My Shaw Brothers Cinematic Journey

by Leofwine_draca | created - 17 Jan 2017 | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

A list of all the Shaw Brothers films I've watched, from newbie to aficionado.

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1. The Hammer of God (1970)

R | 90 min | Action, Crime, Drama

The golden age of kung-fu film's first superstar Jimmy Wang Yu (even before Bruce Lee) wrote, directed and starred in his classic favorite of a noble young martial arts student who won't ... See full summary »

Director: Jimmy Wang Yu | Stars: Jimmy Wang Yu, Lieh Lo, Ping Wang, Hsiung Chao

Votes: 493

As good as any a place to start. Jimmy Wang Yu stars in this hard-hitting kung fu classic influenced by Japanese cinema. Still holds up to this day despite countless imitations.

2. Crippled Avengers (1978)

R | 104 min | Action, Drama

Three men, crippled by an evil warlord, become friends and learn kung fu with the help of an old teacher and his idiot pupil.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Kuan-Tai Chan, Feng Lu, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Meng Lo

Votes: 2,080

An eye-popping viewing experience that introduced me to Chang Cheh and the Venoms. Packed with gruesome action and imaginative fights, this was an early favourite of mine and remains classic viewing.

3. Executioners from Shaolin (1977)

R | 98 min | Action, Drama

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 »

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Kuan Tai Chen, Lieh Lo, Yue Wong, Lily Li

Votes: 1,227

A solid martial arts experience from Liu Chia-Liang, and with Lo Lieh's eunuch villain there's little to dislike here.

4. 5 Masters of Death (1974)

R | 109 min | Action, Drama

Five students escape from the destruction of their beloved Shaolin Temple...now each must take revenge and train in their own seperate fighting styles...they will become The Five Shaolin Masters!!

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: David Chiang, Lung Ti, Sheng Fu, Kuan-Chun Chi

Votes: 914

A simple story, brought to life well by Chang Cheh's stylish direction. The cast members meant little to me at this point.

5. The Four Assassins (1975)

R | 103 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

Four friends learn kung fu to avenge the death of their friend against the manchus.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Fu, Kuan-Chun Chi, Szu Shih, Richard Harrison

Votes: 254

The presence of ninja star Richard Harrison was my 'in' road to this tale, another personal favourite thanks to the stylish action scenes and mayhem.

6. Boxer from Shantung (1972)

Unrated | 94 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Leaving the poverty of his life in Shantung to seek fortune in Shanghai, The Boxer is instead drawn into a world of corruption, gang warfare and evil... Where his only protection is his famed fighting technique.

Directors: Cheh Chang, Hsueh Li Pao | Stars: Kuan Tai Chen, Li Ching, David Chiang, Mario Milano

Votes: 856

I first saw this film on a VHS tape and it left an impression. Seeing it in the digital age in all of its widescreen gory glory, it's a stand-out gangster classic.

7. Vengeance! (1970)

PG-13 | 98 min | Action, Drama, Romance

China 1925, a man returns to track down a kill the men who murdered his brother.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: David Chiang, Lung Ti, Ping Wang, Yen-Ching Ou

Votes: 514

The film that put David Chiang on the map for me. Similar to Boxer from Shantung, and just as impactful.

8. The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)

R | 89 min | Action, Horror

While lecturing in China, Van Helsing agrees to help seven kung fu trained siblings reclaim their ancestral mountain village, now the domain of seven powerful vampires and their army of undead slaves.

Directors: Roy Ward Baker, Cheh Chang | Stars: Peter Cushing, David Chiang, Julie Ege, Han Chen Wang

Votes: 3,558

When I found out that Hammer and Shaw worked together on a kung fu horror classic, I was absolutely delighted, and I still am when watching this movie.

9. The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter (1984)

Not Rated | 98 min | Action, Drama

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 »

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Sheng Fu, Lily Li, Kara Wai

Votes: 2,376

Baldie Gordon Liu knocking out teeth aplenty makes this an irresistable watch. Only later did I learn of Fu Sheng's tragic death during the production.

10. Black Magic (1975)

R | 93 min | Fantasy, Horror

An evil magician makes a living by casting deadly spells on people's objects of desire. He gets overly ambitious, and start to go out of control.

