Saturday, June 4, 2016

Junesploitation 2016 Day 4: Kung fu!

Bare hands and feet against the deadly killer swordsmen...it was a bloodbath!

114 comments:

  1. 5 Fingers of Death (1972)

    Not the best martial arts movie I've seen but it was enjoyable enough. Obviously the choreography back then wasn't anywhere near what it is now, but this at least beat out The Flying Guillotine which I had watched earlier (notable only for featuring the most impractical weapon I've ever seen in a movie).

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  2. THE PROTECTOR 2 aka TOM YUM GOONG 2 (2013)

    Tony Jaa on Kung Fu Day seems like sort of a necessity these days. Well, so does Scott Adkins, but I'm gonna get there too...

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    1. There is always room for Mr. Adkins

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    2. Adkins was amazing in Day Of Reckoning. Not Kung Fu, however.

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  3. Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (2010)

    The last couple of months I have been on a real Donnie Yen craze and this one opens on a damn good World War I battle scene where Donnie decided to forgo the shooting of the enemy and just run up past the machine guns and beat the crap out of the enemy. It's super bonkers and a great way to open the movie but sadly nothing comes even close to top it. That being said there is some good action as I have seen in every Donnie Yen film but it's definitely on the lighter side and this movie doesn't have the story strength or fleshed out characters enough for me to give a full recommendation. If you haven't watched either of the IP man films they are a much better choice. This one is like having your dessert first then mostly having to choke down your least favorite vegetables with the occasional tasty bite of chicken.

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  4. If anyone is struggling you can easilly fit Pieces 1982 in this slot :)

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  5. The Kid With The Golden Arm (1979)

    This is the Raid 2 of 70's Kung fu movies. Holy shit I'm so grateful I stumbled upon this on Netflix randomly, it's the best discovery I've had in a very long time.

    Basic plot is a group is transporting gold to a town and they find out a bad ass gang with 4 chiefs (brass head, silver spear, iron robe and the golden arm of the title) wants to ambush them along the way so they hire some help in the form of 2 axe wielding friends, a swordsman and his girlfriend and a drunken Kung fu master to take them on. This movie rocks on so many levels. It's wall to wall action, the drunken master is hilarious and one of the best characters I've seen in a movie. The fight scenes are extraordinary and violent and the choreography is breathtaking. I was blown away by this movie I loved it so so much and was so entertained by it that I just want to watch it over and over again. It's got great characters and great villains that you completely fall in love with. It's all under 90 minutes too, so I highly recommend watching this, it was such a pleasure to discover and is my Junesplotation highlight so far. It's going to be hard to top.

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    1. Sounds like a good time. Added to the cue. Thanks!

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    2. Wow, that sounds perfect. Adding to the queue immediately!

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  6. Enter the Dragon (1973)

    I'd never seen this one before. Now I'm wondering why the hell not?

    The fights are fantastic, the characters entertaining and the spy antics fun. And John Saxon's toupee makes everything better. Definitely the best movie I've seen this Junesploitation so far. And I've seen Blood Rage.

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    1. Congratulations, Mikko. You are a man now, and more than capable of handling THIS MASTERFUL "ETD" PARODY. Enjoy. :-)

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    2. I've seen that numerous times, but you're right, only now can I truly see past the finger and revel in the heavenly glory of that parody.

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    3. I'm watching this right now. So far John Saxon has had more fight scenes than Bruce Lee.

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  7. Seven Steps of Kung Fu (1980)

    Mediocre film features an amiably goofy lead called “Tiger,” who fights evildoers while his master teaches him the mysterious Seven Steps (step 6 appears to be the Moonwalk). The movie just takes music from other films – I recognized cuts from Carrie and (no lie) Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The dubbing is predictably awful, the characters paper-thin, and the fights more tedious than exciting.

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  8. Come Drink Wit Me (1966)

    I chose this movie because I liked the idea of a female lead. And Chang Pei-Pei is walking around like the man with no name, trying to get her brother back from a gang of Ming Dynasty era bandits.

    It took me a little while to settle into this, it was like eating an olive, you know there is somehing you like but you are getting use to the taste and texture. Especially with the way the action was shot.

    There were little subleties I liked, the badits wearing random bandages after fights or everyone refering to Pei-Pei as a man until well they figure it out. It's definetly entertaining, I just need to watch more Wuxia to understand more.

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  9. The Raid 2 (2014) - Yeah I know, I don't know why it took so long to see this either.

    I think my world has altered a little after watching this movie. It is so friggen shakespearean. Not to mention the fight in the mud, the badass ass guy with the beard! 'Give me back my ball, the train and the hammers, Iko Uwais punching everyone in the car. And don't get me started on the kitchen fight. I cannot think of a movie this hella directed since Goodfellas! F me sideways.

