Wednesday, December 30, 2015

B.W.'s Top Twenty Favorite Kung Fu Actors : Twenty to Eleven

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Alright, you pious bastards, let's spinning wheel kick off our New Year's Eve festivities here at the Wop with another of my inimitable Top Twenty lists, this time focusing on my favorite performers in martial arts movies, a fast-paced and exciting genre I've been into since the late seventies, thanks to unforgettable Saturday afternoon (and late night) television broadcasts from local channels like WNEW 5, WOR 9, and WPHL17. Keep in mind that this is a list of my favorites, not a pissing contest over whose fighting style is best, or who'd beat who in a real contest, as conjecture of that flavor is best confined to the schoolyard, really. As always, I'd love to see your lists and hear your feedback, so don't hesitate to lay it on me, if you feel so inclined. Right. Now try my double Phoenix Eye...

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  20) Cynthia Rothrock  Five time forms champion and holder of seven black belts, Golden Harvest actress and Delaware native, Cynthia Rothrock, is a lot more fun to look at than say, Hwang Jang Lee/Wong Cheng Li, for me. Can't put my finger on it, but she's got that certain something...ahem.

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  19) Casanova Wong How about the Korean Tae Kwon Do expert and supreme kicker, Casanova Wong? Check out his undeniable skills in things like Warriors Two (1978) and Tower of Death (1981).

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  18) Tan Tao Liang While we're on the subject of great kickers, let's add "Flash Legs" to the mix. The Invincible Kung Fu Legs (1980) and The Hot, the Cool and the Vicious (1976) are good flicks to hunt down for a display of his remarkable abilities.

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  17) Hsiao Ho Look for Mad Monkey Kung Fu (1979), Legendary Weapons of China (1982), and My Young Auntie (1981) for Hsiao in a starring capacity, which he most certainly deserved more of, during his long career in movies.

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  16) Chiang Sheng  You'll remember "Cutie Pie" as the hybrid venom in Chang Cheh's The Five Venoms (1978), but this acrobatic star also shows off his skills in things like Invincible Shaolin (1978), Crippled Avengers (1978), and Shaolin Rescuers (1979).

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  15) Lu Feng  Number one, the Centi-pede! Besides The Five Venoms (1978), you can also check out The Kid With The Golden Arm (1978), House of Traps (1982), and 1981's Masked Avengers for more of this popular member of the Venom gang.

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  14) Sammo Hung  You'll most likely recall Jacky Chan's portly Peking Opera mate in his legendary sparring scene vs. Bruce Lee in 1973's Enter the Dragon, but Big, Big Brother has had a gloriously long career in martial arts movies, from Knockabout (1979) and Wheels on Meals (1985) to Pedicab Driver (1989) and Ip Man 2 (2010).

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  13) Hui Ying Hung  The lovely and talented Kara Hui figures prominently in the films of Shaw Brothers directors Chang Cheh and Liu Chia Liang, who gave her a start in 1976's Challenge of the Masters. You can admire her skill in movies like My Young Auntie (1981), Martial Club (1981), and 1982's Cat vs. Rat.

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  12) Lo Mang Shaw Brothers muscular strongman and long time favorite of Chang Cheh, Lo is best known as The Toad in The Five Venoms (1978), though you owe it to yourself to check out some of his other films, like The Kid With The Golden Arm (1978), Chinatown Kid (1977), aand Ten Tigers of Kwangtung (1979).

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  11) Yuen Biao Besides doubling for everybody (yes, even Bruce Lee) in various stunt capacities, Jacky Chan's other famous Peking Opera brother shows off his amazing flexibility and high flying acrobatics in films like Knockabout (1978), The Prodigal Son (1981), Young Master (1980), and Yuen Woo Ping's Dreadnaught (1981).

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