KFMG Podcast S01 Episode 06: Richard Geddes

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“Sometimes I get frustrated with people’s reluctance to try something they don’t understand, because they might grow because of it.”

We are discussing Asian cinema with film expert Richard Geddes on this episode of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. Richard works for the independent UK DVD label Terracotta Distribution, which was borne out of the Terracotta Far East Film Festival, launched by the company’s founder, Joey Leung, in 2008. Through the film festival and its associated on-demand and DVD service, Terracotta aims to promote and distribute the latest titles from the various territories across the Far East, including countries like …

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The Nine Demons (1984)

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Delirious kung fu take on the Faust story from Chang Cheh, reuniting with his Venoms crew for one of his most bonkers productions. Ricky Cheng plays the avenging Zou Qi who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for superior powers. He vows to take revenge for the death of his father and see the house of Gan Yun back in power, therefore averting an all-out war between rival families in the martial world. Zou is positioned as a somewhat sympathetic vessel for a sect of nine blood-thirsty demonic children in blue hula skirts who are summoned at will …

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The Dragon’s Snake Fist (1981)

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A wig-tastic rival schools chopsocky from the Godfrey Ho school of crazy. Two masters duke it out on a beach, the conclusion of which sees Master Chu – a Crane style practitioner – getting his leg smashed by Master Wai, a Snake Fist exponent. Fast forward 20 years and the conflict has extended to the next generation. Chu’s boy waves around two red footballs and sticks pins in his opponent’s pressure points, as he and his sister (Yuen Qiu) lead the charge in taking down the Snake Fist school. Dragon Lee plays Master Chu’s star pupil who settles in the …

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Spy (2015)

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Action comedy from Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, who has become something of a torchbearer in championing a new breed of female-led comedy films in Hollywood. He subverts Melissa McCarthy’s archetypal chubby-best-friend routine to provide the comedian with her first leading role. As humble desk-bound CIA operative Susan Cooper, she’s the subservient PA to a Bond-like secret agent played with gleeful shtick by Jude Law. She is sent into the field when her beloved sidekick is gunned down by Rose Byrne’s arms-dealing daddy’s girl. Susan is assigned undercover identities which conform to her assumed physical and gender stereotypes – a tourist with haemorrhoid …

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The King of Fists and Dollars (1979)

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Stock, but enjoyable, studio-based chopsocky. “How dare you break in here, you’ll be leaving horizontally,” shouts one of Danny Lee’s henchmen. Lee plays the King of Dollars; a moneyed landowner whose mining operation has taken its toll on the townsfolk, who are severely vexed with their poor treatment and minimal compensation. The King of Fists, Chiu Hung, and his daughter Pearl Cheung put up a heroic resistance, recruiting young country type David Chiang to join their alliance and improve his head-kicking skills. Quite predictably, the King of Fists is killed halfway through, leaving Cheung and Chiang to formulate some new …

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KFMG Podcast S01 Episode 05: UK martial arts movie special

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“The fan base for martial arts films is very loyal… my selfish thing is that I want to see more films, so I need to make sure people are making them and bringing them through.” Soo Cole, co-founder and director of Fighting Spirit Film Festival

Here’s something a little bit different from our usual podcast format, as I sit and talk to some of the best emerging talent on the UK martial arts movie scene, courtesy of the first Fighting Spirit Film Festival. The inaugural event took place on 16 July 2016 at The O2 Cineworld, London, and coincided with the …

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Bulletproof Monk (2003)

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As a wry look at how eastern philosophy has influenced western subculture, this feature film debut from music director Paul Hunter works quite well. It comes unstuck, however, because of its silly story and distracting editing, not to mention an overload of CGI and wire fu. After two decades of relatively straight roles, Chow Yun-fat can afford to ham it up a little. He does so as a heroic Tibetan monk with more than just bulletproof credentials. He is safeguarding an ancient scroll which can suspend time and bestow superhuman strength. Young scoundrel Seann William Scott (Stiffler from American Pie) …

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KFMG Podcast S01 Episode 04: Leo Au Yeung

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“Martial arts is important. But teaching how to be a better person, this is more important.”

We have Ip Man fight choreographer and kung fu expert Leo Au Yeung on the show today. Leo is a Hong Kong-born Wing Chun expert who teaches in London. From an early age, he was taught the close-combat Wing Chun style by Ip Chun – the son of legendary kung fu master, Ip Man, who would go on to teach a young Bruce Lee. Over the years, Leo has become a close friend of Ip Chun, working for a time as his English interpreter. We talk about …

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Winners and Sinners (1983)

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A thoroughly silly, crowd-pleasing action comedy from Sammo Hung. This was Golden Harvest’s answer to Cinema City’s popular Bond spoof Aces Go Places, with Sammo embellishing on the bumbling crime-fighting formula by including some blistering stunt and fight sequences. In a nod to the British ‘Carry On’ series, Sammo assembles an instantly likable group of top comedic talent to form his immature, eccentric Lucky Stars gang. There’s the loudmouth Curly (John Shum), the pervert Exhaust Pipe (Richard Ng), the smoothie Vaseline (Charlie Chin), the parental Larry (Stanley Fung) and the bashful Teapot (Sammo Hung). They’re all idiots, released from prison …

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Dragon Blade (2015)

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A sweeping desert-based historical epic from China which conjures up vague allusions to those sweeping desert-based historical epics from America made in the 1950s and 60s. Nowadays, of course, the cardboard sound-stage vistas of yesteryear have been replaced with awesomely vast computer-generated landscapes, and the costumes, set design and scale is quite magnificent. (The film was designed for IMAX 3D).

The story of Sino-Roman relations is an interesting one and something which hasn’t been explored too often on film. It is used here by writer and director Daniel Lee and producer and star Jackie Chan as a device for cross-cultural understanding, …

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