Archive for the Philip Kwok Category

Fight Of The Day: Philip Kwok, Chiang Sheng and Lu Feng: The Magnificent Ruffians

Posted in Chiang Sheng, Lu Feng, Philip Kwok with tags , on August 20, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

Philip Kwok Week concludes with a some fantastic staff work vs. Lu Feng with help from Chiang Sheng in The Magnificent Ruffians. Next month we’ll devote a week to another one of the Venom Mob, so you’ll see Philip Kwok a lot more. Thanks to Bobthem00 for the vid!

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Review: Crippled Avengers (1978)

Posted in Chang Cheh, Chen Kuan-Tai, Chiang Sheng, Dick Wei, Lo Meng (Turbo Law), Philip Kwok, Sun Chiang, Wang Lung Wei with tags on August 18, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

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Starring Philip Ko, Lu Feng, Wang Lung Wei, Dick Wei, , Sun Chien, Chen Kuan Tai, Lo Meng, Chiang Sheng

Fight Choreography by Sheng Chiang, Lu Feng, Robert Tai

Directed by Chang Cheh

The opening of Crippled Avengers is a bit different from the Shaw Brothers norm: We see the son and wife of To Tin Tao (Chen) attacked by an evil group called the Tigers of Tian Nan. The wife has her legs cut off and dies, while the son has his hands cut off but lives as Tao returns and straight up kills the three attackers led by the great Dick Wei. What’s cold about this is he actually tells them he’s got 3 kung fu moves, one for each of them, that will kill them, and does exactly that. Tao then vows to give his son mechanical arms and train him in Kung Fu. What’s different about this opening is that many times this is the start of the hero’s story, but here we see the origins of the villains instead.

This is cold, man. Just cold.

This is cold, man. Just cold.

Years later we find that To Tin Tao has become a despot, using his son To Cheng to take over the town they reside in, and they cripple anyone who gets in their way. They start with the sons of the very men who killed Tao’s wife and maimed To Cheng by simply crippling rather than killing them.

Soon they run the town like gangsters, and start their terror by putting out the eyes of a hawker Shun Chen (Ko), making the loudmouth blacksmith deaf and dumb (Meng), A poor nobody named Hu (Chien) who got in their way loses his legs, and the warrior Wang Yi, who tries to take vengeance for the three crippled men is made mentally incapacitated in a method that makes no damn sense. All four men go to Yi’s kung fu Master who teaches them the hawk style, giving each man a method to overcome their disability and kick so, so much ass. They train for years, before returning to town to face To Tin Tao, To Cheng, and Mr. Wan (Wang Lung “finger wag” Wei) for a final showdown…

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This is a classic Chang Cheh film down to its bones. Each actor brings themselves to the parts, and it’s fantastic. The story itself is quite good, and while I was sympathetic toward To Tin Tao and To Cheng, it quickly passed as their acts of evil became more and more cruel. Audiences are then given a group of heroes we really want to see win. Philip Ko leads the group and does so well despite the fact he has to act blind, which he does a good job of. But it’s Chiang Sheng who is the standout here, as once he’s injured, he has the mind of a child and fights in a way not unlike Jackie Chan did in films like Young Master and Drunken Master. His acrobatic work is astounding, and he brings a lot of energy into the fight scenes that really didn’t need more! I wasn’t impressed with Chen Kuan Tai or Lu Feng. They are both good villains, but just that. I had hoped after the beginning of the film they would be more complex characters, but they aren’t, and the acting here is pretty one note.

The training sequences of this film are great, and a real standout, as are the various fights were Mr. Wan tries to trap the Avengers only to have them outsmart him at every turn, whittling down his dozens of men until they finally face To Tin Tao. Each fight has a suspense-building mechanism that is appreciated and kept me invested in the fights, and the fights have the trademark Chang Cheh fast paced cadence, so there is no fight that is ever one note or boring.

Yes, The Man With The Iron Fists was influenced greatly by this film. Wish they had paid better attention to the far, far better fights. ( I didn’t have to go there, but I yes did.)

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 9

Another piece of greatness from the Shaw Brothers and Chang Cheh. Philip Ko and company deliver an exciting kung fu film! One of the classics!

Fight Of The Day: Philip Kwok Vs. Chow Yun Fat and Tony Leung: Hard Boiled (1992)

Posted in Philip Kwok with tags , on August 17, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

Hard Boiled is without a doubt one of the best action movies ever made, and before Yayan Ruhian rocked The Raid as Mad Dog, Philip Kwok made the name Mad Dog badass FIRST. And the moment when he confronts Tony Leung for his betrayal face to face, it’s just chilling to see Kwok give Leung the I’M GONNA KILL THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF YOU stare. I had a hard time choosing a great fight scene here, because gun or no gun they were all awesome. Watch Philip go to work.

