In the world of kung fu cinema, there are a number of memorable villains. In three classic films, Lo Lieh portrayed what is possibly the greatest kung fu villain of all time: Pai Mei (Gordon Liu brought the character back in Kill Bill Vol 2). But the only antagonist to possibly steal the villainous crown from Pai Mei is the Ghost Face Killer of 1979’s The Mystery of Chess Boxing.
Director Joseph Kuo had just scored big with his masterpiece Seven Grandmasters, in which the only major flaw was the lack of a compelling villain. Bringing back all the major players from that film, this time martial artist Mark Long wore the long wig and big white eyebrows of typical kung fu villainy, and brought to life the Ghost Face Killer. Ghost Face is an unstoppable fighter with a crazy “five element technique” who rattles off his kung fu styles as he annihilates his opponents. The movie was a smash hit in the 42nd Street kung fu theaters of New York City, and the final fight scene against the Ghost Face Killer (which takes up the entire last reel of the movie) drove audiences wild.
On Wednesday night, we’ll be watching the only known 35mm print of this film. It was pulled from an abandoned theater in Taiwan in the early 90’s, and then sat in a warehouse in the UK until I bought it last month. Until now, this movie has only survived in poor quality VHS. This 35mm print is in incredibly good condition, come see it on the Hollywood’s 50 foot screen and cheer on the fight against the Ghost Face Killer!
For more information: http://www.grindhousefilmfest.com/
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 — 7:30 PM
Wednesday is upon us again and that means more Grindhouse! It’s the only place to see prints many of these kung fu classics. If the name of this film, Masked Avengers, doesn’t put your butt in the seat, then try to read this description with out exploding your head in excitement:
MASKED AVENGERS (1981) The Venom Mob is back! A gang of blood-drinking kung fu villains wear wicked devil masks and kill at will. A group of heroes set out to stop them, and are catapulted into vicious kung fu mayhem. The gang takes up residence in a booby-trapped laden temple that sets the stage for a series of bloody battles and gruesome impalements. The funkdafied kung fu showdown is guaranteed to melt your brain out of your skull.
As always, you can find out more at www.grindhousefilmfest.com
Saturday, April 17, 2010 — Film at 2 PM
This Saturday is the second ReelTalk film discussion! Once a month, a film is selected to watch and head over to the Laurelwood Pizza Company after for some stimulating conversation. We will be watching Roman Polanki’s The Ghost Writer and as with anything regarding Polanksi’s work (and personal life) there should be a lot to talk about. He is the man that brought us Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, Knife in the Water, and Repulsion after all.
If you’ve already seen the film, feel free to drop on by Laurelwood and meet us there!
Wednesday at 7:30 pm at the Hollywood Theatre, don’t miss the all out kung fu insanity of INVINCIBLE ARMOUR. This is a true classic, the 35mm print looks amazing, and this movie is a huge favorite of Quentin Tarantino.
INVINCIBLE ARMOUR (1977) Hwang Jang Lee is an evil white-haired, Eagle Claw villain and master of the impenetrable “Iron Armour Technique”. A young kung fu warrior is framed for murder, and goes on the run for his life. Now he must survive an onslaught of kung fu assaults, and master the Iron Finger Style to combat the crazed Eagle Claw master. This is wall to wall kung fu action featuring non-stop fight scenes, a ripped off Spaghetti Western soundtrack, and amazing fight choreography by Yuen Woo Ping.
35mm kung fu trailers before the movie. Advance tickets and all information on the website: www.grindhousefilmfest.com
Starting Friday, April 9, 2010
Can you separate the artist from the man? With the recent revival of his past indiscretions, Roman Polanski has been in the news a lot in the past year, and not for his film work. Public opinion seems to be pretty split on the man and the good will since The Pianist has slipped away (although, a cameo in Rush Hour 3 certainly couldn’t do anything to help).
The critics seem to be able to put personal opinions aside, with The Ghost Writer racking up a 77% Fresh rating at RottenTomatoes.