When you think of producers of vintage kung fu fare, it’s easy to think of Shaw Brothers or Golden Harvest first: they had the biggest stars, the best production values and managed to get their product all over the world. However, there were plenty of other practitioners working outside the SB/GH version of the studio system who made crowd-pleasing successes on independent terms. One of the best was Joseph Kuo, a Taiwan-based filmmaker who made a variety of fan favorites during the ’70s and ’80s.
The good people at Eureka Entertainment recently dipped into Kuo’s voluminous filmography to produce a box set called Cinematic Vengeance. It focuses on eight films Kuo produced between 1974 and 1979, presenting them with fresh transfers and plenty of extras. Schlockmania has broken up its survey of the films in this box set into two entries. This debut entry covers the first four films on the set, which include an all-timer classic in The 7 Grandmasters and a surprisingly substantial riff on “drunken boxing” fare with The World Of Drunken Master. Read for all the high-kicking highlights…
THE 7 GRANDMASTERS: “… it’s oddly touching to see low-budget filmmakers and lesser known stars work at the outer edge of their skills, delivering the goods…” https://boxd.it/2m7Ivv
THE 36 DEADLY STYLES: “An oddball amalgam of traditional revenge plot/rival disciplines kung fu filmmaking and comedy kung fu at its silliest.” https://boxd.it/2m7LDR
THE WORLD OF DRUNKEN MASTER: “A nice little surprise and hardworking in that way that defines Kuo’s best films.” https://boxd.it/2mUGvr
THE OLD MASTER: “Making a really good comedy kung fu flick is tough and this film shows the pitfalls of the genre.” https://boxd.it/2mUG9P