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    1. Excellent choice! Seeing this in a theater was one of my favorite movie going experiences. It wore me out in the best way possibly and I truly believe they are the best action sequences ever put on film. Glad you liked it!

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    2. I kinda like the ending, I wanna see that fight!!

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  10. 8 Diagram Pole Fighter (1984)

    Amitabha Buddha. I've been saving this Shaw Brothers produced movie for over a year now since I bought the DVD for a special occasion. That occasion was this morning. The story is simple. Treachery and betrayal result in a family being killed except for the mother and a couple of brothers and sisters. One brother goes crazy, while the other becomes a monk. They are hunted down by the treacherous general, and finally fight him and take their revenge. As you might guess in the title, there is a lot of "pole" ie. staff fighting in this...it's all pole fighting. A couple kicks and punches are thrown, but only in the service of recovering a dropped pole. They have blades on the poles at the beginning, but then the 5th son develops the 8 diagram technique of just using a pole. The choreography in this movie is freaking amazing. The first battle is a little dramatized, and then there is a lull as everyone deals with the aftermath of their betrayal, but then the film just builds and builds from there to a stunning battle scene at the climax of the movie. The story, while simple, is very engaging and the pacing is perfect. Even the mother has a couple pole fight scenes, and the 8th sister could be considered the co-hero of the last act. That final battle is so amazing. How does it end (other than a bunch of people getting wacked with poles?), you have to watch yourself to find out.
    I've been pretty generous so far with my stars, but this one in all seriousness, is a solid 5 stars.

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    1. Sorry, that was a bit long winded. Should have been:

      Best epic fighting with sticks you've ever seen and will likely ever see. 5 stars

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    2. Yep, yet ANOTHER Gordon Liu classic!

      Is this SD or Blu ray?

      http://www.imdb.com/list/ls079757829?ref_=tt_rls_5

      The "ranked" Shaw Bros films.

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    3. It's SD. My TV is pretty modest, so it works for me. They sell/rent HD versions on Amazon (Hopefully not English dubbed).

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  11. Sonny Chiba's Dragon Princess (1976) (first time viewing)

    A karate master gets beaten down, maimed, and run out of Japan by an evil rival. He spends the next many years in New York training his daughter, so she can go back to Japan and seek revenge. It wasn't great, but it's a straight up revenge film and who doesn't enjoy that from time to time.

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  12. Shaolin vs Lama (1983) Dir. Tso Nam Lee

    My younger brother and I used to wear out this VHS as kids and watched it religiously. It's been probably 25-30 years since I've seen it so thought this would be a good time to revisit it. The memories came flooding back; in particular a monk fighting a dude while eating a whole chicken which had my brother and I crying with laughter and is still really funny. The Buddha's Finger is the skill on display here and the Kung-Fu is excellent. Fast paced with a decent story for a genre that pretty much has the same story all of the time. I loved it as a kid and still love it now.

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  13. The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin (1978)

    Gordon Liu is the reason to see this one. He's an incredible physical specimen and kicks all kinds of ass. I didn't know he was Johnny Mo and Pai Mei in the Kill Bill movies which makes him even more awesome. This is an essential martial arts movie so I was happy to have seen it. Gordon Lius family is killed and decides he wants to learn Kung fu at the Shaolin Temple and take down the evil Manchu government. In order to do this he has to complete the 35 chambers of training and decides at the end to create a 36th one. I found the training chambers fun to watch (in order to develop arm strength he has to carry buckets of water with arms extended and blades attached so he doesn't put them down.) The fight scenes are so fast it's almost hard to keep up with them. It felt a little long but i enjoyed it.

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    1. True - Gordon is a hero!
      I chose a Dirty Ho and he is equally AMAZING in that as well. Every fight scene is SO SMOOTH, you would have sworn it was done with CGI somehow!!
      Shaw Bros rock!!

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  14. Ip Man (2008)

    "I want to fight 10." Enough said. Good actions sequences, flips, countless punches to the face and course sound effects.
    Only drawback, in the version I watched anyway (Netflix Canada) is what I hope is a shoddy translation. Some lines of dialogue are definitely adapted for American/Canadian sensibilities. Also, some subtitles only stay on screen for a fraction of a second. But, this does not deter from the overall enjoyment of the movie.

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  15. Michael GiammarinoJune 4, 2016 at 9:29 AM

    Ip Man 3
    Boy, is this disappointing. Especially after Ip Man and Ip Man 2.
    The trailer makes a big deal out of Donnie Yen’s fight with Mike Tyson, and it's a really good fight. But the whole Tyson subplot is a waste, and aside from the fight, Tyson is horrible. I wouldn't miss the fight if all of Tyson’s scenes were excised. There's a lot going on in this film, and it's a few subplots too many. Ip Man’s competition to be grandmaster and his dedication to his wife in light of her cancer diagnosis work the best. I’d probably like the movie more if that’s all it was, but then it would be Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmaster and not Ip Man 3. A subplot in which the criminal underbelly is trying to extort Ip Man’s son's school works all right, but this movie is way too overstuffed with plot.
    But hey, the fight choreography and Donnie Yen and Lynn Hung are excellent, and that's all that matters, right?

