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|Index||16 reviews in total|
Raymond Chow produced "Lady Kung-Fu," a no-holds-barred martial arts
action flick from the early 1970s directed by Feng Huang, and contains
shades of nearly every Bruce Lee movie from that time. When I looked at
it last night, I saw a number of interesting parallels between this
flick and Bruce Lee's "The Chinese Connection," as both films were
released in 1972. Most notable is that the plots bear some resemblance
to one another and there is a strong sense of conflict between warring
martial arts schools. Unlike "The Chinese Connection," however, the
enemy, the Japanese, are portrayed in a flagrant, one-sided, racist,
and xenophobic light; they are sometimes referred to as "Japs" by the
main Chinese characters (I know this film is set before World War II -
I wonder, did such racial epithets exist before then?). But I'm getting
off track. Angela Mao, Carter Wong, and Sammo Hung star as three
Chinese gong-fu students studying martial arts in Korea under a famed
exile (Hapkido Grandmaster Han Jae Ji). They take their Hapkido
training (called "kung-fu" in the film) back to China and attempt to
set up their own school, only to face opposition from the ruling
Japanese occupational forces, who seek to promote their art of Judo
(founded in 1882 by Dr. Jigoro Kano). That's about all there is to the
plot, and then we have the fights. During the opening credits, we're
treated to one incredible sequence with Wong drubbing a band of thugs.
Next, there is a training sequence with Angela Mao. Then, Han Jae Ji
himself demonstrates his unique Hapkido fighting art. In "Lady
Kung-Fu," there are a number of familiar faces from Chow-produced
martial arts action flicks too. Mao is probably my favorite fighter,
since she is mostly famous for her tragic portrayal of Bruce Lee's
sister in "Enter the Dragon" (1973). On a side note, I am currently
studying Hapkido and I encourage anyone else interested in it to check
out this flick.
An enjoyable martial arts romp.
Man, this one had me hooked from start to finish. The characters really
shine through here make you really want to root for the good guys. This
film shows a lot of formidable throw techniques; very effective against
multiple attackers. Feng (Sammo) is the brash, arrogant fighter and is
played well by the Fat Dragon (WARNING: Shirtless Sammo sighting!!) Carter
Wong is okay and thankfully isn't featured that much. OW, that
Finally there's Angela. Her character is really interesting because she's a pacifist torn between her belief in non-aggression and righting her enemy's wrongdoings. Can she compromise and how will she resolve the conflict? Don't get me wrong; there is a story to this, but Ms. Mao is the epitome of Hopkido here. She displays her fighting skills in several scenes and I can't get enough of her flipping guys like rag dolls. Even dubbed, she acts really well especially with her facial expressions. Angela's the main star here and proves it beyond a doubt.
Pretty standard fare as far as 70s martial arts flicks go. However, notable for the role of 'Teacher' played by Hapkido founder Grandmaster Ji Han Jae. Some great fight scenes (watch Grandmaster pulverise his students ;]). Also good to watch Angela Mao and Samo Hung in some decent fight scenes. A very interesting 'must-see' for all Hapkido (and other martial arts) students.
I've seen this movie first time as "Lady Kung Fu" (a.k.a. Anjera Mao no
Onna Kassatsu Ken) in a movie theater in Asia, and was impressed with
Angela Mao's skills.
The movie is bit like the "The Chinese Connection" in that Japanese oppression is part of the topic. Korean Hapkido school goes against the Japanese Karate school. The bad guys are of course the Japanese.
This movie came out 6 month after the sensational success of "The Chinese Connection", both by Golden Harvest, so similarity is not surprising. Angela Mao was hot commodity for Golden Harvest at the time, and she takes the lead in this movie. She has this unique school girlish looks that makes her stand out in any movie she's in. Very young Sammo Hung also stars in this movie. It seems that he hasn't gotten a hair cut between this movie, and the time he stared in the "Enter the Dragon" the following year. He's also gained lot of weight between this and the "Enter the Dragon".
This movie looks better now than when I first saw it. It has aged pretty well over 40 years.
Still a great kung fu action movie, and recommended for viewing.
