Poll

What's the Best Film by Chang Cheh?

The One-Armed Swordsman
1 (5.6%)
Golden Swallow
0 (0%)
Return of the One-Armed Swordsman
0 (0%)
Have Sword Will Travel
0 (0%)
The Heroic Ones
0 (0%)
The New One-Armed Swordsman
0 (0%)
The Water Margin
1 (5.6%)
Five Shaolin Masters
0 (0%)
Shaolin Temple
0 (0%)
Shaolin Avengers
0 (0%)
Invincible Shaolin
0 (0%)
The Five Deadly Venoms
0 (0%)
Crippled Avengers
4 (22.2%)
The Kid With the Golden Arm
0 (0%)
Five Element Ninja
0 (0%)
other
0 (0%)
haven't Seen Any
12 (66.7%)
don't Like Any
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 18

Author Topic: Chang, Cheh  (Read 2264 times)

1SO

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Re: Chang Cheh - Director's Best
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2014, 12:20:19 AM »
Crippled Avengers
* * *

What keeps me at a distance from Shaw Brothers films is that the fights are often staged in the form of a dance. The moves don't look like people fighting for their lives, but pre-planned choreography that move to a syncopated rhythm. You can count out "1-2-3 1-2-3" and the fighters move to the beat.

At it's worst, the fights and workouts in Crippled Avengers move like Cirque du soleil gymnasts, with physically conditioned performers incorporating the tricks they've learned into a routine. It's no different than what Jackie Chan does, the execution is just more transparent. Taken on those terms, this is a supremely skilled cast of gymnast fighters and their routines are entertaining to watch.

That's at its worst, meaning there are moments when you see a fight broken into its parts. The rest of the time, and nearly all of the 20-minute finale, this is one of the best choreographed kung fu films outside of Jet Li and Jackie Chan. My favorite fighter is the one whose head gets squeezed, turning him into a silly idiot. His moves are unpredictable and fun, a type I've only seen in Drunken Master, but it's even wilder here. And there's a lot of action.

The plot is simple enough to qualify this film as a violent comic book, with each Avenger's handicap becoming their special power. (An inversion of typical super abilities.) The simplicity of the story has me wondering what Chang Cheh can do with richer material. This is a stripped down live-action cartoon. The only unusual bit of direction is in the set-up of the bad guys, victims of a brutal attack who become corrupted by actions that would normally make them sympathetic. I'm going to look through sdedalus' recommendations for something with more story than action.
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1SO

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Re: Chang Cheh - Director's Best
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2014, 03:03:57 PM »
Five Deadly Venoms
* * 1/2

sdedaus is right. The finale is great but most of the film is a boring mystery plot. I really like the ensemble known as The Venom Mob, but I now think this is one of those situations where there's a film everyone says to watch as a prime example of the genre, but it's not as good as other lesser-known films. Crippled Avengers spoiled me
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1SO

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Re: Chang Cheh
« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2014, 12:41:02 AM »
1. Crippled Avengers
2. The One-Armed Swordsman
3. Five Element Ninjas
4. Golden Swallow

5. Five Deadly Venoms
6. House of Traps
« Last Edit: December 24, 2019, 01:18:55 PM by 1SO »
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sdedalus

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Re: Chang Cheh - Director's Best
« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2014, 06:04:14 PM »
1. Crippled Avengers
2. The One-Armed Swordsman
3. Golden Swallow
4. The Heroic Ones
5. Vengeance!
6. Boxer Rebellion
7. Shaolin Temple
8. Dead End
9. Five Shaolin Masters
10. The Duel
11. Heroes Two
12. The Boxer from Shantung
13. Have Sword Will Travel
14. Return of the One-Armed Swordsman
15. The Water Margin
16. All Men Are Brothers
17. Blood Brothers
18. Five Element Ninjas
19. The Assassin
20. The Wandering Swordsman
21. The Five Deadly Venoms
22. Ten Tigers of Kwangtung
23. Duel of Fists
24. The Singing Thief
25. Brave Archer and His Mate
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1SO

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Re: Chang, Cheh
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2019, 01:33:08 PM »
Updated Rankings


Golden Swallow (1968)
★ ★ ★  - Okay
Not much to say. If I was more invested in Shaw Brothers style and the tales of the Swallow and the Venoms I would certainly rate this higher. As a passer-by, I can appreciate what it's doing, but it's like one of those in-between episodes of a TV series. Ant-Man and the Wasp of the Shaw Bros films.


Five Element Ninjas (1982)
★ ★ ★ Okay
The five elements - which are Fire, Earth, Water, Wood(?) and GOLD(?!?) - each bring an interesting new look and style to the fights. It's a comic book movie, with occasionally excessive comic book violence. Again, the fighting is more dancing than actual combat and the story is thinner than the thinnest musical [haven't seen Cats yet], but it's pretty fun.


House of Traps (1982)
★ ★
Last minute addition because I saw the title and a boobytrapped location is something Ive always had an unexplainable interest in. The traps are the best part, with each one logically leading to the next, but they're not clever enough to make up for the story and fighting, which did not interest me at all.
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