Welcome to Kung Fu Video

Welcome to Kung Fu Video and DVD your digital headquarters for the latest in Asian and urban cinema.  A love of martial arts inspired Aaron Crawford and James Bennett to open kung fu video and dvd in 2000.

kfvphotom 300x223 Welcome to Kung Fu Video

Located at downtown crossing, kung fu video and dvd offers one of  the largest collections of asian and urban dvds in the us.


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People young and not so young from all walks of life have discovered “Uptown entertainment downtown” at kung fu video and dvd.  Now we are taking our “Uptown entertainment downtown” to the web.  From rare classics and comtemporary movies to hip hop magazines to an amazing selection of clothing, gifts, and accessories.  We offer something for everyone. If we are not your favorite  “uptown entertainment” store then we want to know WHY…..

“What did he say?” – Favorite Kung fu quotes

bruceleequote What did he say?   Favorite Kung fu quotes

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Movie quotes are statement or brief exchange of dialogue spoken in Kung fu films.

These quotes are used in our every day lives and situation circulating thru popular culture becoming part of the cultural landscape.  Kung fu films always have some very profound quotes.

If you are a Wu Tang fan then you know they have many kung fu quotes in their music.  Here are some of my favorite kung fu quotes and the movie it came from.

 

“Cho0se the sword and you will join me.  Choose the ball and you will join your mother in death. You don’t understand my words but you must choose.  So come boy!  Choose life or death!”              Shogun Assassin

 

“Shaolin shadow boxing and the Wu tang sword style.  If what you say is true the Shaolin and the Wu tang could be dangerous.  Do you think your Wu tang sword can defeat me??”                Shaolin vs Wutang

 

“I have given it much thought.  It seems disaster must come at best only postponed.  Shaolin Kung fu to survive must now be taught to more young men.  We must expand get more pupils so that the knowledge will spread.”              Death Chambers

 

“Unguard!!  I’ll let you try my Wu tang style!”                    10 Tigers from Kwangtung

 

“When I say who’s the master, you say shonuff!!”               The Last Dragon

 

 

“When I was little my father was famous.  He was the greatest samurai in the Empire and he was the Shogun’s decapitator.  He cut the heads of 131 Lords.  It was a bad time for the Empire.  The Shogun just stayed inside his castle and he never came out.  People said his brain was infected by devils.  My father would come home, he would forget about killings.  He wasn’t scared of the Shogun but the Shogun was of him.  Maybe that was the problem.  Then one nite the Shogun sent his ninja spies to our house.  They was suppose to kill my father but they didn’t.  That was the night everything changed.”                                          Shogun Assassin

White haired fox villain

whitehairedfox White haired fox villain

kungfucinema.com

When it come to villains in Kung fu Cinema, the “ White haired fox” villain was one of the nastiest.  The “ White haired fox” villain was a very popular type of character in Kung fu Cinema.  They would come to town and just wreck sh….t.

He would be that dude with the bad ass attitude killing everybody in his way with his incredible kung fu skills.  Of course at the end he would get his but in the meantime watch out.

There were a few martial arts actors that personified that role.  Hwang Jang Lee, Chang Yi, Lo Lieh, and Carter Wong to name a few.

So check out my list of the top 10 kung fu films which the “White haired fox” is the villain.

 

1. Fist of the White Lotus

2. Secret Rivals

3. Born Invincible

4. Invincible Armour

5. Avenging Eagle

6. Eagle’s Claw

7. Snuff Bottle Connection

8. 18 Fatal Strikes

9. 7 Steps of Kung fu

10. 18 Jade Arhats

Shogun Assassin coming to the Big Screen??

shogunassassin 300x150 Shogun Assassin coming to the Big Screen?? Some interesting news has come across me.  Shogun Assassin might be coming to the big screen.  We all know the classic Samurai film about my man Ogami Itto, the shogun decapitator,  and his young son Daigoro traveling the countryside to seek revenge for the death of his wife by a paranoid, senile Shogun.  They take on mercenary after mercenary that are sent by the Shogun to kill them.

