movie I’ve seen. Castration-sploitation!
I love that movie. It's so hardcore.
Project A (1983)Jackie Chan is a sailor who has to be a police officer, but then is a sailor again, and he fights against pirates and corrupt politics. But the plot is not why this movie is worth watching. This is classic Jackie Chan: incredible stunts (CLOCK TOWER!), a great blend of action and humor, and the many facial expressions of Jackie Chan. BONUS: He has the most adorable outfits including a sailor one, argyle socks with a newsie hat, and a top hat with a monocle.
The Five Deadly Venoms (1978)Took Mark's advice and watched this (won't get into how - on a totally unrelated note, YouTube would never let any illegal activity go on on their servers would they?). I actually thought it was fun - felt like a classic, cheesy Kung Fu flick and some of the fight choreography was pretty good. Agree with Heath that there were some boring spots but all in all I was glad I watched it.
THE SNAKE IN THE EAGLE'S SHADOW(1978, Yuen Woo-Ping)I was so happy to revisit the Shaw-brothers-masterpiece THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN, till the moment I've got shocked by its non-anamorphic picture!!!This was soooo annoying!!!!A beautiful trilogy-box enriched with a huge amount of nice extras doesn't count at all as long as the main movies aren't anamorphic!!!It seemed my Kung-Fu-movie-day was destroyed!!But thank heavens, every movie enthusiast has always a plan B!!!So I picked another masterpiece:SNAKE IN THE EAGLE'S SHADOW starring Jackie Chan!!!A great story about a zero who became a hero and developed his SNAKE-technique into a TIGER-technique with the help of his cat, to be able to defeat the master of the evil EAGLE-fist!!!A hilarious mashup of Kung Fu and comedy, I could watch this all-time-classic over and over again!!Great choreographed fights and funny stunts!!!!A pity there's still no German quality Blu-Ray release!!