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  16. The Kid With The Golden Arm (1979)

    Sometimes drunken scoundrels make the best movie heros.

    Know what I love about Junesploitation? It often pushes me to watch movies I never would have seen. I almost never watch Kung Fu movies, but I'm so glad I did today. I'm going to second what Travis said on this because this movie is two tons of fun! Great memorable characters, really funny humor, and boat loads of violent Kung Fu action! I'd call this day a massive success already!

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  17. Jade Warrior (Jadesoturi) (2006)

    A.J. Annila, who later directed the excellent horror movie Sauna, as his debut film made a wuxia, a Finnish/Chinese co-production that draws on folklore and myths from both countries (finding similarities between them).

    Fight scenes are few and brief, it's the story and the intertwining of myths that keep the movie interesting. I don't know how much you'd get out of it without prior knowledge, but for a Finn who's taught at school about the stories of Kalevala, our national epic, it's a really interesting take on the old myths.

    Oh, and there's a talking severed head. Always a plus.

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  18. The Kid With the Golden Arm (1979, dir. Cheh Chang) - first viewing

    Travis Larsen's writeup above sealed the deal for me. I have nothing much else to add except that its a damn good time, and that drunken master kicks all the dicks. See it!

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    1. He even stabbed a dick at one point. Literally!

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    2. I love that pretty much every time it cuts to him he's drinking out of a massive wine jug and then uses them to fight haha

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  19. Michael GiammarinoJune 4, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    The Heroic Ones (1970)
    Continuing the theme of drunken heroes, we have this Chang Cheh classic. When Chang Cheh is the director, you know you're in for something good.
    A kingdom is threatened, the king sends his thirteen wine-loving “sons” to combat it, blah blah, double crosses, blah blah, spear fighting, sword fighting, impalements, Ti Lung, Lo Wei, Bolo Yung. Yes, Bolo Yeung. I said it. The Bolo Yeung/David Chiang fight reminds me of the opening fight in Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy. In fact, David Chiang’s character of 13th brother reminds me a lot of Achilles.

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  20. SPL: Kill Zone (2005, dir. Wilson Yip, on DVD) – First Time Viewing: Donnie Yen vs. Sammo Hung. Do I need to say anything more? The story and characters are nothing to write home about (damn is Donnie Yen cocksure), but the fight scenes are fantastic. Sometimes martial arts scenes in movies feel over-choreographed and more like dance routines. This is not one of those movies. The fights in this movie feel like real fights between masterful martial artists at the top of their game. Really enjoyed it (4 out of 5 Griers).

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  21. Phone posting, so gonna keep it brief:

    The Chinese Boxer aka Hammer of God

    Fucking outstanding, definitive straightforward kung-fu. Lo Lieh is perfect as the villain (is he ever not awesome?), the camerawork is stylish, and the bodycount large. Classic.

    The Vixens of Kung Fu

    This, not so much. The most popular XXX movie on exploitation.tv. A real bore during the first half despite some amusingly surreal gags (the vixens do some Yoga exercises that makes smoke waft out of their vaginas,) but picks up during the second, as a monk wandering New York beseeches a Chinese chef to teach him the Golden Dragon Raising Head of the Manchurian Peak technique (which he learns by keeping off in the woods,) but is defeated by the main Vixen, causing him to jizz blood. Nonsensical enough that it becomes somewhat compelling, but only if you're willing to sit through lots of 70's style rugmunching (so happy I've gotten to use that word twice so far this Junesploitation.)

    I'm an unrelated note, getting to catch some good stuff this weekend at a genre film test here in D.C. The Blackcoat's Daughter is really good if you stay patient with it, and The Greasy Strangled is a lot of gross fun if you enjoy stuff like Quentin Dupiex's movies (produced by Ben Wheatley and Tim League!) Carnage Park further strains my relationship with Mickey Keating, but I predict most people here will like it. Further updates as the festival rolls on! (That was brief?!?)

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    1. Autocorrect errors: "jerking off," not "keeping off," "film fest," obvs, and "Greasy Strangler," not "Strangled."

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  22. Michael GiammarinoJune 4, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    The Kid from Kwangtung (1982)
    Two buffoons learn the tenets of kung fu to avenge the murder of their father and teacher. They get help from two female badasses. We get hopping vampires, a fight between a guy in a chicken suit against a group of guys in a caterpillar suit, monkey kung fu, cat style kung fu (from a villain who carries a black cat almost everywhere he goes, and even fights with it tucked under one arm).