Director: Meng Hua Ho | Stars: Lung Ti, Lieh Lo, Ni Tien, Lily Li

Votes: 577

I only found out that Shaw did horror after watching this gruesome odyssey. Jaw-dropping stuff in places.

11. Black Magic 2 (1976)

89 min | Horror

An evil magician and his zombie minions are up against a trio of doctors who are on a mission to find the cause of an outbreak of unknown diseases caused by his spells.

Director: Meng Hua Ho | Stars: Lung Ti, Ni Tien, Lieh Lo, Terry Liu

Votes: 307

A worthy follow-up to the first film, and even more grisly and disturbing if anything.

12. The Oily Maniac (1976)

84 min | Horror

A cripple takes revenge on criminals by using a magic spell that transforms him into an oily monster/superhero.

Director: Meng Hua Ho | Stars: Danny Lee, Ping Chen, Lily Li, Lun Hua

Votes: 608

A weird combination of superhero film, revenge flick, and kung fu outing that somehow works despite (or maybe because of) the outlandish premise.

13. The Boxer's Omen (1983)

99 min | Horror

While in Thailand to avenge his brother who was crippled in a fight with a corrupt Thai boxer, a man gets caught up in a web of fate, Buddhism and black magic.

Director: Chih-Hung Kuei | Stars: Phillip Ko, Shao-Yen Lin, Kar-Man Wai, Lung Wei Wang

Votes: 983

Essentially a special effects showcase, this surreal horror film is beyond belief and still one of the most bizarre and shocking productions ever filmed.

14. Heroes of the East (1978)

R | 105 min | Action, Comedy

A Chinese man (Liu) marries a Japanese woman through an arranged marriage and manages to insult all of her Japanese martial arts family by issuing a challenge to her that is misinterpreted ... See full summary »

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Yuka Mizuno, Yasuaki Kurata, Naozo Kato

Votes: 1,885

The first film I watched that was really about the technique and style of the martial arts. Oddly bloodless, only recently did I discover that this was a Shaw production.

15. Shatter (1974)

R | 90 min | Action, Drama

Shatter, an international hitman, is hiding out in Hong Kong after he has completed a contract out on an African leader. Shatter soon finds out that everyone wants him dead, including the ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Carreras, Monte Hellman | Stars: Stuart Whitman, Lung Ti, Lily Li, Peter Cushing

Votes: 322

Hammer's follow-up to Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires; not quite as much fun, but still a worthwhile thriller. I had no idea who Ti Lung was the first time I watched it.

16. Five Elements Ninjas (1982)

R | 107 min | Action, Drama

When five ninjas whose fighting styles are based on natural elements unleash their fury on a rival school, a lone survivor vows deadly revenge.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Tien-Chi Cheng, Tien Hsiang Lung, Meng Lo, Michael Wai-Man Chan

Votes: 2,018

Watching this on a fuzzy dupe did little to dilute what is essentially an insane viewing experience. Later I got hold of a bootleg DVD which was a step up, but thanks to 88 Asia viewers can now experience this in all of its widescreen, original language, uncut glory on Blu-ray.

17. Disciples of the 36th Chamber (1985)

90 min | Action, Comedy

Gordon Liu Chia-hui reprises his famous Monk San Te role as he tries to support and protect Shaolin her Fang Shih-yu who purposely attacks corrupt Ching officials. Fights by legendary action director Liu Chia-liang are to die for.

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Hou Hsiao, Chia-Hui Liu, Lily Li, Jason Piao Pai

Votes: 1,528

I watched this on TV before experiencing the two previous films and didn't like it too much. Watching it again recently and it's perfectly serviceable, a fine cast adding much to the proceedings.

18. Two Champions of Death (1980)

R | 101 min | Action, Drama

The Wu Tang chief sends out his men, each of whom is given a symbol so they can recognize each other. The largest is given to Lee, whom the others are to obey.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Meng Lo, Sheng Chiang, Li Wang, Feng Lu

Votes: 484

The first time I watched this I still didn't know much about the Venoms and thought it was missing something. Watching it again recently and it's a fine, entertaining vehicle for the team.