New York based Kamala Films have acquired the film rights for the manga classic.  Justin Lin from “Fast Five” has been signed up to direct the feature film.  David Peoples ( Blade Runner) and Janet Peoples ( Twelve Monkeys) will be in charge of the script.  Sounds promising we will keep you posted.

Source: Twitch

 

0 Shogun Assassin coming to the Big Screen??

 

Superkickers of Classic Kung fu Films

kicks Superkickers of Classic Kung fu Films

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A kick is a physical strike using the foot, leg or knee.  Kicks play a very important role in many forms of martial arts.  But in classic kung fu films there were a few fighters that defined the art of  kicking.  While Chuck Norris showcased his powerful kicks in his films and Bruce Lee used his powerful fists and flying kicks these superkickers revolutionized with great success their specialized kicking in classic kung fu films.  They are John Liu, Hwang Jang Lee and Tan Tao-Liang.

johnliu 121x300 Superkickers of Classic Kung fu Films

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Born in Taiwan in 1944, John Liu ranks as one of the superkickers in classic kung fu films.  Before his film career began, Liu trained in Tae kwon do under another well known Hong Kong star Tan Tao-Liang .  This rigorous training gave Liu  incredible flexibility.  With his trademark overhead axe kick, his good looks, and smooth persona, John Liu was noticed in the 1976 classic Secret Rivals playing the northern kick stylist out to avenge his parents deaths.  Liu was able to showcase his amazing kicking skills particularly in the final fight against another superkicker Hwang Jang Lee aka Silverfox.  Liu would return for the sequel a year later.

Liu would go on to appear in many more kung fu films with his axe kick such as Death Duel of Kung fu (1979) and Mars Villa (1979).  After retiring from film, Liu relocated to Paris where he was teaching Zen Zwon Do, a martial art form that he created.

Known for his flashy kicking, Tan Tao- Liang, a Korean- born Chinese martial artist is another superkicker in this genre.  Tan was born in 1947 in Pusan, Korea.  As a youth Tan studied Tae kwon do. Tan would compete in numerous competitions and developed his flashy style of kicking.  He developed what he called “the hop kick” by utilizing his left leg and chasing the opponent with his kicks.  That would be his signature kick in his films.

tantao Superkickers of Classic Kung fu Films

kungfufilms.nl

 

In 1973, Tan made his. film debut in The Hero of Chiu Chow.  In 1976, “Flash legs” Tan received his breakthrough role when he appeared opposite James Tien and a young Jackie Chan in Hand of Death directed by  a young John Woo.  The Leg Fighters (1980) is considered one of Tan’s best films.  The cast is made up of a bunch of kickers with Tan being the vet of the bunch.

Tan retired from films in 1984. Tan relocated to Monterey Park, California where he would open a Tae kwon do school and changed his name to Delon Tan.

The man who defined the art of kicking nicknamed Silverfox as well as Thunder leg or Thunder foot is none other than Hwang Jang Lee.  Hwang was born in 1944 to Korean parents in Aomori, Honshu Island, Japan.  His family moved back to Korea when he was a baby.  Against his parents wishes, Hwang began studying Tae kwon do at age 14.

hwangjanglee Superkickers of Classic Kung fu Films

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Later he joined the Korean Army, where he became a Tae kwon do instructor.  During this time Hwang defended himself against a Vietnamese knife expert and killed him with a round house kick to the temple.  In 1975, impressed by Hwang’s kicking abilities, producer Ng See Yuen casted Hwang as the treacherous Silver Fox in the Secret Rivals.  Hwang fought against Wang Tao who played the southern fist counterpart and another superkicker, John Liu as the northern kick counterpart.  The film was a hit and Hwang returned for the sequel as the twin brother of the original film’s villain.  Hwang would go on to appear in many Hong Kong films as the villain.

Hwang is perhaps best known as Sheng Kuan and Thunder leg in two breakthrough films for Jackie Chan Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow and Drunken Master released both in 1978.  His impeccable kicking skills earned him genuine fame among martial arts aficionados earning him names such as names as “King of the Legfighters”.

