Kung fu movies have captured the interest of Western audiences since they first came out. There are lots to choose from, and sometimes it can be difficult to decide what to watch next. Here are some of the best ones.
No list would be complete without The Five Deadly Venoms, so that is where we shall start. Even people who don't much care for the genre love this film. Directed in 1978 by Chang Cheh, the story revolves around five renegade students and a sixth man tasked with bringing them to justice before their master dies.
The five bad pupils all use different forms of martial arts based on their particular specialty within the Poison Clan. The unique fighting styles of Toad, Lizard, Snake, Scorpion, and Centipede must each be overcome by the protagonist. The only problem is that while the protagonist is reasonable skilled in each of the five venom styles, he is not equal to any of the bad guys at their chosen specialty. For this reason he must show great cunning and adaptability if he is to survive against these men.
Fans of the Chinese actor Jackie Chan may really enjoy this next film. The Legend Of Drunken Master is a wonderfully exciting story about a man named Wong Fei Hung who gets involved with a plot by a British official to steal valuable Chinese artifacts.
With the action star at his peak, and a really great director helping to tell the story, this is a very good example of a reasonably recent offering. Many people believe that no really decent martial arts films have been made since the nineteen seventies, but films like this one prove that statement to be false.
Third on our list is The Magnificent Butcher. A classic martial arts comedy, this movie showcases the actor Sammo Hung. Great acrobatics, flawless fight choreography, and a truly interesting set of characters makes this one to watch.
Finally, no mention of Chinese martial arts cinema would be complete without the legendary Bruce Lee. Fists of Fury, otherwise known as The Big Boss, is perhaps the ultimate Bruce Lee experience. It's not exactly the best Bruce Lee film, but for sheer energy and excitement you can't beat it. There is possibly no more charismatic action star in this genre than Bruce Lee.
At its heart, Fists Of Fury is a story about the tensions between Japanese and Chinese martial arts students in the same town. There are some absolutely classic fight scenes in this one, many involving weapons and flying kicks. This is probably the film that made American audiences fall in love with Bruce Lee as an actor.
Poisonous traitors who can cling to walls, British bad guys stealing Chinese relics, a fat Sammo Hung, and Bruce Lee kicking the stuffing out of anyone who gets near make up this list of four kung fu movies you need to watch. These are usually all available to rent from a decent store, or they can be purchased online from a number of sellers.