Review: Masked Avengers (1981)

Posted in Chiang Sheng, Chin Siu Ho, Philip Kwok with tags , on August 16, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

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Starring Philip Kwok, Chin Sui-ho, Lu Feng, Wang Li, Chiang Sheng.

Fight Choreography: Philip Kwok, Sheng Chiang, Chu Ke

Directed by Chang Cheh

Masked Avengers begins as we meet an unfortunate bastard who runs into and is killed by a group of assassins known as the Mask Gang: a cult who kill for money but on top of that, for some odd reason that is never, ever explained or even gone back to later in the film, drink the blood of the men they kill. A group of warriors arrive in town to attempt to stop these killers and stay at a local inn, where they find themselves being spied on by the cook Gao (Kwok). They have a list of suspects, but Gao finds himself quickly moving to the top of their investigation (such as it is) as the top culprit to be one of the Mask Gang.

The warriors find themselves being picked off one by one as young Zeng (Sheng) Jun, one of their best fighters, befriends Gao, and together, begrudgingly, they get to the heart of the Mask Gang to find their leaders, but Gao holds a terrible secret, and even worse, one of the heroic warriors isn’t nearly as heroic as he appears to be…

Masked Avenger

Shaw Brothers silliness abounds, and that’s a really, really good thing. Philip Kwok is excellent as the mysterious Gao, and it won’t take long for anyone to figure out what he’s really up to. Chiang Sheng shows his normal comedy schtick, and does well with it, being youthfully exuberant and all Errol Flynn-like in the face of evil. Chin Sui-ho is great as the leader of the good guys, and I love the fact that the fan is far from the only weapon he carries, just the only one you see…The Mask Gang kills are treated like a horror film, and just like those movies there are some really good stealth kills, but c’mon, many warriors would have lived if they heeded this simple lesson:

“Don’t stand anywhere a goddamn trident can get thrown at you.”

There was one death that struck me as odd, when a captured Mask Gang member dies…by biting his own tongue out. Besides just being painful, I’m not sure how that kills you in mere seconds.

There is a second lesson this film tries to teach, and it’s actually pretty important:

“Showing off at the wrong moment will get your stupid ass killed.”

Oh yeah, and one last lesson that would’ve saved a couple of good guys:

“If you don’t see Gao move forward first, don’t be the first one to run ahead.”

In fact these guys are so “Star Trek Redshirts” that Gao pretty much just lets them run ahead of him, setting off whatever trap that Grants Painful Deaths. The final fights are the fast paced, acrobatic choreography you expect from the Shaw Brothers, and they do save the best for last. I have to admit, the leaders of the gang make their entrances like bosses:

Like. A. Boss.

Like. A. Boss.

The final boss fights are awesome, but really, the main baddie does mostly because he makes a really bad tactical decision that still has be baffled, but his death scene was really cool. Why oh why does everyone have to die with several tridents to the mid section in this film? Keeping in mind that Philip Kwok and other did the fight choreography is really impressive, and allows each of the main main characters a chance to strut their absolute best stuff, particularly with trident and fan work. Yeah, you gotta watch those dudes running around with fans…

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 9

A good Chang Cheh film that’s not his best but really comes close, and Philip Kwok really gets to shine here as a hero. A fun film from start to finish!

Fight Of The Day: Philip Kwok vs. Lo Meng: Shaolin Rescuers (1979)

Posted in Lo Meng (Turbo Law), Philip Kwok with tags on August 16, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

Philip Kwok fights Lo Meng. As if you needed to know more! A classic fight over a bowl that is fantastically performed and choreographed in a film where they broke the budget on blood capsules! And nothing beats the Lo Meng Look of Disdain!

Philip Kwok Week on Kiai-Kick!

Posted in Philip Kwok on August 15, 2016 by Michael S. Moore

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Time to pass a little appreciation to Hong Kong stuntman and superstar Philip Kwok! Veteran of so many, many great Shaw Brothers films and perhaps one of the greatest kung fu films of all time The Five Deadly Venoms! Damn right, Venom Mob in the house! There are generations of youngsters out there who don’t know much about the classic stars of old, and I’m not talking about Clark Gable! But there are also many who don’t know that yes, Philip Kwok played the infamous and badass Mad Dog in the action classic Hard Boiled! I don’t want to rehash his life here, as there are websites that have done a great job of that. I just want to concentrate on the man’s impressive body of work! So this week all vids, reviews and whatever else I have up my sleeve is all about Philip! We love ya, Mad Dog!

Youtuber Tony Coates did an excellent job making a tribute video to Philip, and you can see it here: