Thursday Night Kung Fu Theater

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   “Shaolin vs. Wu Tang (1983)“!   In a plot to make himself the master of both disciplines, a jealous Qing leader [Wang Lung‑wei] forces two friends from rival martial arts schools [Gordon Liu & Adam Cheng] to fight each other. That sums it up. It’s a pretty simple flick but the opening credits are visually stunning with beautiful choreography.

   This one was introduced by a Kung Fu friend I made in High School, Donnie. He turned me onto a few non-Shaw Brothers films back in 1985. I’ll forever be in his debt.

Cult Movie Essentials: The Kung Fu Classic, Invincible Shaolin (1978)

61vsgjqompL._SY606_   This one has to be in my top 5 of all time Kung Fu Flicks! It is also known as “Unbeatable Dragon”. The word Dragon had to be in just about every American release of a Martial Arts movie to have any traction or gravitas. When I moved to Reno, NV, in 1987 I found a teacher that was teaching Wing Chun Kuen (Ip Man > Leung Sheung > Kenneth Chung system) Kung Fu. After my first lesson I thought that it seemed very familiar as I sat in my car. I raced home and popped this movie into my VCR and I was right! The son of the Southern Shaolin school’s teacher (Sifu) was taught the exact style that I was learning. By this time I was already familiar with the movie for about 6 years. It gave my real life a connection with a fun, stylised, fantasy. It has been almost 30 years since that first lesson, not my first or last art to be learned, I now teach and I still watch this cult classic!

CULT FACTION

Invincible Shaolin is the second proper Venoms movie, following on from Five Venoms.  Legendary director Chang Cheh returns to explore how the Ching Governments attempts to stamp out the influence of the Shaolin – a theme he also explored in Heroes Two.

The plot involves an evil Qing general (Wong Lung Wei) who comes up with a brilliant plan to rid the Qing Empire once and for all of the Shaolin masters. He invites three Northern Shaolin experts to his mansion and has them fight the in a contest against three novice Southern Shaolin men already present at his mansion. By royal decree, Shaolin was required to supply experts to teach the Qing troops martial arts.

The Northern Shaolin experts easily and decisively win against the South Shaolin men. After the contest, the general visits the South Shaolin men in their quarters later that night and secretly kills…

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Jim “the Dragon” Kelly (May 5, 1946 – June 29, 2013)

 

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Jim Kelly

(CNN) Jim Kelly, who parlayed his martial arts skills into a successful but brief career in action movies (such as Bruce Lee’s, Enter the Dragon), has died. He was 67. (read the rest at: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/01/showbiz/jim-kelly-death/?hpt=hp_t3)

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Liu Chia Liang

Earlier, on Tuesday of this week we (the Martial community) also lost Lau Kar-leung (28 July 1934 – 25 June 2013), also known as Liu Chia-liang, was a Hong Kong-based Chinese actor, filmmaker, choreographer and martial artist. Lau is best known for the films he made in the 1970’s and 1980’s for the Shaw Brothers Studio. One of his most famous works is The 36th Chamber of Shaolin which starred Gordon Liu, as well as Drunken Master II which starred Jackie Chan.