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Korean Old School Kung Fu Movies

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I don't know much about Korean kung fu movies, but I will recommend Ninja Terminator since you mentioned Godfrey Ho. It's one of the greatest movies ever made.

For Cassanova Wong you need to see Fearless Young Boxer aka Avenging Boxer. If you've seen that check out Master Killers and Ninja Holocaust. I have a feeling that you are really going to like Ninja Holocaust.

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Dragon Lee and Hwang Jung Lee did a few films together back in the day:

MARTIAL MONKS OF SHAOLIN TEMPLE (1983)

FIVE PATTERN DRAGON CLAWS (1983)

Hwang played the good guy in a Korean film HARD BASTARD, which had Bruce Cheung (Chang Il-Shik) as the lead villain.

Elton Chong (Jeong Jin-Hwa)

INVINCIBLE OBSESSED FIGHTER (1981)

THE SNAKE STRIKES BACK (1982)

SHAOLIN DRUNKEN MONKEY (1981)

Benny Tsui (Seo Byeong-Hyun)

7 STAR GRAND MANTIS (1983)

Kwak Mu-Seong (Mario Chan/Bruce Pak)

EAGLE VS. SILVER FOX (1982) (w/ Hwang Jung Lee)

WARRIORS OF KUNG FU (1982) (w/ Casanova Wong)

Kim Tae-Jeong (Kim Tai-Chung/Tong Lung)

PLEASE MISS BE PATIENT (1981) (modern day action film)

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Bruce Le (Huang Chien Lung) movies:

BRUCE AND SHAOLIN KUNG FU

BRUCE AND SHAOLIN KUNG FU 2

ENTER THE GAME OF DEATH

RETURN OF RED TIGER

MY NAME CALLED BRUCE

BRUCE AND DRAGON FIST

Others released through PT Insantra:

RETURN OF FIST OF FURY

THE FIERCE ONE aka JAWS OF THE DRAGON

Others:

THE MAGNIFICENT FIST

MARTIAL MATES

DEADLY KICK

DEADLY ROULETTE

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You serious on Bruce and Shaolin Kung Fu?:tongue: I think we talked about this before Jesse. Those movies are so bad that I feel dirty watching them. But I do remember lots of cheese. The villain:bigsmile:. I really don't remember these movies so I shouldn't even try, but I think the villain is the same in both movies? And I think he kills a goldfish.

Here's some others-

Kill the Shogun

Kung Fu Fever

Thunder Ninja Kids in the Golden Adventure

Dynamite Shaolin Heroes

Fury in the Shaolin Temple

Duel of Ultimate Weapons

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I'll frogleap on the OPs thread and ask if anyone can paint a clearer picture of the whole period of Korean Kung-Fu films as far as their production goes. I've heard it said that it was simply a way for Hong Kong producers to get past the local quota… yet this can't account for all of them. Plus, they all seem to have their own distinct feel and identity… Not to mention a grungy, even exploitative atmosphere which makes most impoverished Chinese indies seem tasteful.

Is Korean Kung-Fu it's own distinct national thing, or simply a minor offshoot of the greater Chinese genre?

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It does feel like they were just trying to cash in on what China was doing. But I think that it is Korea's own thing and that they had their own style of doing choreography. There's much more emphasis on kicking in their movies.

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We cannot forget Charles Han, who starred in LEFT FOOT OF WRATH as well as RETURNED SINGLE-LEGGED MAN aka KOREAN CONNECTION (which featured Hwang Jung Lee in both).

There was also Bobby Kim, who starred in WANGRYONG (DEADLY KICK) featuring Lo Lieh.

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Movies that were originally Korean but were completely messed up when distributed worldwide:

Bruce Lee Fights Back From The Grave (late 1970s, dates given are usually 1976 or 1978)

Originally a film called The Stranger that became a Bruceploitation somehow. The trailer is a little gem, the film itself... Not so much.

Secret Executioners (1982)

A Korean film with extra scenes added by Godfrey Ho - these scenes feature epic Gwailo Jim Norris, but they take up like five to ten minutes of the film. The rest is some Korean film with Hwang Jang Lee, some gang war... It's a very confusing film, watch it just for HJL and the Godfrey Ho sequences. You also get a shot of HJL's butt at a point (!!!) as a scene takes place some kind of public baths (and yes, you get a brawl in the changing room - HJL basically kicks everybody else's butt).

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RAGING RIVALS (aka HARD BASTARD) was released in the U.S. theatrically and on TV as HANDS OF LIGHTNING. Attempting to capitalize on both Chansploitation (for lack of a better term) and Brucesploitation, Wong Cheng Li was billed as "The Incredible Jacky Lee" on the U.S. poster.

BUDDHIST FIST AND TIGER CLAW(S) is another Wong Cheng Li title from the same era in which he's cast as a good guy:

Both titles were part of a television package which included many Asso Asia titles, including THE DYNAMITE SHAOLIN HEROES, EAGLE VS SILVER FOX, THE SNAKE STRIKES BACK and the incredible WARRIORS OF KUNG FU.