 

In 1996 Hwang retired from films.  In January 2003, Hwang was awarded his 9th Dan black belt in Tae kwon do and is now a Grandmaster.  In 2010, Hwang gave his most in depth  interview to date in the film The Anonymous King.

Beautiful but Deadly: Women of Hong Kong Cinema

cheng2 300x150 Beautiful but Deadly: Women of Hong Kong CinemaMarch is Women’s History Month.  So in celebration, we will profile  female pioneers of the Hong Kong Cinema this month.  Whether they are martial arts experts or not these women fight with grace, speed  and have incredible moves.  Beautiful but deadly.  They are Michelle Yeoh, Angela Mao, Kara Hui, Cynthia Rothrock, and Cheng Pei Pei.

Known to many as Jade Fox in Ang Lee’s “Crouching tiger and Hidden dragon” (2000).  She has been gracing the Hong Kong Cinema film scene since the 1960s.  She is known as the Queen of Swords.  Born in Shanghai, China in 1946, Cheng Pei Pei is one of those names in Hong Kong Cinema who returns to thrill and surprise audiences again and again.

Cheng and her family relocated to Hong Kong at the age of fourteen.  With six years of ballet training, Cheng joined the Shaw Brothers Performing Arts training course, which she used as a springboard for her into a career as an actress with Shaw Brothers.  She went on to play in a number of films as an expert swordswoman thru out the 1960s.  She was the Queen of Wuxia (martial arts) films.  Beautiful and charming, Cheng was quickly noticed by great director King Hu who offered her her first role in “Come Drink with me”.

During her years at Shaw Brothers, she made over twenty movies of which most were martial arts films.  Cheng carved herself a niche as the Queen of Swords in classics such as Golden Swallow, Come Drink with me, and The Lady Hermit.  She later left her successful career and moved to the U.S. to get married.

She returned to Hong Kong for good in 1992, working in television until Ang Lee cast her as Jade Fox in Oscar winning Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon.  She won the best supporting actress award inthe Hong Kong Film Awards.  That award took her career to new  international heights.

0 Beautiful but Deadly: Women of Hong Kong Cinema

Cynthia Rothrock – The first true American female martial artist

rothrock Cynthia Rothrock   The first true American female martial artistNot many performers could match her energy and  presence on the silver screen or the mat.  Cynthia Rothrock, born March 8, 1957, is an American martial artist and actress.  Growing up in Scranton, Pa, when she was 13 Cynthia started taking lessons at her parents’s best friends private gym.  Her abilities were quickly recognized and encouraged by her martial arts teachers.  Before she had earned her first black belt, she was well on her way to becoming a martial arts champion.

Cynthia is the five time World Karate Champion in forms and weapons between 1981-1985.  Because the categories were not combat oriented, male and female would compete together in the same division.  During that time, she was undefeated. No B.S. UNDEFEATED…

She also holds six black belts in various martial arts disciplines including Tangsoo Do, Taekwon do, Eagle claw, Wushu, Northern Shaolin and Pai lum Tao Kung fu.   She received her sixth degree black belt in Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan in 2006.

In 1983 she was living in Northern California working with the West Coast Demonstration team.  At that time, Golden Harvest was looking for the next Bruce Lee.  Golden Harvest observed Rothrock’s forms and maneuvers and signed her to a contract.

Two years later (1985), she made her first martial arts movies called Yes Madam starring Michelle Yeoh.  It was box office success.  Cynthia ended up staying in Hong Kong until 1988 doing seven films there.   Cynthia became one of the few Caucasian performers to achieve genuine stardom in the Hong Kong film industry.

She set a record of becoming the very first non- chinese westerner to carry an action movie single-handedly in Hong Kong.

Even in film she was still  setting records.

Upon her return back to the US, Golden Harvest decided to try to launch her US film career with a series of action films including China Obrien 1 & 2.   Cynthia Rothrock’s first US production Martial Law and others like No retreat, No surrender 2.

For the next ten years, she led a successful career in B-grade action movies.  Though not as popular domestically, these movies went on to become favorites internationally and among martial arts aficionados.

