Archive for December, 2013

The Raid 2: Berandal Trailer #1 (2013-14)

Posted in Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian on December 31, 2013 by Michael S. Moore

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There are no words I have to describe the sheer awesomeness of this trailer. Just watch and watch again. The baseball bat. The final face off that looks to be a martial arts fight for the ages (that Sonny Chiba shuffle got me)…it just looks wonderful. 2014 can’t get here fast enough!

 

 

 

 

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Review: Golden Swallow (1968)

Posted in Chang Cheh, Cheng Pei Pei, Jimmy Wang Yu, Lo Lieh with tags , on December 30, 2013 by Michael S. Moore

Golden Swallow Cheng Pei Pei

Starring Cheng Pei Pei, Jimmy Wang Yu, Lo Lieh

Fight Choreography by Tang Chia and Liu Chia-Liang

Directed by Chang Cheh

Golden Swallow is the sequel to Come Drink With Me, and Cheng Pei Pei returns as Golden Swallow, a warrior woman who has now found peace with her friend and potential lover Iron Whip Han To (Lo Lieh) who only fights as a last resort. Of course their peaceful existence doesn’t last long, as Silver Roc (Wang Yu) an old lover of Golden Swallow, starts killing members of the evil Golden Dragon Clan and leaving evidence that Golden Swallow was responsible in order to draw her out of hiding for reasons to be revealed. Add to to all of this an evil kung fu lord and dozens of inept bad guys, and what you get is a drastic reduction in the population of China. Oh yeah, and Golden Swallow is torn between both men as she loves them both.

Golden Swallow Lo Lieh

Chang Cheh is very much in his operatic form here, and it’s okay, not great, but shows the greatness that’s to come in his future features. There is some great scenes here, particularly right before Silver Roc’s attack on the Golden Dragon Clan headquarters, as they punish three unfortunate henchmen for sucking really badly, and later as they accuse a young boy of theft, and the fate of the boy and his father really shows how bad the Clan actually is. Jimmy Wang Yu is an unlikeable prick as Silver Roc, and plays that to the hilt, making one wonder what Golden Swallow saw in him to start with. Lo Lieh is his always cool self as Iron Whip, and seems to take a zen approach to everything, which is good considering all the death and violence that will surround all of the characters before the end of the film, and Lo Lieh is able to pull it off with ease. Golden Swallow surprisingly takes a little bit of a backseat to the proceedings here, but she is still the main character, and Cheng Pei Pei plays her as beautiful and fierce, but this time torn between her love for two men, and her confusion is well played.

Golden Swallow Jimmy Wang Yu

The fights are better here than in the previous film, and the choreography has improved, if not the “fighting speed”. The fight at the Peace Tavern (heh) was good, and Cheng Pei Pei did a great job here, and looked much more comfortable with the fight choreography, which is still very dance-like, but showed a little bit more grit than Come Drink With Me. The finale with Jimmy Wang Yu versus a horde of Golden Dragon henchmen is terrific, and a fitting Heroic Bloodshed finale for the film.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 7

Golden Swallow is a fun Heroic Bloodshed film that was a taste of the things Chang Cheh had in store for audiences everywhere featuring a fierce performance by the first lady of Kung-Fu, Cheng Pei Pei!

Next:  Jean Claude Van Damme’s splits make their first appearance in No Retreat, No Surrender!

Here’s Santa Claus kicking butt from Flying Without Fear!

Posted in Daniele Balconi, Flying Without Fear with tags , on December 25, 2013 by Michael S. Moore

FWF

I love it when I find out about a stunt team I was previously unaware of, and it allows me, in turn, to bring something new to you. In this case I present the Italian Stunt Team Flying Without Fear, and a little Santa Claus kick ass-kicking action care of Daniele Balconi and company. The fight here is fun, and definitely an ode to Jackie Chan and his style of fight choreography.  Have some fun below, and I’ll have more from them in the future!

Happy Holidays from Kiai-Kick!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 24, 2013 by Michael S. Moore

LBP Stunts Chicago presents Xing Yi Quan style Kung Fu!

Posted in Emmanuel Manzanares, LBP Stunts with tags on December 22, 2013 by Michael S. Moore

If you’ve been a regular on this site then you know the praises I tend to heap on LBP Stunts Chicago, and you also know that the proof is in the pudding, and these guys are and always have been great. Now they present member Sifu Keith Min in a demonstration of Xing Yi Quan style kung fu. The transitions where the kata is shown  and then demonstrated on a live target is fantastic. This simply another reason why these guys need to get more exposure and work!

Until we meet again, Billy Jack.

Posted in Tom Laughlin on December 15, 2013 by Michael S. Moore

Tom Laughlin

 

Kiai-Kick is sad to report on the death of Tom Laughlin a few days ago. Star of the Billy Jack films, Tom always did things his own way, even when it came to making a Hapkido martial arts film. A political activist and one of the great independent filmmakers (Billy Jack, adjusted for inflation, is one of the highest grossing indie films of all time). Tom is best known for his four Billy Jack films and for The Born Losers, as well as The Master Gunfighter. Tom passed away at the age of 82.

On a personal note, in my eyes at least, Tom Laughlin threw the gauntlet down for indie filmmakers in regards to making their own martial arts films. Some have had the minerals to do it themselves, and I think there is a renaissance of indie martial arts films coming. I think we have Tom to thank for showing us the way to do things…our way.

Our condolences go out to Tom Laughlin’s family during this time.

And here is my favorite Billy Jack moment: