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SmokingFistOfDoom

POLL: Best Martial Arts Movies by Year (1979-1981)

POLL: Best Martial Arts Movies by Year (1979-1981)  

33 members have voted

  1. 1. 1979

    • Knockabout
      9
    • Ten Tigers From Kwangtung
      0
    • Magnificent Butcher
      5
    • Fearless Hyena
      4
    • Last Hurrah For Chivalry
      5
    • The Deadly Breaking Sword
      2
    • Shaolin Daredevils
      0
    • Mad Monkey Kung Fu
      1
    • Dance of the Drunk Mantis
      1
    • Crippled Masters
      0
    • Shaolin Rescuers
      2
    • Boxer's Adventure
      0
    • Stroke of Death aka Monkey Kung Fu
      0
    • Sun Dragon
      1
    • The Mystery of Chessboxing
      0
    • Hell's Windstaff
      1
    • Incredible Kung Fu Mission aka Kung-Fu Commandos
      2
  2. 2. 1980

    • Young Master
      8
    • Fist of the White Lotus
      2
    • The Master (Yuen Tak)
      0
    • The Big Brawl
      0
    • The Octagon
      0
    • Encounters of the Spooky Kind
      4
    • The Victim
      7
    • Return to the 36th Chamber of Shaolin
      1
    • The Sword
      1
    • Shogun Assassin
      1
    • Flag of Iron
      3
    • The Killer Wears White aka Shadow Ninja
      1
    • Rebel Intruders
      1
    • Buddha Assassinator
      1
    • The Buddhist Fist
      0
    • Two Champions of Shaolin
      1
    • Rebellious Reign
      1
    • Kill or Be Killed
      0
    • Thundering Mantis
      1
    • Seven Steps of Kung Fu
      0
  3. 3. 1981

    • Prodigal Son
      10
    • Martial Club
      6
    • Game of Death II aka Tower of Death
      2
    • My Young Auntie
      2
    • Dreadnaught
      4
    • Masked Avengers
      3
    • House of Traps
      1
    • Killer Constable
      1
    • Enter the Ninja
      0
    • Lion vs Lion
      0
    • Kill and Kill Again
      0
    • Duel of the Century
      0
    • Samurai Reincarnation
      0
    • Hitman in the Hand of Buddha
      3
    • Shanghai 13
      1
    • Born Invincible
      0
    • Secret Rivals 3
      0


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I tried to include every relevant movie that could conceivably be chosen as a favorite, but avoided the truly crappy ones (unless it's one that some consider a guilty pleasure) or the really obscure ones. Apologies in advance if I missed your favorite, and I could possibly modify the poll if you let me know (it's the first time I do polls on this site).  I'm also thinking of doing a top 3 per year, as some years were simply overflowing with classics.  But I believe that would have to be manually calculated.  

Not sure if this will work well or not, but any suggestions welcome!

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by SmokingFistOfDoom

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The Master with Jet Li was made in 1989 and released in 1992. The Master with Chen Kuan Tai and Yuen Tak was made in 1980.

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More hard choices. As I am a Venoms girl if you put more than 1 of their films on the list, I am very torn.  But there are also excellent nonVenom movies that make these choices hard for me.

1979 Last Hurrah for Chivalry is my favorite Wei Pai movie. Many will be shocked I chose this as there are 4 other Venom Mob movies on the list.  Since I couldn't choose from those, I went a completely different way.

1980 Flag of Iron is my favorite from that year so it was the obvious choice.

1981 Masked Avengers is my favorite from that year so again it was the obvious choice.

 

 

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1 hour ago, DrNgor said:

The Master with Jet Li was made in 1989 and released in 1992. The Master with Chen Kuan Tai and Yuen Tak was made in 1980.

Nice catch doc, have edited the choice to reflect the same.

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Thanks for having me come back to the forum with a headache! Seriously some tough choices for me except 81 where Produgal Son wins easy for me. Killer Constable is a great film but I barely consider it a martial arts film, especially next to Prodigal Son.

 

For 79' there are four GREAT Shaw films on the list in Dirty Ho, Golden Arms, Deadly Breaking Sword and Shaolin Rescuers; None of these films quite reach the "best of the best" level for me though. Magnificent Butcher I consider to be on the same level as them. The closest second was Dance of the Drunk Mantis, but Knockabout is a top 3 favorite MA film for me, and just amazing in too many ways.