19. Killer Clans (1976)

PG-13 | 91 min | Action, Drama

Two clans compete for dominance over the martial arts world in this classic of violent swordplay and political intrigue. A complex tale of deception and double crosses. Killer Clans leaves ... See full summary »

Director: Yuen Chor | Stars: Fei Ai, Shen Chan, Ping Chen, Kang-Yeh Cheng

Votes: 489

The first Shaw martial arts film I watched that prioritised story over action. Pretty good, but not a favourite of mine.

20. Five Deadly Venoms (1978)

R | 97 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

The final student of a dying martial arts master is instructed to locate the previous five students and defeat any evil ones among them.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Chiang, Chien Sun, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Meng Lo

Votes: 5,863

I saw this on DVD and it was long overdue; now I knew who the Venoms were and could appreciate the interplay between them.

21. The Spiritual Boxer (1975)

Not Rated | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Action

A con artist uses Kung Fu to swindle villagers for money by pretending to be possessed by angry gods. However, when the villagers are later threatened by bandits he must use the same skills for good.

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Yue Wong, Chen Chi Lin, Lung Ti, Kuan Tai Chen

Votes: 215

I didn't know who Wong Yue was at this stage and was expecting the film to be in the style of Encounters of the Spooky Kind. Thus I didn't enjoy it too much, although looking back it's not too bad.

22. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978)

R | 116 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A man studies kung fu at the Shaolin Temple to fight back against the oppressive Manchu government.

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Chia-Hui Liu, Lieh Lo, Chia Yung Liu, Norman Chu

Votes: 13,687

The most popular of all the Shaolin Temple movies, this one turned Yul Brynner lookalike Gordon Liu into a global superstar and features highly memorable training sequences amid a leisurely, revenge-fuelled narrative.

23. Come Drink with Me (1966)

Not Rated | 95 min | Action, Crime

A group of bandits kidnaps the governor's son and demands their imprisoned leader to be set free in exchange.

Director: King Hu | Stars: Pei-Pei Cheng, Hua Yueh, Chih-Ching Yang, Hung Lieh Chen

Votes: 3,429

Another film I watched thanks to FilmFour. A bit slow, a bit mannered, but the seeds of greatness are sown here.

24. Hong Kong Godfather (1985)

95 min | Action, Thriller

After receiving a life imprisonment sentence for a NY Chinatown massacre, Jia Shi Lan obtains a pardon through the Mafia's influence.

Director: Lung Wei Wang | Stars: Ka-Yan Leung, Norman Chu, Shu-Yuan Hsu, Lung Wei Wang

Votes: 127

A modern-day film with a big reputation. This doesn't disappoint, becoming an instant favourite thanks to the incredible levels of violence and the burning revenge story. What a way for the studio to bow out!

25. Ma fung gwai kuen (1979)

R | 92 min | Action, Comedy

When young Tieh Chiao San is sent by his dying father to live with a former kung fu colleague in the town, he accidentally gets into trouble when messing with a gang running a snake-oil ... See full summary »

Director: Chi Lo | Stars: Kara Wai, Kar-Yung Lau, Jui-yi Liu, Ha Huang

Votes: 48

Amazon Prime have done a great job of bringing widescreen, high definition Shaw Brothers films to subscribers. I loved this film purely for the quality and it was the beginning of an intense viewing period for me.

26. House of Traps (1982)

PG-13 | 95 min | Action, Adventure

A team of skilled fighters navigate a house rigged with an array of ingenious and deadly traps.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Feng Lu, Li Wang, Tien Hsiang Lung, Chien Sun

Votes: 353

My first Venoms films where I knew who the Venoms were. Not a personal favourite, but still quality entertainment with great action scenes.

27. Full Moon Scimitar (1979)

PG-13 | 95 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

Inspired from a famous martial arts tale, a young swordsman becomes obsessed with sword supremacy and challenges another kung fu master, where everything begins.

Director: Yuen Chor | Stars: Tung-Shing Yee, Ming-Chuen Wang, Jung Wang, Meg Lam

Votes: 99

Shaw does wuxia, and an interesting precursor to the later wire-work boom of 1990s HK cinema.

28. Shaolin Temple (1976)

Not Rated | 126 min | Action

The Shaolin Temple is the last place to resist defeat by the Manchu Dynasty, mostly because of their unique fighting style. Men from far and wide come to wait outside the temple, hoping ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Fu, Kuan-Chun Chi, Lung Ti, David Chiang

Votes: 936

A real Shaw Brothers epic. The ensemble cast introduced me to plenty of new faces.

29. The Weird Man (1983)

PG-13 | 87 min | Action, Fantasy

Taoist Priest Yu Ji (Cheng Tien-Chi) is a victim of Magistrate Xu Gong's (Wong Lik) desire to kill General Sun Ce (Chiu Gwok) in a grab for power. Gong's plans go awry, as Yu Ji's spirit seeks revenge, after being publicly executed.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Tien-Chi Cheng, Kuo Chao, Yu-Po Liu, Min-Yi Huang

Votes: 79

A bizarre mix of comedy and fantasy, not always successful, but offbeat enough to be worth a look.

30. Perils of the Sentimental Swordsman (1982)

PG-13 | 87 min | Adventure, Mystery

The 8th Prince and Chu Liu Hsiang pretend to be rivals and stage 8th Prince's assassination attempt in order for Chu to go undercover in the "Villa of Phantoms" to investigate, King Eagle, who has been recruiting criminals for evil plot.

Director: Yuen Chor | Stars: Lung Ti, Wei Hao Teng, Kuan-Chung Ku, Lieh Lo

Votes: 93

Another film unfortunately watched out of order (actually the third and final part of a trilogy). The convoluted plot takes some brain power to understand, but there's a nice role for one of my personal favourites, Lo Lieh.

31. Life Gamble (1978)

PG-13 | 96 min | Action, Drama

LIFE GAMBLE is the tale of a simple blacksmith (Kuo Chue) with extraordinary martial arts skills who is entangled in a life and death struggle between swordsmen, thieves, con artists, a ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Fu, Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Meng Lo, Chen Chi Lin

Votes: 158

Another outing for the Venoms and a superior one this one: tons of inventive action here, and some outstanding flag fu to boot.

32. The Dragon Missile (1976)

PG-13 | 82 min | Action

An evil gang of martial artists fight for a healing elixir against a specialist that fights with boomerang blades - the Dragon Missiles!

Director: Meng Hua Ho | Stars: Lieh Lo, Tony Liu, Nancy Yen, Feng Ku

Votes: 150

Outlandish weaponry dominates this intriguing story. Good effects throughout, and a wonderfully complex central performance from Lo Lieh.

33. My Rebellious Son (1982)

Not Rated | 92 min | Action, Comedy

it is about a boy who knows kungfu, then someone from the west tries to steal their idol. Then a group of kendo fighters men came from Japan and attack him.

Director: Chung Sun | Stars: Sheng Fu, Feng Ku, Michael Wai-Man Chan, Cecilia Wong

Votes: 68

An open copy of the Jackie Chan type formula and the first time I'd seen Alexander Fu Sheng shine in a leading role.

34. Behind the Yellow Line (1984)

PG-13 | 90 min | Romance

Lesile is a young guy that uses the MTR everyday, and one day, he sees a beautiful lady (Maggie Cheung) on the train and likes her immediately. On the other hand, he also knows a tomboy (... See full summary »

Director: Taylor Wong | Stars: Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Anita Mui, Anthony Chan

Votes: 238

In which Shaw does a romantic comedy. Now, I don't like rom coms at all as a rule, and generally avoid them at all costs whenever I can, but even so this is quite an entertaining addition to the genre, with a quality cast and solid direction.

35. The Flying Dagger (1969)

103 min | Action, Drama

A wandering swordsman protects a family from the wrath of a clan chief.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Pei-Pei Cheng, Lieh Lo, Lei Cheng, Chih-Ching Yang

Votes: 129

An interesting little wuxia fable with a small cast and cosy feel. Cheng Pei Pei and Lo Lieh are the stand-out performers here, and for what it's worth I preferred it to the much more famous Come Drink with Me.

36. The Flag of Iron (1980)

R | 113 min | Action, Drama

When director Chang Chen found new talent and blood with "The Five Venoms" actors, most of which were trained in the highly acrobatic Chinese opera and well versed with exotic martial arts ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok, Sheng Chiang, Li Wang, Feng Lu

Votes: 320

A top-notch Venoms story featuring an all-star cast and director at the top of their game. Very difficult to top this one.

37. The Pirate (1973)

Not Rated | 92 min | Action, Drama

Toward the end of the Ching Dynasty, the South China Sea was swarming with pirates looking to plunder treasure-rich Portuguese merchant ships. A titanic tale of a daring and heroic "Robin Hood" of the seas.

Directors: Cheh Chang, Hsueh Li Pao, Wu Ma | Stars: Lung Ti, David Chiang, Ching Tien, Feng Yu

Votes: 132

Okay, so the storyline's a bit muddled, but this one's worth a look just because the subject matter is so different from the rest and Ti Lung and David Chiang are watchable in just about anything.

38. Dragon's Teeth (1974)

Not Rated | 101 min | Action, Drama

When the "godfather of the kung-fu film" Chang Cheh decided to tell their stories with Alexander Fu Sheng, Chen Kuan-tai, and Chi Kuan-chun in the roles, it was cause for celebration. This ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Kuan Tai Chen, Sheng Fu, Kuan-Chun Chi, Chi-Hung Chang

Votes: 168

Another Shaolin Temple-themed story. Not one of the very best from the studio, but Alexander Fu Sheng and his chums are always worth watching and the action is typically great.

39. The Sentimental Swordsman (1977)

96 min | Action, Drama

The Sentimental Swordsman epitomizes the lone, virtuous, heroic swordsman with a twist. The Oedipus complexed swordsman played by the popular Ti Lung, is a hero with weaknesses; he drinks, ... See full summary »

Director: Yuen Chor | Stars: Lung Ti, Li Ching, Tung-Shing Yee, On-On Yu

Votes: 279

Or Ti Lung vs. the Pink Blossom Bandit. A very dense story with fast pacing and colourful staging.

40. Jiang hu han zi (1977)

Not Rated | 94 min | Action, Comedy

Wealthy rebel Chu Tie Xia/Chu Te-Sa, conned out of assets by local merchants, is aided by 3 wandering con artists. Chu's talent with a bow and gold pellets and the Wushu of his 3 new companions unleash on the unsuspecting invading Mongols.

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: Sheng Fu, David Chiang, Kuan-Chun Chi, Yi-Min Li

Votes: 102

A lighter touch than usual for Chang Cheh. Expect lots of hijinks, lots of scamming, and ensemble players. Plus the oddest Mongol general you'll ever see...

41. Ba wan zui ren (1979)

Not Rated | 114 min | Drama

A probation officer tries to help a prisoner who faces harassment from corrupt guards and inmates.

Director: Kang Cheng | Stars: Tony Liu, Fanny Fen-Ni, Helen Poon, Kuan Tai Chen

Votes: 39

A dark and harrowing prison drama is the Shaw answer to Midnight Express. Expect social commentary and nihilism, no martial arts here.

42. The Vengeful Beauty (1978)

82 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

After her whole family was slaughtered under the order of the emperor, a pregnant martial artist is on the run, and struggles to avoid being caught or back-stabbed by even her closest friends.

Director: Meng Hua Ho | Stars: Ping Chen, Hua Yueh, Lieh Lo, Norman Chu

Votes: 146

Another flying guillotine-themed story. Tight plotting, a pregnant heroine, and plenty of reasons to tune in.

43. E ke (1972)

R | 89 min | Action, Drama

Duel Of Fist was another hit from the "iron triangle" of director Chang Cheh and stars David Chiang and Ti Lung. And, as with all the director's classics, one good hit deserves another, so ... See full summary »

Director: Cheh Chang | Stars: David Chiang, Lung Ti, Li Ching, Yasuaki Kurata

Votes: 126

A simplistic modern-day sequel from the studio. Lung and Chiang go up against Japanese gangsters and it all plays out much as you'd expect.

44. Kid from Kwang Tung (1982)

R | 94 min | Action, Comedy

Novice director Hsu Hsia and three other kung-fu designers created this fight-filled tale of young rascal Wang Yu, caught between master martial arts actor Jen Shih-kuan and the incredible Huang Cheng-li.

Director: Hsia Hsu | Stars: Yue Wong, Jung-Lee Hwang, Kam Cheung, Pan Pan Yeung

Votes: 64

A nice vehicle for the underrated Wong Yue. Expect student rivalry, a super Hwang Jang Lee villain, and even some hopping vampires thrown into the mix.

45. The Shadow Whip (1971)

78 min | Action, Drama