The plot of this movie is very similar to Fist of Fury, but in this film the main heroine is a female played by Angela Mao, who is better known for her role in Enter The Dragon, but in this film she get more of the show. The fighting scenes were great for that time's movie, though it beats some of the nowadays martial art's movies too. Actually the bigger part of the movie is fights, so if you want to see some great Kung Fu (Hapkido?) fights and don't care about a plot - this movie is for you. Angela Mao really knows how to kick and in this movie, she proved it several times. I liked Sammo Hung's character, who was a troublemaker in this film. Even Jackie Chan appeared in few scenes.
Grandmaster gave me a copy of "Hapkido" to watch. Unfortunately, it was the only copy he had, and it was kinda in poor condition. But what I saw of it was extraordinary. He could kick like nobody could. The throws, joint locks, simply incredible. To be honest, he still looks just as good today.
Hapkido is a kinda standard but greatly entertaining old school kung fu picture. The plot is pretty thin and reminiscent of Fist Of Fury and its like and also the film is harmed by not having a particularly impressive final opponent. The film owes all its fun to the excellent fighting on display, skillful and well choreographed. Carter Wong is possibly at his best in this film, I've seen him in a lot of lesser known stuff, some of which ain't great, but he excels here. Sammo Hung is pretty great, although his best work came some time after this film. Angela Mao is perhaps the fighting highlight, graceful yet powerful, lighting up the screen while taking out many opponents. She must be among the best old school female kung fu stars and this film gives her a lot of time to shine. Everyone else here is good fighting wise, although acting is not something that happens much. This is good stuff, but it only stands out for the great combination of stars and top notch fighting. With a better story and ending this could have been a classic but as it stands its merely great but slightly mindless fun.
Korea, 1934. During the Japanese occupation, there is open warfare
between rival martial arts schools. There is a fight in the
marketplace, and three Chinese students cannot stand the unfair way of
students that side up with the invaders, when they gang assault one of
the fighting men. Between the three, they send the aggressors away.
Retaliation is heavy: their school is destroyed, and they are banished.
This film may be best known for an uncredited cameo from Jackie Chan before he became an international star, but it is a decent film in its own right. While not quite as action-packed as "Lady Whirlwind" (which came out the same year from the same director), there is a better plot here, and the production value from Golden Harvest is noticeably higher.
A decent copy has been released from Shout Factory. While it is not pristine (this may not even be possible) and does not have much for special features, this is a film worth checking out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is a pearl which I hungered for a long time. While the plot is quite simple, for a modern day viewer it may contain some really unexpected twists. But we watch martial arts movies not for the brilliant plot, do we? I myself learned hapkido in Korea for a year and this movie brought to me a sweet nostalgia. Although, sometime I was not very happy with the choices of the heroes in their styles, and some greatly effective counter- attacks was never used, but in this movie you can see a variety of skills taught up to the third dan of the black belt. This movie gets 10 points from me, because these are really authentic hapkido. However, there is some important for me mistake in it. It is said in this movie that hapkido is an ancient Chinese martial art. It is entirely not true. Hapkido is a very recent (beginning on the XXth century) Korean martial art.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have seen this film twice and I believe it to be way ahead of its
time as, firstly, it features a woman as the main martial arts star
when this was almost unheard of and, secondly, features a martial art
very few people would have heard of in the West and Hapkido was given
the title Lady Kung Fu in America to reach a wider market.
Basically Hapkido is the story of three students of Hapkido, a Korean martial art like a cross between karate and jiu jitsu, who are persecuted in thirties China by the Japanese who set up karate schools and try to ban non Japanese martial arts. Obviously this being a martial arts film there are some spectacular fight scenes between the Japanese and the Koreans, particularly the end fight where Angela Mao and Hwang in Sik take on two Japanese senseis, one of whom is a dab hand with a sword, and fight them to the death, Angela Mao having a unique figthing technique that involves her pigtails.
The main drawbacks are fairly poor dubbing on the version I've seen, Angela is given a corny American accent, the very cheap sets and poor acting. However, the quality of the fight scenes cannot be faulted and Angela Mao is as good as Bruce Lee.
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