 

80 was the toughest. Rebellious Reign is definitely one of my favorite indie old school films, and one of the best examples of solid story + great fighting.. I also love The Young Master and the almost iconic Fist of the White Lotus. Flag of Iron beats them out though, being my absolute favorite Venoms film is the deciding factor there.

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It was very difficult to choose between Masked avengers, House of traps, Dreadnaught, Prodigal son, My young Auntie and Killer constable, but I finally chose House of traps.

 

As Paimeifist said, it's a headache to have to choose among so many good movies, and I haven't see some of the list, so, what would it be if I had !!! :bs_coveredlaugh:

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I'm eager to vote SFD, but I was wondering if you could include Incredible Kung Fu Mission? I love kicking in martial arts movies cause I'm a Taekwondo stylist and this was John Liu's tourdeforce film IMO, but if not I'll go with Sun Dragon cause the fight scenes blew my mind as a kid when I first saw it as a kid on Black Belt Theatre as a young kid in the early 80's. :smile

Edited by CT KID

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1979:

Just like 1978, another one of the toughest choices. All of them are great movies. I originally voted for Knockabout, but I think I'm gonna change my choice to Dirty Ho (since Dirty Ho was originally listed in the 1976 poll). Genuinely funny kung fu comedy with a great cast of characters.

1980:

I chose Young Master, though The Victim was a close second.

1981:

Definitely The Prodigal Son. Unfortunately, three of my favorite Shaw Brothers movies also came out this year (Martial Club, My Young Auntie, and Masked Avengers), but still, The Prodigal Son wins.

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1979 - The first year of the post-Drunken Master/Seasonal Film era brought us many great movies. I went for Knockabout, which had a wonderful kicking performance from Yuen Biao and a totally awesome finale with Choy Li Fut, Wing Chun, Monkey Style, Tae Kwon Do, and Snake Fist on full display.

1980 - Lots of great movies, but my favorite was Fist of the White Lotus, which was directed by Lo Lieh but might well have been directed by choreographer Lau Kar Leung. Lots of kung fu philosophy is handled in an action-packed story full of great hung gar, and even a rope-dart fight.

1981 - Put me down with The Martial Club, with one of Kara Hui's best fighting performances and a jaw-dropping hung gar clinic of a finale set in a narrow alley.

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11 hours ago, CT KID said:

I'm eager to vote SFD, but I was wondering if you could include Incredible Kung Fu Mission? I love kicking in martial arts movies cause I'm a Taekwondo stylist and this was John Liu's tourdeforce film IMO, but if not I'll go with Sun Dragon cause the fight scenes blew my mind as a kid when I first saw it as a kid on Black Belt Theatre as a young kid in the early 80's. :smile

Done.  Each question has a maximum of 20 choices, so I removed Force of One, which people generally seem to rate a 5/10.

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Extremely difficult!!!  :sweating  :sweating  :sweating  :sweating  :sweating

1979: Knockabout, Magnificent Butcher, Last Hurrah For Chivalry, Mystery of Chesboxing & Incredible Kung Fu Master.  Knockabout it is.

1980: There are about 12 movies in that year that I could pick. But the movie the holds the highest replay value for me is Rebellious Reign - so I pick it.

1981:  Martial Club, Prodigal Son, Killer Constable, Hitman in the Hands of Buddha. The Prodigal Son holds high value for me with an extra bonus of not having Frankie Chan usual humor in it. But I have to go with "Martial Club" - excellent performances by the 3 leads along with great direction by Pops, that is movie making at it's best.  

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Again... I have to be that guy. But Seven Steps of Kung Fu was released in 1980, despite what most sources say. Its trailer uses Lalo Schifrin's score from Jackie Chan's Big Brawl released in the summer of 1980 (September of '80 in Taiwan) and also both trailer and the film itself, uses the Roy Budd score for the WWII film The Sea Wolves, starring Roger Moore, David Niven, Gregory Peck etc. which was released in the summer of 1980 (October '80 in Taiwan). So unless they used time travel, I find it hard to believe that it was released a year before the music of the movies it's "borrowing" from. I asked the "white haired general" himself, Chang Shan on facebook, and he remembered it was shot in '79, but didn't recall when it was released.