0 Cynthia Rothrock   The first true American female martial artist

Kung Fu Beauties of the 70s: Angela Mao and Kara Hui

There are two martial arts actresses who played  an important role in Hong Kong Cinema in 70s and 80s  when the industry was on fire.  Their beautiful faces was forever imbedded in my mind when I was a youth. They are Angela Mao and Kara Hui.angelamao Kung Fu Beauties of the 70s: Angela Mao and Kara Hui

Nicknamed Lady Kung fu by her fans, Angela Mao had a successful career as a Chinese opera actress when her martial arts developed.   She became attracted to the new kung fu style so she began training in Hapkido.  To prepare for her movies roles, she began to train in other forms of martial arts.  Until then, the fights and acrobatics was reserved mostly for men.

But when Angela Mao came on the scene, she changed the game.  Angela Mao is considered the World’s first female action star.  She starred in films such as Lady Whirlwind, Broken Oath, and When Tae kwon do strikes.  Everybody remember her as Bruce Lee’s sister in Enter the Dragon, which she had a small memorable role.  In 1982, Angela Mao retired from films and devoted herself to her family.

Kara kara Kung Fu Beauties of the 70s: Angela Mao and Kara HuiHui, born February 3, 1960, and her family moved to Hong Kong in 1966 and at 14 she began working at night clubs. In an interview Kara said her mother, herself and siblings were forced to peddle on the streets of Hong Kong because family lost their savings due to her father’s business acquaintances.

Kara was later discovered by film director Lau Kar Leung during her days working at night clubs.  She was cast  in Lau’s Challenge of the Masters (1976).  From that Kara acted in various films of Lau Kar Leung.  Kara acting career reached the top when she was awarded the Best Actress Award for My Young Auntie in 1982 in the first Hong Kong Film Awards.

Kara started her career in the 70s and played in some memorable Kung Fu films such as Invincible Shaolin (1978), Mad Monkey Kung fu (1979), and 8 Diagram Pole Fighter (1984) to name a few….  And is still making films to this day.

How the West was won ( when was martial arts introduced into American tv and film)???

greenhornet1 How the West was won ( when was martial arts introduced into American tv and film)???One day I just sat back and thought,  I always wanted to know when and how things started.  So of course, I thought when was the first time martial arts was used in film or tv.  Thank God for the internet.
I was able to find the origins of this thing we call kung fu, karate, martial arts, head to head combat, etc.  Well as the story goes:  Karate was first seen on American television in an early episode of  The Detectives (1959-1961) with Robert Taylor.
He learned how to kill with “empty hand” techniques.  Another show The Avengers (1964-1969) brought us female agent Emma Pearl (Diana Rigg) as a martial artist/ spy.

 

From 1965-1968 the series I Spy with Robert Culp and Bill Cosby showed a few skills of  the arts.  Also during that time, tv series “The Wild Wild West” starring Robert Conrad, a former student of Bruce Lee, played a government agent in the old west showed some skills  of the arts.

Then came the tv show “The Green Hornet”, about a newspaper publisher and his Asian valet/ martial artist expert, battling crime.  This show introduced us, the World, to the martial arts icon Bruce Lee.  Playing Kato, Bruce showed grace and speed with stunning kicks of Chinese martial arts,  He also had a brief stint in tv series ‘Longstreet” (1971).

But the show that changed the American public viewing of martial arts is the show “Kung fu”.

“Kung fu” starring David Carradine first aired on February 22, 1972 as an ABC TV movie of the week.

Kwai Chang Caine (David Carradine) is a Shaolin monk who is on the run after he killed the Chinese Emperor’s nephew.  He flees to America to escaped prosecution, but still finds trouble and has to use his martial arts skills to help him out of danger.

Producer Jerry Thorpe felt the time was right to introduce Chinese martial arts in the US.  Thorpe said “This is an opportunity to make a statement incorporating Chinese philosophy, which is as basic and beautiful as any philosophy ever written. Since I felt we had lost much of our sense of morality during these times of violenc in America (1960s thru early 70s).  Here was a chance to give new audiences peace and brotherhood.”

“Kung fu” became a weekly series in Jan 1973  and the number one tv program in the US.

Now as far as the big screen, martial arts came into fruition in 1973 when Warner Brothers imported the Chinese film ” The Five fingers of Death”, starring Lo Lieh, a tiger claw kung fu stylist, who was preparing himself for a tournament against a rival school on the way becoming a kung fu boxing champion (this was the film that got me hooked as a youth).

Then of course Bruce Lee blew the door open and the rest is history.  And thats how the west was won….. Holla!!!

Michelle Yeoh – The Queen of Martial Arts

yeoh1 Michelle Yeoh   The Queen of Martial Arts

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Well known for performing her own stunts in action films that brought her fame in the early 1990s, Michelle Yeoh was born to a prominent Chinese family in Ipoh, Malaysia on August 6, 1963.

A ballet dancer since the age of four, she moved to London, England to study at the Royal Academy as a teenager.  Because of a spinal injury, she had to give up her dream of a professional ballet dancer.  She put her attention toward choreography and the arts.

In 1983 at the age of 21, Yeoh won the Ms Malaysia Beauty pageant.  She first appeared on tv in a 1984 commercial with martial arts star Jackie Chan which caught the attention of a Hong Kong Film Production Co., D & B Films.  Yeoh started her film career acting in action and martial arts films.  Not a real martial artist, she relied on her dance discipline and her own set trainers to prepare for her martial arts action scenes such as 1985 Yes Madam.

In some of her earlier films, she is credited as Michelle Khan.  D & B Studio thought it might be more marketable to international  and western audiences.

Yeoh later started to use her real name.

In 1987, she married Dickson Poon, executive of D & B Studio and retired from acting.  In 1992 they divorced and she began acting again.

Her recent performances after her divorce was Police Story 3 (1992), Heroic Trio (1993), and Yuen Woo Ping films Tai Chi Master and Wing Chun (1994).

Returning to acting, she became very popular to Chinese and Western audiences thru her co starring roles in James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) and the Academy Award winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000).

In the Bond film, she was cast as the lead Bond girl.  She wanted to perform her own stunts as she usually does, but this time was prevented because Director Roger Spottiswoode considered it too dangerous.  Still she performed all her fighting scenes.  Later she was offered the role of Seraph in the Matrix but because of conflicting schedule she could not accept it.  In 2010, she starred in Reign of Assassins.

Ms Michelle Yeoh has done it all.

In 1997 she was chosen by People Magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world.  In 2008 film critic website Rotten Tomatoes ranked her the greatest action heroine of all time and in 2009 she was listed by People Magazine, the only Asian actress,  one of the 35 all time screen beauties.

Michelle Yeoh fought her way to the top in the male dominated genre of Hong Kong action films where she has been known for years as “The Queen of Martial Arts”.

0 Michelle Yeoh   The Queen of Martial Arts

Is it good to be bad?? According to Bolo it is…..

bolo Is it good to be bad?? According to Bolo it is.....

He is Yang Sze, better known as Bolo Yeung.  Born July 3, 1946, Bolo began his martial arts training at the age of 10 years old, where he studied under several kung fu masters.  Later he took an interest into bodybuilding.

In 1967, he became Mr. Hong Kong Bodybuilding Champion of which he held the title for ten years.  Because of his physique he was chosen for several bad guy roles in films under the Shaw Brothers Studios such as The Heroic Ones, Deadly Duo, and Five Fingers of Death to name a few.  He left Shaw Brothers in 1971.

Later Bolo met Bruce Lee while the two were filming a Winston cigarette commercial.  After becoming friends, Bruce invited him to star in Enter the Dragon where he became known as Bolo.  That was his first breakout role.  They were really close friends during filming and worked together on technique training.

Since then Bolo has appeared in countless martial arts films.  But his breakout film was Bloodsport (1988) where he played (what else??) a bad guy Chong Li and Jean Claude Van Damme played the lead as Frank Dux. According to Bolo, he liked playing the bad guy.

In 2007, Bolo played a good guy role in Blizhniy  Boy the Ultimate Fighter.  But this movies is still not released because of legal issues.  Today he currently lives in Monterey Park, a city in Los Angeles, California and regularly trains in his local gym.

0 Is it good to be bad?? According to Bolo it is.....
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