For whatever reasons I don't think that package was picked up by any UHF stations near me. However, I do remember the Financial News Network or a similar cable station showing them at some point in the eighties -- complete with ticker showing latest the stock prices running at the bottom of the screen! (iirc the same channel also showed Italian Serie A soccer and various regional pro wrestling programs as well)

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Gotta say, I always used to rate True Game of Death as being the worst film I have ever seen, period (not just kf, in other words). Though after watching My Name Called Bruce and a couple of other sleazy Bruce Le flicks last night (Return of Bruce, Fist of Vengeance and Super Gang) I'm now thinking that TGoD has some hearty competition for that honor. Man, did Le ever get involved with some stinkers!! Between the disco soundtracks, stunningly incoherent plotlines, the riot of oversized sunglasses and other questionable fashion choices, they are still fun as hell to watch, though. Incompetent filmmaking at its best!

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I'll frogleap on the OPs thread and ask if anyone can paint a clearer picture of the whole period of Korean Kung-Fu films as far as their production goes. I've heard it said that it was simply a way for Hong Kong producers to get past the local quota… yet this can't account for all of them. Plus, they all seem to have their own distinct feel and identity… Not to mention a grungy, even exploitative atmosphere which makes most impoverished Chinese indies seem tasteful.

Is Korean Kung-Fu it's own distinct national thing, or simply a minor offshoot of the greater Chinese genre?

On co-productions:

As a coincidence I read this just today in John Woo Interviews (Ed. Robert K. Elder):

"... the Hong Kong studio liked to share production credit with the Korean film company, which would be responseible for half the production fee. ... The only condition was that we had to hire a Korean crew and hire a Korean actor in the film."

"... I set up a long tracking shot, using a dolly. It was pretty new for a Korean producer. Usually they didn't shoot a movie using a dolly because of economic reasons. They also made films with a very low budget, so they only shot everything in static shots."

My speculation: since there was money to be made in co-productions, I think they saw an opportunity to try things also on there own for the local market (like the similar situation in Taiwan.) As Mo stated: you see a lot more kicking in these films because of the Taekwondo and Hapkido influence. Of course sometimes it is hard to find a non-coproduction. When I was doing research for Shaolin Drunken Fight, I could only find South Korean connections to it, but nothing else. A pretty typical low budget kung fu movie filmed in South Korean with mainly a Korean cast.

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I have a feeling that you are really going to like Ninja Holocaust.

!! Wtf this movie?? Haha, you were very right. The opening sequence (which I'm not even sure "belongs" to this film proper) is deadly dull, but following that there is something completely insane going on every five minutes. Wow...

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The original movie is called Rocky's Love Affairs. I've never seen it but I imagine it is pretty good. But then Godfrey Ho got ahold of it and made it a masterpiece. I love the ending. One of the funniest endings ever.

I was searching through old threads and I came across this- http://www.kungfucinema.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3729&highlight=opening+credits

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You serious on Bruce and Shaolin Kung Fu?:tongue: I think we talked about this before Jesse. Those movies are so bad that I feel dirty watching them. But I do remember lots of cheese. The villain:bigsmile:. I really don't remember these movies so I shouldn't even try, but I think the villain is the same in both movies? And I think he kills a goldfish.

Here's some others-

Kill the Shogun

Kung Fu Fever

Thunder Ninja Kids in the Golden Adventure

Dynamite Shaolin Heroes

Fury in the Shaolin Temple

Duel of Ultimate Weapons

They're all bad movies. We probably did mention them before. The first part is the best, while "Return of Fist of Fury" has its moments of cheddar. :tongue: The main villian plays in all three parts as well as some other Korean films. I don't think he was a martial artist. Many of those Korean films played on USA Network and released by Master Arts Video.

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Gotta say, I always used to rate True Game of Death as being the worst film I have ever seen, period (not just kf, in other words). Though after watching My Name Called Bruce and a couple of other sleazy Bruce Le flicks last night (Return of Bruce, Fist of Vengeance and Super Gang) I'm now thinking that TGoD has some hearty competition for that honor. Man, did Le ever get involved with some stinkers!! Between the disco soundtracks, stunningly incoherent plotlines, the riot of oversized sunglasses and other questionable fashion choices, they are still fun as hell to watch, though. Incompetent filmmaking at its best!

Le (Huang Chien Lung) was good in kung fu, just back then the Koreans weren't good filmmakers for the most part. That is when it came to kung fu movies. Oddly enough I think his best movies were shot in Korea.

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Yeah, I don't mean to bust on Le per se, (ooh, that almost rhymes!) but more just the production values of some of those films. It seemed like the filmmakers were incapable of coming up with a product that didn't seem ultra-cheapie plus with a good dose of sleaziness. Funnily they are fun to watch all these years later, at least for someone with my somewhat perverse sensibilities.

I also like the Bruce Le film done in the Philippines where he is in charge of tracking down his sifu's golden coin or some such. So dumb and incompetently made but at the same time so much fun to watch.