 

 

 

Edited by TibetanWhiteCrane

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4 hours ago, TibetanWhiteCrane said:

Again... I have to be that guy. But Seven Steps of Kung Fu was released in 1980, despite what most sources say. Its trailer uses Lalo Schifrin's score from Jackie Chan's Big Brawl released in the summer of 1980 (September of '80 in Taiwan) and also both trailer and the film itself, uses the Roy Budd score for the WWII film The Sea Wolves, starring Roger Moore, David Niven, Gregory Peck etc. which was released in the summer of 1980 (October '80 in Taiwan). So unless they used time travel, I find it hard to believe that it was released a year before the music of the movies it's "borrowing" from. I asked the "white haired general" himself, Chang Shan on facebook, and he remembered it was shot in '79, but didn't recall when it was released

 

IMDb says it was released in Hong Kong in March 1979, which is pretty far back in the year.  Just spitballing here.... but is it possible that particular trailer was created 1+ year later for the movie's release to Western audiences, using music from other Western movies?  Apparently it was only released in 1983 in West Germany, not sure about the other countries.

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3 hours ago, SmokingFistOfDoom said:

IMDb says it was released in Hong Kong in March 1979, which is pretty far back in the year.  Just spitballing here.... but is it possible that particular trailer was created 1+ year later for the movie's release to Western audiences, using music from other Western movies?  Apparently it was only released in 1983 in West Germany, not sure about the other countries.

I'd argue that we'll likely never have a definitive answer to these kinds of queries on release dates. But for HK, Chinese, & Taiwanese movies, for the sake of consistency I usually base anything I write on what's reflected in the Hong Kong Movie Database. Even there you're not guaranteed 100% accuracy, but at the same time I can guarantee it's 100% more accurate than anything you'll find on IMDB about these movies.

http://hkmdb.com/db/movies/view.mhtml?id=9052&display_set=eng

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Using IMDB for anything regarding Asian and especially HK cinema is utterly pointless. It's so flawed and inaccurate and in many cases completely worthless. HKMDB is a lot better, but like OAB said, not perfect either. I have considered the trailer theory you propose, SmokingFistOfDoom, but then there's still the matter of the Sea Wolves score used in the actual movie. And unless you can show me a print with different music on it, I'm gonna go ahead and say that it was released in 1980. Every Kung Fu movie of this era used "borrowed" music from Western cinema, and it wasn't for use in the Western market, it was cuz they thought they could get away with it in Asia, cuz no one cared or checked there. But hey, you can believe whatever you wanna believe, I'm just going by logic of facts here. If use of music from a movie released in 1980 appear in a film, I'm gonna assume that film was not from 1979.

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Interesting points @TibetanWhiteCrane, @SmokingFistOfDoom, @One Armed Boxer regarding the release date of Seven Steps Of Kung Fu. If the film was made in 79, I guess it could be regarded as a 70's production?. While the 1980 release date could also have it thrown in with other early 1980's productions?.

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Hmm, didn't realize the HkMDb was that much more accurate than Imdb. I'll keep that in mind for next time.  As it turns out, it also says 1979.  Whatever, for the sake of accuracy (TibetanWhiteCrane seems quite certain of his claim), I'll put the movie in 1980.... As for the poll itself, I doubt it will make much of a difference at this point, since nobody has even voted for SSoKF yet.

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28 minutes ago, SmokingFistOfDoom said:

I doubt it will make much of a difference at this point, since nobody has even voted for SSoKF yet.

It's a crime for that film to not have at least one vote. Even if it was listed when I made my vote, picking one choice for 79-81 was very very tough.

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1 hour ago, SmokingFistOfDoom said:

Hmm, didn't realize the HkMDb was that much more accurate than Imdb. I'll keep that in mind for next time.

Trust me, when IMDB screw something up, they really screw it up. For example, did you know that Hwang Jang Lee directed the 1992 new wave kung fu flick 'Martial Arts Master Wong Fei Hung'? -

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0104821/?ref_=m_nmfmd_dr_2

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three very strong years of some classic, classic kung fu films, the prime years of Sammo, Pops & Yuen Woo Ping, very hard to pick one.....but I got there in the end.

Knockabout

The Victim

The Prodigal Son

Sammo ruled for me!

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