You may not know him by name but if you’ve spent enough time watching kung fu fare from the ’70s and early ’80s, chances are you’ve seen at least one film from Taiwan’s indie action auteur Joseph Kuo. As outlined in the first half of this look at Cinematic Vengeance, the recent blu-ray box set of his work from Eureka Entertainment, he made an array of cost-effective yet action-packed martial arts films that managed to travel the globe alongside better-funded efforts from the likes of Golden Harvest and Shaw Brothers.
This installment of Quick Schlock looks at the films on Discs 3 and 4 of Cinematic Vengeance. First up are Shaolin Kung Fu and The Shaolin Kids: the former is a programmer that uses “Shaolin” for commercial branding while the latter plays like Kuo’s thrifty variant of the Shaolin Temple-themed historical epics Shaw Brothers was making in the mid-’70s. The other two films are 18 Bronzemen and Return Of The 18 Bronzemen: these two are amongst Kuo’s most entertaining films, diving headlong into Shaolin training and making excellent showcases for star Carter Wong. Read on for capsule-length treatments of all four films and get Shaolin-ized…
SHAOLIN KUNG FU: “ Second-tier stuff overall but made with the kind of know-how that ensures you get what you paid for.” https://boxd.it/2sH3bv
THE SHAOLIN KIDS: “ … if you’re a fan of indie kung-fu stuff, you’ll appreciate how this punches above its weight class…” https://boxd.it/2sH7xP
18 BRONZEMEN: “Kuo maintains a breakneck pace throughout as he stacks up an array of skillfully shot and cut setpieces…” https://boxd.it/2uvveB
RETURN OF THE 18 BRONZEMEN: “ An odd but very intriguing semi-sequel… that brings back the players in different roles. “ https://boxd.it/2uvA63
To read the first half of Quick Schlock’s look at the Cinematic Vengeance box set, click here.