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  23. The Kid With the Golden Arm (1979, dir. Cheh Chang)
    Thank you, Travis L., for giving this movie such a push because it compelled me to watch it even though I'm attending a kung fu double feature tonight. I'm super glad I did. Loved it. Kung fu movies are something of a blind spot in my movie watching -- I've seen a handful, but can't really speak the language. This felt like a gateway was opened. I love the Drunken Master so much, but I think Long Axe and Short Axe stole the movie for me. Love that we're turning each other on to great new stuff this month. Thanks, everyone!

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    1. I was afraid I oversold it in my review but I'm so happy to see that all of you guys like it so much! Kung fu movies are a massive blind spot for me too so it was blind luck that this was the one that just popped up on my netflix. I appreciate Junesplotation for that reason, everyone bringing attention to awesome movies that might not have been on people's radars.

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  24. Raw Force (1982)

    The stuff Junesploitation dreams are made of. Kung fu, cannibalism, gratuitous nudity, piranhas, excessive violence, literal Hitler (kinda)...it's all here, and it's tremendous.

    There's a plot, of sorts, involving a haunted island, sex trafficking, drugs, and undead Kung fu monks, but the plot is (by quite a distance) secondary to the madness on display. It's pure unfiltered insanity and exactly the kind of thing I hope to find when putting together my Junesploitation schedule. Highly recommended, in the same way that pure heroin is highly recommended over the street-level garbage stuff.

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    1. I totally want to see this. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

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    2. Michael GiammarinoJune 4, 2016 at 6:11 PM

      Hahaha, this movie is insane.

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  25. Five Element Ninjas (1982)

    That dude is not fuckin' around with those sideburns.

    What a treat this was. Kung fu has never been something I would seek out but I'm glad I saw this. It's pretty cheesy but the fighting is pretty great. Out of the few that I've seen, I think this is one of the better ones. I actually laughed out loud a couple of times at things that were intentionally funny(I think). This one is a good introduction if you are new to Kung fu!

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  26. I highly recommend The Streetfighter movies with Sonny Chiba. I love them. That dude is nuts. He makes weird noises while he fights and from what I remember the fight scenes are extremely violent. I haven't seen them in a long time but I may revisit them today. There are a couple of Sister Street Fighter movies that are less than but enjoyable as well.

    Definitely going to check out The Kid with the Golden Arm.

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  27. Michael GiammarinoJune 4, 2016 at 3:13 PM

    Tai Chi Zero
    I guess you'd call this steam punk kung fu. A teen travels to Chen village, home of Tai Chi Chuan style, looking to study with the local grandmaster, played by Tony Leung. He's denied countless times, but won't take no for an answer. See, it's not common practice for outsiders to learn the ways of tai chi chuan. He's persistent, though. After getting his ass handed to him several times, usually by Leung’s daughter, he finally gets his audience with the grandmaster. While all this is going on, a British-educated villager returns hoping to introduce Western technology and the railroad into the village. He doesn't have many backers, so he decides he's going to force it upon the villagers, using a giant steam engine clockwork grabbing device as an intimidation technique. If the machine destroys Chen village, there will no longer be Chen kung fu.
    Tai Chi Zero combines the fun of a Stephen Chow movie with the hyper-kineticism of Scott Pilgrim vs the World. Video game iconography pops up intermittently during fight scenes and dialogue scenes, and instead of taking away from the drama, it adds to it. It’s heavily stylized and all the better for it. It never intrudes on the choreography in the film, it only adds to the fun of the scene.
    While I now want to see more films directed by Stephen Fung (specifically Tai Chi Hero), I'm now more than ever impatiently hoping for more Stephen Chow kung fu epics.

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  28. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

    I have seen this film a dozen or more times, but my wife had never seen it. Which is why I selected this title for us to view today. Everything about this film is fantastic.

    The plot in brief: Two idiots want to join the vicious Axe Gang. When they pass themselves off as members, and start some trouble in a tenement, the real Axe Gang arrives on the scene. Several people who live in the tenement reveal themselves to be masters of varying disciplines of kung fu. Eventually, the gang sends in the worlds Deadliest fighter. Our hapless lead (one of the faux-Axes) eventually finds himself in a battle with the highly skilled killer.
    If you haven't seen this film before, I urge you to check it out. It's a ton of fun.

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    1. Michael GiammarinoJune 4, 2016 at 3:30 PM

      Since you're a Kung Fu Hustle fan, I totally recommend Tai Chi Zero.

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    2. Great choice, I almost choose it myself, its a fun film

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    3. I'd considered KFH at first too.

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  29. HIGH KICK ANGELS (2014)
    Some short-skirted, super-high-kicking schoolgirls are filming their own homemade action movie in an abandoned school. Then the building is taken over by criminals, forcing the girls into a Die Hard situation, where they have to fight for real. More comedy than action, it’s pure silly fun.

    CHINESE ZODIAC (2012)
    Jackie Chan supposedly spent millions of his own dollars on this action-comedy, yet another riff on the Indiana-Jones-but-in-the-modern-day formula. The money is certainly on screen, but the action and slapstick are all wire fu and CGI-y, which makes it merely OK instead of terrific.

    LADY IRON MONKEY (1979)
    This isn’t just “monkey style” kung fu. No, she’s an actual half-human/half-ape, making the story a pseudo-Tarzan thing. Not a lot of action and a ton of drearily unfunny comedy scenes make this one a disappointment.

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  30. Why Don't You Play in Hell? (2013)
    Not as pure kung-fu as I expected, but holy shit is this movie insane.

    The plot is all over the place, but I'll do my best to briefly summarize.

    A yakuza boss's wife is arrested for killing a bunch of rival gang members. 10 days before the wife's jail release, her husband (the main mob boss), hires The Fuck Bombers, an aspiring group of Japanese filmmakers, to film a movie as a present for his wife. They decide to film a large yakuza gang battle, and turn that into their first feature film.

    The first 90 minutes is paced really strangely, and it feels very tame for a while. However, the last 30 minutes is one of the most batshit insane things I have ever seen, and I watched Pieces yesterday. I will only say that it's quite something.

    As strangely put together as it is, this movie provides an experience that possibly no other film can provide.

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    1. Michael GiammarinoJune 4, 2016 at 6:09 PM

      I love this movie. The ending is off the chain.

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  31. Kung Fu Killer (2014)

    A slick and very entertaining action film with a serial killer twist. Donnie Yen plays a former martial arts instructor brought out of prison to help the police track down a serial killer who is targeting masters of different martial arts. Well plotted with superb, inventive fight sequences. Highly recommended.

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  32. The last dragon.

    Muscles, montages and Bruce Leeroy.
    BOOM!!!!!!!

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    1. Michael GiammarinoJune 4, 2016 at 6:08 PM

      Who's the master?

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  33. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

    A thing of beauty, it did play a little clunky in parts tonight but I do love this film even with its flaws, I love the scale, the set pieces, the camera choices, the colours, I like to get immersed in the world, I also wanted to watch House of the Flying Daggers but time has caught me up

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    1. Come on Dennis, only just gone midnight here - it's Saturday after all!!
      Actually, there's a point I suppose we're (in UK) on Zombies now?

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    2. I never even think about the time difference, I watched it late Saturday night, UK time, I was just to tired to watch another, can't wait for Zombies next

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  34. Dirty Ho [Lan tou He] (1976) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0514904/

    Clearly the stand out film of the month for me so far!

    It stars Gordon Liu (Chia-Hui Liu) with a comical moustache playing a Prince in hiding who DOES NOT use martial arts. The great thing is he uses his martial arts in NOT using his martial arts! Everything is a deception, when attacked he “accidentally” kicks a stool into the path of the assailant whilst at the same time rescuing a valuable Ming Dynasty vase! The plot is a lot of fun and quite cleverly done. There is a prolonged fight scene with an unsuspecting Geisha being manipulated to act as his body guard – FANTASTIC!! It also probably has the best wine-tasting scene in any film ever! The Prince recruits the unsuspecting Yue Wong (The Dirty Ho from the title) to be his bodyguard, after some wince inducing training sessions the two take on the might of a rival Prince’s small army.

    There is no trickery here (maybe an odd wire), just amazing martial artists performing to the highest standards.

    As Travis says above Gordon Liu makes any Kung FU film a must see IMO!

    It’s generally quite light-hearted but the set pieces are of course great & the “non-fight” fight scenes are breathtaking!

    Recommended for any Kung Fu fan. I sat through the whole thing with a smile on my face!!

    Now I’m loving June.

    Personal rating 4/5

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    1. Michael GiammarinoJune 4, 2016 at 6:07 PM

      This has been sitting on my DVR. Gonna need to watch it.

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    2. Hurry up and watch it - I wanna share the ending with someone!

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    3. Michael GiammarinoJune 5, 2016 at 1:14 AM

      Sorry it took me so long to get to it. That ending fight is hardcore, but the wheelchair fight before it was badass.

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  35. Ninja III: The Domination (1984)

    I've heard about this one for awhile now, and once again, I'm scratching another film off my 'To Watch List.'

    An aerobics instructor happens upon a wounded and dying ninja. Said ninja manages to pass his soul into her body just before or as he dies. Now she's a sometimes ninja. There is some erotic use of V8 juice which is slightly disturbing. This movie was strange.

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    1. Erotic use of V8 juice? I'm adding this to my MUST WATCH!!