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Dragon Lee and Hwang Jung Lee did a few films together back in the day:

MARTIAL MONKS OF SHAOLIN TEMPLE (1983)

FIVE PATTERN DRAGON CLAWS (1983)

Hwang played the good guy in a Korean film HARD BASTARD, which had Bruce Cheung (Chang Il-Shik) as the lead villain.

Elton Chong (Jeong Jin-Hwa)

INVINCIBLE OBSESSED FIGHTER (1981)

THE SNAKE STRIKES BACK (1982)

SHAOLIN DRUNKEN MONKEY (1981)

Benny Tsui (Seo Byeong-Hyun)

7 STAR GRAND MANTIS (1983)

Kwak Mu-Seong (Mario Chan/Bruce Pak)

EAGLE VS. SILVER FOX (1982) (w/ Hwang Jung Lee)

WARRIORS OF KUNG FU (1982) (w/ Casanova Wong)

Kim Tae-Jeong (Kim Tai-Chung/Tong Lung)

PLEASE MISS BE PATIENT (1981) (modern day action film)

Bruce Le (Huang Chien Lung) movies:

BRUCE AND SHAOLIN KUNG FU

BRUCE AND SHAOLIN KUNG FU 2

ENTER THE GAME OF DEATH

RETURN OF RED TIGER

MY NAME CALLED BRUCE

BRUCE AND DRAGON FIST

RETURN OF FIST OF FURY

THE FIERCE ONE aka JAWS OF THE DRAGON

THE MAGNIFICENT FIST

MARTIAL MATES

DEADLY KICK

DEADLY ROULETTE

Kill the Shogun

Kung Fu Fever

Thunder Ninja Kids in the Golden Adventure

Dynamite Shaolin Heroes

Fury in the Shaolin Temple

Duel of Ultimate Weapons

I gotta check out some of these Hwang Jang Lee films.

Hard Bastard aka Hands of Lightning sounds cool.

Which HJL Korean film would be considered the best?

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I'm mainly familiar with Korean cinema through Legendary Superkicker Hwang Jang Lee's films:

5 Pattern Dragon Claws - Features some good fighting from Hwang and some great dubbed dialogue: "I will teach you a kung fu punch, using your fist."

Secret Ninja, Roaring Tiger - It's the sleazy cousin to Ninja in the Dragon's Den. I love the finale how Hwang kicks the crap out of Dragon Lee, who can't win using straight kung fu. So Dragon switches into Bruce mode...and still gets whooped. It takes a girl's bare breasts to even up the score.

Hard Bastard - It's Always fun to see Hwang Jang Lee as the good guy and walk away victorious at the end. And ladies, Hwang gets his own love scene!

Eagle vs. Silver Fox - Pretty forgettable.

Hitman in the Hand of Buddha - I've been told this is a Korean production. The beginning and finale make for the Hwang's best fight showcases (thanks to frequente collaborator Corey Yuen), and everything in the middle is pretty solid, too.

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DrNgor said:
I'm mainly familiar with Korean cinema through Legendary Superkicker Hwang Jang Lee's films:

 

5 Pattern Dragon Claws - Features some good fighting from Hwang and some great dubbed dialogue: "I will teach you a kung fu punch, using your fist."

 

Secret Ninja, Roaring Tiger - It's the sleazy cousin to Ninja in the Dragon's Den. I love the finale how Hwang kicks the crap out of Dragon Lee, who can't win using straight kung fu. So Dragon switches into Bruce mode...and still gets whooped. It takes a girl's bare breasts to even up the score.

 

Hard Bastard - It's Always fun to see Hwang Jang Lee as the good guy and walk away victorious at the end. And ladies, Hwang gets his own love scene!

 

Eagle vs. Silver Fox - Pretty forgettable.

 

Hitman in the Hand of Buddha - I've been told this is a Korean production. The beginning and finale make for the Hwang's best fight showcases (thanks to frequente collaborator Corey Yuen), and everything in the middle is pretty solid, too.

 

 

I own a few of HJL's Korean flicks. Bought these many years ago, Five Pattern Dragon Claws,,Duel Of The Ultimate Weapons, Secret Ninja Roaring Tiger, Martial Monks Of Shaolin Temple, Hitman In The Hand Of Buddha. Hwang Jang Lee is on top form in all of the above titles.

 

Duel Of The Weapons starring Don Wong is very poor apart from Hwang's performance. The picture quality on the Vengeance Video release is really bad too. Hitman In The Hand Of Buddha is pretty decent and he show's off more than just his leg skills in that one. Love to see Hard Bastard.but that ones evaded me up to now.

Edited by DragonClaws

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Hitman in the Hand of Buddha - I've been told this is a Korean production. The beginning and finale make for the Hwang's best fight showcases (thanks to frequente collaborator Corey Yuen), and everything in the middle is pretty solid, too.

It would be good to get clarification on this, my understanding was that it was a HK production, but then HJL used his own production company to also make a slightly truncated Korean version that features a Korean dub. I have the Eastern Heroes DVD, which contains both the HK and the Korean version, and the production companies at the beginning are different than what are displayed on the HK release.

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