10 Best Old Karate Movies

Thursday, August 4 by Ergopotamo

Because we all love big fights, here’s a list of the 10 best old karate movies. That’s what old karate movies are all about: big perfectly and beautifully choreographed fights with screaming, angry fighters who risk their lives every second of the film, and who put their hearts and strength in every roundhouse kick.

  1. "Enter the Dragon." "Enter the Dragon" is the best karate movie of all times without a doubt. It was well written and has and exciting plot, but its most important appeal is that Bruce Lee appears in it: the best martial artist ever to perform in front of a camera. In "Enter the Dragon," Lee is a martial artist living in a Buddhist temple, and is required by a foreign secret service to fight in a tournament held in a private island, property of Han. The bad guy of the movie is definitely the one who will suffer Lee’s demolishing kicks.
  2. "Shaoling Challenges Ninja." Chinese martial arts versus Japanese martial arts in the all time classic by Shaw Brothers, where love is the root of all problems. A couple marries, forced by their families. The thing is that he’s Japanese and she’s Chinese. Everything’s fine until they have a dispute and she returns home asking for support from her family. Thus, war is declared on her ex-husband, who will defend himself with everything he has.
  3. "Iron Monkey." Directed by Kuan Tai Chen and starred by the great Hui Lou Chen, this is the story of a rebel who hides in the forest and robs the rich authorities in order to give some of it to the people, while he trains to become a Kung-fu master in order to take revenge on his father’s killers.
  4. "The 36th Chamber of Shaolin." Excellent action, massive combats, and the trainings of the unique Gordon Liu is what makes this film one of the top rated karate movies by fans. Liu lives in Canton, which has been invaded. Invaders kill his father, and he decides to enter into a Shaoling temple where he can learn martial arts in order to get his revenge be fighting and killing his father's murderers.
  5. "Sanshiro Sugata." Akira Kurosawa couldn’t be left out of this ranking. He had a unique way of capturing fights. Most importantly, he also constructed credible characters. What makes this movie special is that the story is not centered in fights (although there are lots in the movie), but in the process of learning and developin the spirit that goes along with karate.
  6. "The Magnificent Trio." This is another classic movie from the Sha Brothers. Like in "Iron Monkey," our main character, Lu Fang, fights for the people. He finds himself in a town where a tyrant minister is abusing the people. Lu fang, of course, will not remain quiet. He’ll fight against the minister with everything he’s got.
  7. "Dragon’s Snake Fist." Jackie Chan has to be in this count. Back in the day, he was a terrific fighter and made some great karate movies. His best performance is "Dragon’s Snake Fist," where Stork‘s Fist tradition battles for supremacy against Snake’s Fist tradition in a battle that has lasted for years. Chan is the one who’ll end this struggle by delivering some of the best kicks in karate movie history.
  8. "Master of the flying Guillotine." The plot of this movie makes it great: a blind priest seeks revenge for the killing of his two disciples. His enemy is a fighter who only has one hand. The fights on this movie are unique, as it contains almost every type of martial art,.
  9. "The Chinese connection." In this movie the great Bruce Lee appears delighting us and blowing our minds again. This time he’s a Kung-fu apprentice who seeks revenge for death of his master who was poisoned.
  10. "Bloodsport." Starred and directed by Van Damme, this is a big name that just can’t be left aside. He brought a new style and some fresh air to the genre. Here he’s a Kumite fighter in Hong Kong, kicking asses in a big tournament. This is a great chance to see one of the last great martial artists.

-Manuel Paucar

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