This coming a few days late, but there is terrific news on the Shaw Brothers front. At long least, Celestial/IVL is releasing some of the most anticipated Shaw Brothers films. Most significant is Chinese Super Ninjas aka Five Element Ninja, one of my personal favorites. Unapologetically gory and completely insane, it’s a real high point for Chang Cheh. The plot finds Lo Meng and the Baby Venoms tangling with an element-themed array of deadly ninjas, ranging from ninjas who burrow underground to ninjas who hide in the water. You might wonder what the fifth element is (hint: the answer is not Milla Jovovich). Prepare yourself for the bling of the Gold Ninjas, the gangsta rappers of the ninja food chain. All that plus sexy female fire ninjas, tree ninjas, and people tripping over their own intestines. CSB’s own Jeff marks a viewing of Chinese Super Ninjas as what converted him into a Shaw fan on the spot. Those of you out there who have seen this, give it some love.
Slightly less bonkers, but also a lot of fun, is another Venoms film by Chang Cheh (one of the few, if not the only, besides the original Five Deadly Venoms to have all 6 Venoms) - Kid with the Golden Arm. Lo Meng plays a bandit while Philip Kwok (aka Kuo Chui aka Lizard Venom, known best in the West as Mad Dog from Hard Boiled) plays a drunken hero. Melees and double-crosses abound, as well as one of the worst kung fu deaths ever for the villainous Wang Lung Wei.
Other to look forward to: House of Traps, a formerly impossible to acquire late Venoms film; Seeding of a Ghost, one of the Shaws most infamous Category III sleazefests; Perils of the Sentimental Swordsman, another in Chu Yuan’s excellent series of angsty wu xias starring Ti Lung. And if, somehow, none of that sounds good to you, who can resist movies with titles like Heads for Sale, Bloody Parrot, The Mad Monk, or, if you’re in more of a relaxed mood for relaxation, The Delightful Forest.
::: 2007 Calendar
Filed under: Movie News and Movie News: Hong Kong and DVD News and DVD News: Hong Kong and Studios: Shaw Brothers and People: Chang Cheh and People: Kuo Cheh (5 Venoms) and People: Lo Meng (5 Venoms) and DVD Companies: Celestial and People: Ti Lung