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    2. Michael GiammarinoJune 4, 2016 at 6:06 PM

      Great, great film. May I also suggest Revenge of the Ninja (the best Cannon ninja movie of all times), Enter the Ninja, American Ninja (and its sequels), and Pray for Death. There's more (there's always more) but that's a good start.

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  36. Legend of the Drunken Master (1994)
    What an awesome film, shamefully before today i had never seen a Jackie Chan film that wasn't a hollywood film where he is teamed up with some comedian, this is the first time i saw he kick ass in the purest form of the word and it was fantastic, i love the drunken boxing style and it added a interesting dynamic to the film, will definitely be watching this again!

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    1. You went right to one of Chan's all-time best. Glad you liked it! Put Police Story at the top of your list, it's one of the greatest action movies ever made and Chan's magnum opus.

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    2. Michael GiammarinoJune 4, 2016 at 11:49 PM

      What the Weinsteins did to it is a crime.

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  38. Kung Fu Panda: This was such fun to revisit! Especially as it meant I could get my girlfriend to join in as she wanted to watch this also. Very enjoyable viewing. I love kung fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu... oooo..? Haha :)

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  39. The Legend of Drunken Master

    I agree with Ollie above, it is just a pleasure to watch Jackie Chan cut loose and do what he does so very well. The dialogue is cheesy, maybe something is lost in translation, but who cares that’s not the point. You can actually watch this, and most, of his Chinese movies on mute and still have a blast. The premiss that boozing unleashes his great fighting power is as ridiculous as it is fun to watch. To convey some of this movies awesomeness check out the names of these fighting forms.

    Drunken Monkey
    Eagle Carries Wine Bottle
    Uncle Stirs the Barrel
    Gypsy Wine
    Crazy Corkscrew Opening Wine Bottle
    Peter Piper Played the Flute
    White Tiger Washes Face
    Nursing a Hangover
    Monkey Drinks Masters Wine

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    1. Michael GiammarinoJune 4, 2016 at 11:41 PM

      I hate the way the Weinsteins recut Drunken Master II. Thus movie is a classic. It deserves better treatment.

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  40. Five Deadly Venoms (1978)

    My mom came in the room and saw just the ending. She was laughing at the fighting and the color of the blood and the sound effects, pretty much everything. When the credits came up she asked, "Was the rest of the movie as bad as those two minutes?" And immediately (and very defensively) I responded, "No! The whole thing was great!" I think that sums up my response to the movie pretty well.

    I was kinda dreading watching a kung fu movie today. I don't think I've ever seen an "old" one and I wasn't in the mood for all of those things my mom reacted negatively to. I wasn't in the mood for cheesy nonsense and poorly choreographed fight scenes. And for the first few minutes of the movie, I thought my expectations were correct. The short training scenes seemed awful, the acting and writing too. But then they got to the village, and the story started picking up. New characters were introduced. Actual fight scenes happened. Mystery and intrigue galore! I found myself really invested in what was happening and the fate of those involved. The fight scenes were riveting and not only competent, but actually really well choreographed. I loved the constant zooming. Movies today either don't zoom or do it without purpose like The Big Short. All of the camera moves and zooms felt extremely deliberate and energetic at the same time. Then my mom came in at the end and reminded me of what I thought at the beginning when I didn't have an open mind and judged it purely on the surface and my pre-conceived notions. Well I'm glad I gave it a shot and I look forward to watching more in the future.

    Thanks

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    1. I think a lot of us are having this experience today. Not really being into Kung Fu movies and finding out how great they can be. I'll definitely be watching more in the future!

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    2. The style (especially the zooming) is one that I think we see parodied often, but it works really well in the context of the movies, it's funny and exciting.

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  41. The Kid With The Golden Arm (1979)

    Thanks to everyone who recommended this one, it was surprisingly great. The drunken master was my favorite but this movie was full of hidden gems. The picture was also great quality. I don't know where Netflix got these pictures from but theu have certainly be remastered. A nice change from the usual way these films are shown

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  42. Five Deadly Venoms (1978) - First Watch

    I'm gonna tag onto what everyone else has been saying and just say that this movie has turned me onto older kung fu movies. I loved the sense of humour, and the way that the action and comedy exist together. It's like as soon as the action gets started the comedy gets right out of the way, although it maintains the campy tone. But it can operate in either mode, and it also has a pretty dense plot which is largely entertaining, if a bit excessive. The proclivity for torture, and the mistaken identities were especially fun. Anyway, I guess I'll have to keep exploring the Chang Cheh films, and also the 36th Chamber of Shaolin (Netflix is pretty well stocked with these movies).

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  43. Enter The Dragon (1973)

    This is a fine film that suffered for me because I was in the mood for something crazier. This isn't a wacky Kung Fu flick. It feels more like a midlevel Bond film starring John Saxon… er… I mean Bruce Lee.

    I don't think Bruce Lee ever got an opponent to really challenge him and let him truly show off. In fact it takes a long time for him to even get a real fight scene.

    Still, there's stuff to like here. "Boards don't hit back" is a badass line.

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    1. I always though Jim Kelly was pimp in this movie. Not a great martial artist but still pimp.

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  44. Crippled Avengers (1978)
    This Chang Cheh movie is very fun and very offensive. The plot is this: Four disabled men get kung-fu revenge on the guy who disabled them. The reason it's offensive is because of the extremely cartoonish "Idiot" who was a pretty harsh depiction of a mentally disabled person. The movie could have sidestepped this by just calling him "insane" instead. At any rate, it was pretty easy to get past- as it is pretty obvious, the whole universe of the movie is pretty weird anyway, so it's not as if anything is really based on reality. Anyone who likes this sort of movie should see it. The fight scenes are well done- though, to me, they seem more like a dance then a fight. I actually liked the way everyone seemed to dance-fight in this movie. It made everything more entertaining. I was surprisingly touched by the friendship made between the main characters of this movie. Anyone who hasn't seen it should, though not for the easily offended.

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    1. Never heard of this. Sounds intriguing thanks.

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  45. Bloodsport (1988)

    Kumite! Kumite! Kumite! Kumite!

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    1. Hey where did my gold tooth go? I bet Whitaker walked off with it! Or maybe it was Ogre??? Only way to settle this is with a match of Karate Champ.

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  46. Avenging Eagle (1978)

    Another great vintage martial arts film currently streaming on Netflix. I was really blown away by this one. The story is better than usual, production values are high and the action is nonstop. I highly recommend this if your looking for a solid Shaw Brothers action extravaganza that's a lot less cheesy than some of these films cam be. This one really surprised me. It's spectacular.

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    1. Geez, I've been disappointed in netflix lately but they're the real MVP today.

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  47. Enter the Dragon (1973)

    Kung fu with a splash of Bond.

    A man gets killed by being bent in half! First time watching a Bruce Lee movie - do they get better than this? Bruce Lee is literally blink-and-you'll-miss-it fast, though I was a little distracted by wondering how Chekhov's viper was going to pay off in the end.

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    1. Haha chekhovs viper that's fantastic

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  48. Cradle to the Gave

    Dim sum you win, dim sum you lose. Personally I consider this a win. Haven’t seen Jet’s Chinese movies but I’ve always liked his watered down American stuff (NOT Lethal Weapon 4). What’s better than a dope Chinese material artist? One mingled with the hip hop culture of the early 2000’s. It's worth it alone for the “football scene”… no flags on that play. Plus I just love Anthony Anderson.

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  49. Enter The Dragon (1973)

    So I liked this movie. Didn't love it. I'll echo some of what Daniel said up above and say that yes this felt like a John Saxon movie more than a Bruce Lee movie. Bruce Lee is mostly just sneaking around not doing much until the fight scenes which are really cool but I felt like the movie really dragged when there wasn't fighting going on. Bruce Lee doesn't even get to take out the big dude who was crushing people, freaking John Saxon does! The main villain was an old man so he wasn't much threat and if I never see an end fight that takes place in a funhouse mirror room again I'll be happy. I hate funhouse mirror room fights guys. I'm glad I watched it because now I've finally seen a Bruce Lee movie. Thanks Junesplotation!

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    1. I remember really liking this one, but between you and Daniels run down I'm thinking maybe I got some rose color glasses on. However, Jim Kelly is still a pimp. Just indisputable.

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  50. The Mystery of Chess Boxing

    I saw this on 35 mm part of a double feature at the Music Box in Chicago. I had never seen it before, but knew of the connection to Wu-Tang Clan, so needless to say, I was excited. Better yet, I was not disappointed. It stars Yi-Min Li as Ah Pao, who looks, and sometimes acts, pretty dopey. His father was killed by the notorious Ghostface Killing--excuse me, Ghostface Killer*--played by Mark Long. Of course, Ah Pao plays--er, trains*--in kung fu to get revenge. The film is well known for its finale, and for good reason. Ah Pao and his master team up against Ghostface Killer, and the final 30 seconds are the best part of it. I did feel like it moved a little slow at times, but there are a bunch of times when the movie stops to give us hilarious physical gags involving rice bowls, and every second Ghostface Killer was onscreen was great. Last, even though I said it moved slow at times, I thought the editing was great. There are a lot of training sequences in this movie, and instead of offering us a montage, we see an extended session and then all of a sudden were in a different location or it's nighttime and we know that a length of time has passed--all without feeling clunky.
    *The film was subbed and not very well. His name in the first 2/3 of the movie is written as Ghostface Killing and they "play" kung fu.

    Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
    This movie was exceptional! I had seen its star Gordon Liu, who also directs, in The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and (I didn't know this until tonight) Kill Bill. Liu and his costar Adam Cheng are members of the rival Shaolin and Wu Tang schools of fighting, who are turned against each other by the evil lord, played by Wang Lung Wei, who wants to learn both the Shaolin and Wu Tang styles. The choreography was excellent and the inevitable training scenes don't come until the end and consequently are more brisk. There's also more of a plot with more characters and larger set pieces, in addition to being dubbed in English (which was sometimes hilarious). As a bonus, if you like Wu-Tang, many of the samples from Enter the Wu-Tang come from this movie, so that's cool, too.

    I highly recommend both of them.

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    1. I was at this same double feature screening and can't improve upon anything that Michael P. says. I have never seen any old-school kung fu screened theatrically (these were the only existing prints of both) and had SUCH a great time with both movies. Yi-Min Li is so funny and expressive and reminded me so much of Jackie Chan, and it was so great to hear a theater full of fans erupt in cheers for the finale of the film. Shaolin vs. Wu Tang was a little slower, but not in a bad way. It was ultimately just as satisfying.

      Like I said above, kung fu has been a blind spot for me (I never didn't like it, but don't have a ton of experience with it) but I really feel like this day has turned me into a full-blown fan. It will be hard to top for this month.

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    2. Thanks, Patrick! I can't believe I forgot to mention that they are the only known prints, or the audience at the end. I'm not sure I've ever heard a movie theater cheer so loud. It was amazing.

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  51. Game of Death (1978, Dir. Robert Clouse)

    Despite being a massive Bruce Lee fan I haven't seen this movie in it's entirety since I was a kid. I have revisited the actual Bruce Lee fight footage that he filmed before tragically dying many times and to be honest I should've left it at that.
    Exploitative, but not in a fun or entertaining way. Just exploiting a man and his legacy. Cutaways to footage from earlier Bruce films, actual footage from his funeral, not to mention, featuring the worst possible Bruce Lee lookalike you could imagine. Didn't sit well with me as a kid, and even less so now.

    On a more positive note, as an F Head participating in his third Junesploitation can I just say how unbelievably awesome it is to see how much it has grown and how much everyone is enjoying sharing and recommending genre movies to each other. So great. Keep it up.

    Sorry I can't recommend this one.

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    1. Thanks for playing and sampling, though, which is what the point of Junesploitation is all about. :-)

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  52. 36th Chamber of Shaolin: Ive never been a big fan of martial arts movies, especially period pieces. But this was incredible! I really want to get to know the genre now,

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  53. So true. J.M. And I might backtrack a little on my negative comments. Any movie that ends with a fight between Bruce Lee and Kareem Abdul Jabbar is worth recommending.

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  54. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
    I love John Carpenter's Kung Fu movie.
    Bright, colorful, like a comic book come to life.

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  55. Mystery of Chess Boxing (1979)

    I'll keep this short. This movie is very entertaining and they fight all the time in it. The lead actor is very much in early Jackie Chan mode and the finale is great (about 10 minutes straight of continuous fighting). The movie is very stitched together (almost like it's not even finished) but that just adds to its charm. Great sound effects and editing too.

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  56. Game of Death (1978) (It's got a sordid and confusing history - the one in Shout Factory's Bruce Lee Legacy Collection, though not sure it should be part of his legacy)

    Bruce Lee's last movie that, incidentally, he isn't really in. Though I just read that they did use real footage of his corpse for the scene of his character's (or his stand-in's character that's supposed to be him) faked-deah funeral, so that's fun. Also, his (stand-in's) character gets in the situation of faking his death after he's apparently killed on the set of the movie he's filming by a gun that's supposed to contain blanks. WEIRD. And worth watching for it's weirdness I guess - Chuck Norris is in it, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar makes for a disturbingly gangly villain.

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  57. Broken Fist (2008) (Aka Broken Path, Attack of the Yakuza)

    Insane non-stop fight flick. Ex-Power Ranger Johnny Yong Bosch plays a guy who's just moved out to an isolated farmhouse in America when his past catches up with him and his old Yakuza gang come along to silence him. After 10 minutes set up the gang attack Johnny and his wife and he's forced to fight back (basically non-stop - the film is in real time!) for the remaining 70 minutes.

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  58. It makes my cold heart so very warm to see so many people trying out kung-fu movies for the first time (again).

    Anyway, a late post:

    Iron Monkey (1993) - Some vintage Donnie Yen at his very best.

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  59. Enter the Dragon (1973): What can I say? A well-deserved classic in every way. Not only is Bruce Lee the best, but I also really enjoyed John Saxon and Jim Kelly. Williams (Kelly) knows how to both kick and crush ass.

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