# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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The Invincible Fist (1969) Directed by: Chang Cheh

While not the strongest Chang Cheh swordplay drama out there, if this is autopilot it's pretty damn good autopilot. Partly incoherent and slow, the main thrust of Lo Lieh hunting for criminal Ma Wai-Jia (Fang Mian) is easy to latch onto and especially when it turns out Lo Lieh's character is falling for the blond daughter of his rival (Li Ching) who doesn't know of her father's criminal activity. Effective bursts of action out of nowhere and a calm, dramatic template with the expected threads of morality and conscience, Chang Cheh's still gets effect out of the drama of it all by being sincere and then some about it. It speaks to his desires and strengths at this time as a dramatic filmmaker. The end fight with continually tired, wounded and worn fighters is iconic and effective as well. Co-starring David Chiang.

Invincible Obsessed Fighter (1983) Directed by: John King

As I have no English credits to go by, Invincible Obsessed Fighters in dubbed form was presumably presented by Filmark's Tomas Tang or together with Joseph Lai when both were still working together. Regardless, it's from the history of the distributors and producers where the ninja craze was not yet a focus hit and eyes were fixed on Korea's martial arts output instead. Hence this being a movie only interfered with so to say via the English dub. A typical revenge plot starring Elton Chong, it's unusual high quality coming from Korea (and the movies IFD and Filmark picked up) in the action department. Incredible fluid and intricate at many points, the filmspeeds are usually off but it doesn't detract from some of the jaw dropping physicality. In between Chong plays dress up whilst seeking his father's killer and the comedy sections are therefore not setting the screen on fire but they're easy to deal with in the 84 minute package. A kung-fu fighting sorcerer and curiously creative usage of fight sound effects helps to maintain interest. Co-starring Mike Wong.

Invincible Shaolin (1978) Directed by: Chang Cheh

Pairing up the appealing actors and performers that made up "The Venoms" IN The Five Venoms made sense even way before its international appeal picked up so a few months later Chang Cheh orchestrated a new story involving Phillip Kwok, Chiang Sheng, Lu Feng, Lo Meng and Wai Pak as Northern- and Southern Shaolin fighters that the Ching court (led by Johnny Wang) is manipulating in order to destroy the core of Shaolin. A simple, clear story but also a clever setup, Chang Cheh also cinematically brings to life the various Iron Palm, pole and kicking strengths of each performer wonderfully well. Making Invincible Shaolin very valid as martial arts CINEMA. The training sequences leading to clever call backs during the end fight (containing some trademark holy crap type of gore from Chang Cheh) are quite extensive and does slow the movie down ever so slightly. But it's easy to be on board with an epic looking frame and this much devotion to the various training as these performers also bring unique, distinctive traits for audiences to connect and recognize. It's hard not to see why this group of actors become popular globally. Also with Kara Hui.

The Invincible Super Guy (1976, Hsu Tseng-Hung)

Starting out reasonably interesting, with Lung Fei's character orchestrating the theft of royal gold and then tries to divert attention and blame onto other people. This then grinds to a halt as now the narrative becomes riddled with characters and coherent reasons for anything vanishes quickly. Main reason being how Hsu Tseng-Hung (Temple Of The Red Lotus) deals with exposition dumps designed to BRING clarity. It's all simply spoken, unnaturally so and when filmmaker shows no interest in achieving clarity, no wonder we also tune out. Strange sights such as an undead, protective army around our villain Devilman entertain for a few minutes but doesn't elevate matters. Martial arts is unfortunately also sluggish and largely uninteresting. Starring Polly Kwan, Chang Yi and Pai Ying.

The Invincible Sword (1971) Directed by: Hsu Tseng-Hung

Jimmy Wang Yu and devoted followers of a general slated for execution tries to bust him out with the help of a performance troupe. Historical epic relying more on being basic, lean and mean. Very well produced and majestic looking, The Invincible Sword is terrific fun and skillful as director Hsu Tseng-Hung (Temple Of The Red Lotus) maintains our interest all throughout the 30 minute long swordplay massacre ending with tons of slicing and dicing by Wang Yu and company. Entirely captivating, maybe not historically significant for history-buffs but an exhilarating joy and a fine reference work for Wang Yu who re-confirms here why he's an important icon in Hong Kong and Taiwanese action cinema. Also with Hsu Feng, Chang Yi, Paul Chang, Chen Hung-Lieh, Tin Yau and Lung Fei.

The Invisible Terrorist (1976) Directed by: Chan Siu-Pang

Ming versus Ching, a ruthless emperor (Wang Hsieh) wants to smoke out rebels (led by Carter Wong) and obtain all parts of a namelist AND...there's a traitor. Straightforward, short, well costumed but clearly low budget as 90% of the movie is shot outdoors. But The Invisible Terrorist seems to know its basic and stock traits well and is out of our lives quickly while delivering a steady parade of grounded and weapons action. And viewer eye brows should be raised at the sight of a very cool arrow contraption and the deadly cymbal monks. Lo Lieh appears briefly.

Ip Man (2008, Wilson Yip)

Designed like less of a biopic and more like an action-movie using a basic and even shallow snapshot of Ip Man's life within the pages of history, Wilson Yip's prior skills in drama zeroes in on his lead Donnie Yen and making it one of his best (and most understated) performances of his career. A movie of varying quality but for the commercial crowd it dishes out elements dependently where it matters. Poignancy is not what we take away from Ip Man however. Essentially his family, like so many others, fall during the Japanese occupation of Fo Shan during World War II but renowned martial arts skill attracts attention of said forces, leading Ip Man to represent Chinese spirit and kung fu versus the big bad. The elements of poverty and misery feels rather manufactured, used as basic story thread but the movie wants to be on the go. So Yip doesn't stick to many threads, he just ticks them off in order to get Donnie from bottom to top and from fight scene to fight scene. Admittedly Yen is acting in a way better movie here, with subdued, non-verbal and even felt stretches as we get his desperation as well as determination directed towards aggressors. Aided by quality, well shot and inventive choreography from Sammo Hung and Tony Leung, highlights include Donnie versus a challenger in the form of Fan Siu-Wong but keeping him at a distance using a spear and the final tournament that pushes the nationalistic hero buttons outside of Donnie's performance. Yet his quiet reactions are quality the rest of the movie isn't designed to reach or can't. Occasionally the action gets a bit ludicrous, especially in Yen's scene versus ten Japanese as the Wing Chun chain punching technique (thanks to Jay for that info) and leg breaks makes the movie stray into the goofy looking (both examples feel like an effect or not shot well, at a proper frame rate etc) but concentrate on this as commercial entertainment and not a history piece and you'll feel ok about the results. Plus you'll walk away impressed by the fact that Donnie can act. Also with Simon Yam, Lynn Hung, Wong You-Nam, Gordon Lam and Hiroyuki Ikeuchi.

The Iron Buddha (1970) Directed by: Yan Jun

With a terrific villain in the form of Wong Chung-Shun that effectively becomes the audience's public enemy number one after an attempted rape of a mute and a major hack and slash massacre on an entire clan, this basic revenge tale scores points for violent effect even if its stagey nature prevents the true, primal intensity to come out. Playing a little with story conventions as the only survivor played by Ling Yun seems to be heading to the final conclusion of it all way before the hour mark thanks to the character being supremely effective of taking out everyone, director Yan Jun cleverly injects notions of him being rash and easily deceived so there will be stumbling blocks. Plus only one weapon can defeat Wong Chung-Shun's Xian Tianzun and a kooky old master may or may not know of its whereabouts. Very violent but not leading the way in terms of action at Shaw Brothers, the multiple and quite epic scenes of massacre and bloodbath is usually quite stagey but the finale features admirable and intense sword exchanges and enhanced techniques for the fantastique universe The Iron Buddha belongs to. It may not be high profile but it's effective and goes against our expectations ever so slightly which triggers sustained interest in this talky but basic premise. Chen Hung Lieh and Fan Mei Sheng also appear.

Iron Fisted Eagle's Claw (1979) Directed by: To Lo-Po

Chi Kuan-Chun and Bruce Leung plays two martial artists getting by performing demonstrations in the streets. They walk into a town run with an iron fist (or eagle's claw) by Chen Sing's Tiger and when the local militia leader is presumed dead, the two steps into his shoes... in comedic fashion. The interplay between the leads is at first fairly energetic but the effect becomes tiring quickly. Especially so since Leung is extremely broad and clownish. Iron Fisted Eagle's Claw really doesn't stand much of a chance to matter because of this in addition to an extremely low budget but it comes through action-wise. At first the choreography tends to be slow despite the detailed, complex movements but whenever Chi Kuan-Chun and Leung are involved, speed and intricacy is put into a somewhat higher gear. Best showcased during the ferocious finale with the two fighting Chen Sing.

Iron Man (1973) Directed by: Joseph Kuo

Also known as Chinese Iron Man, Joseph Kuo doesn't complicate matters in this Fist Of Fury-like (very alike) basher where the evil Japanese and Chinese (the little, common man) clash. Main character Liang Hsiao Hu (Man Kong-Leung) is fed up with the Japanese hassling the staff at the local restaurant where he's the cook and proceeds to beat them up with a bit of Chinese fury. Now hunted, the clash also comes down to which martial arts school is the strongest, leading to a reel structured around the good ol' tournament fight...

Low budget and lacking care in the period detail (the police uniforms doesn't exactly fit the 1920-30s period the movie is set in), Kuo instead is content to let his action team loose in multiple, long scenes relying more on bashing than techniques. It's a bit draining but overall effectively furious as the story dictates.

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