An aging martial arts expert is gifted a plaque from the Emperor declaring him the Kung Fu World Champion. Unsure of whether or not be is deserving of this title, he embarks on a journey to defeat the 7 Grandmasters.
After defeating The Long-Armed Devil and his armies, our nubbed hero has been living in retirement as a farmer, but circumstances causes him to come out of retirement and take on The Eight ... See full summary »
The Yang family was the loyal strong-arm of the Imperial army. But a jealous General betrays the Eilte Spearman and their father to the opposing Mongol army. After an ambush of a battle, ... See full summary »
A rich man's son (Yuen Biao) believes himself to be the best kung fu fighter in Canton. Unfortunately, his father, anxious for his son's safety, bribes all his opponents to lose. After a ... See full summary »
The anti-Ching patriots, under the guidance of Ho Kuang-han, have secretly set up their base in Canton, disguised as school masters. During a brutal Manchu attack, Lui manages to escape and... See full summary »
Hwang Jang Lee is a corrupt Ming guard who frames John Liu for murder. A wanted fugitive, John hides out with a teen who is an expert in the infamous Iron Armor technique, a technique that ... See full summary »
A couple unite - she is fluent in the crane style of kung fu, he in tiger style. They have a son, but the boy's father is killed by the evil eunuch Bai Mei. Disguised as a girl, his mom ... See full summary »
A young martial artist seeks revenge on the Ninja who kills his martial arts brothers and teacher. He finds help in the form of a new teacher (who knows Ninjitsu) and new brothers. Together... See full summary »
When Iron Robe signals his distress flare (just before his fight with Hai Toh), fishing line can clearly be seen suspending the lit flare in mid-air. See more »
Swordsman Li Chin-Ming:
[challenging Golden Arm]
Get your weapon!
I already have mine. That's my arms. Your sword's good, I'll admit. Still, if you should lose it... you're finished. But my arms, they always stay with me.
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Like the other venoms films, this one's dodgy and maybe a little overpraised, but somehow I can't deny it. It's so humorlessly bloodthirsty it gets hilarious; nothing but reputation, ego, and one-upsmanship the entire movie. Characterization is practically thrown out the window entirely (besides the broadest strokes--the two sadistic, gleeful killers, the headstrong honorable guy, etc.) to allow for the purest expression of these themes. And you know what? You don't really need to be told about the personality of this armored, bearded guy with a steel plate on his head to get what he's about.
You have to remember this stuff is an evolution of Chinese opera. John Woo is sometimes considered Chang Cheh's spiritual successor with his "heroic bloodshed" thing, but in a way, they're total opposites; Woo is all heart & fluid brotherly touchy-feeliness beneath the bloodshed, and Cheh embodies rigid, unfeeling patriarchy.
Like the Venoms' eponymous film, the narrative arc sorta comes off as a soap opera grasping for Shakespearean depth, and you're urged to suss things out as it goes along. You begin distrusting most of the characters to an extent, and it's only after the last splash of blood you really get the full picture, and the film comes together as something more than a jazzed up kill-fest with the vaguest semblance of a plot. So again, Golden Arm is a very flawed film no matter how you look at it, but it's likely to be misunderstood by modern audiences who believe in things like democracy and women's rights.
Anyway, it's a grower. Really. Marinate in its transcendental implications for a while.
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