10 Rare Kung Fu Movies

Wednesday, March 2 by Anwar Jefferson-George

If action, broken storylines and gaping plot holes are your preference, then these 10 rare Kung Fu movies will never fail to please. Although they aren't the type of thing you'd want to have to rely on if you're about to get into the fight of your life and need some quick pointers, their sheer entertainment value makes them well worth at least one viewing.

  1. "Golden Killah" (1977) – This movie opens like any good Kung-Fu film ought to, with a man unwittingly killing his own brother after less than 30 seconds have elapsed. His search for Golden Mask, the devious martial arts master who hired him, takes the viewer through a number of great fights, introducing a number of villainous characters.
  2. "Lady With a Sword" (1971) – One of the first notably successful pieces of classic Hong Kong cinema directed by a woman; Lady With a Sword follows the quest of the eponymous main character (the infamous Sha Brothers favorite, Lily Ho) as she attempts to find the take revenge on her late sister's murderer.
  3. "Son of Wu-Tang" (1977) – With revenge, political intrigue and reasonless killing, what else could you want for? After a shady minister-in-disguise hires a flawless swordsman who only works for pleasure to undertake a number of government killings, nothing can stop him but the only man he ever missed.
  4. "Zombie Rivals" (1987) – A young man's father is killed, and with no one else to turn to, he must apprentice himself to an undertaker who trains him using the cadavers in his care. This Gordon Ho epic set the standards long before the modern undead craze.
  5. "Full Metal Ninja" (1988) – Another Gordon Ho mash-up, this film defines what takes to be a ninja; evidently little more than a headband emblazoned with the word "Ninja!" Color-coded enemy rankings and fantastic training sequences do little to detract from the entertainment potential of this cult classic.
  6. "Revenge of the Patriots" (1976) – A great flick for aspiring patriots, Revenge of The Patriots serves up a series of guidelines for right action in times of regime change and political turmoil. When a former dynastic princess has her life threatened by an evil power-hungry prince, a bodyguard must come out of retirement to do the right thing.
  7. "Seven Steps of Kung Fu" (1979) – An amazing classic in which a young and promising disciple, Tiger, and his master Lee work together against the notorious Five Hands criminal gang threatening to destabilize the country. Only by mastering all seven steps of Kung Fu and learning how to fight can he protect his nation from foreign incursion and the traitors within. Includes innovative mobile camera cinematography that really sucks the viewer into the action.
  8. "Master of the Flying Guillotine" (1975) – A sequel to One Armed Boxer, this sees the one-armed fighter locked in a life and death struggle against a blind monk who can decapitate his victims in the blink of an eye. As the boxer flees the monk who wants to kill him and avenge his disciples, killed in a previous film, people around him continue to die until at last he must face his seemingly invincible enemy.
  9. "Soul Brothers of Kung Fu" (1978) – Almost a tribute to Bruce Lee, this movie follows Bruce Li as the main character attempting to make a life for himself and his friends in a very hostile modern Hong Kong. Triad gangs, petty mobsters and the lure of social fame are pitted against the appeal of martial arts for martial arts' sake.
  10. "The 36th Chamber of Shaolin" (1976) – The film that established Gordon Liu as a household name in Kung Fu cinema, this tale of a historical monk's enrollment at the Shaolin temple involves one of the most well-known training sequences in all of classic Hong Kong cinema. A must-see for anyone who wondered what the Wu-Tang Clan was talking about during the classic hip-hop era.
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