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Ground Zero Update?

Old 07-02-01, 06:19 PM
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As many of you know, they were supposed to release a bunch of Shaw Brothers DVDs on June 26th. I know JHosk said he pre-oredered them from Amazon. Amazon lists them as "shipped in 2-3 days". Ground Zero was also supposed to release Killer Army in May, which did not happen. I checked at my local Suncoast, and they looked up Legendary Weapons on the computer and said it was up for order, but I have my doubts about it. Has anyone actually seen any of these new releases? Do they exist?

Some of the titles were supposed to be:
Dirty Ho
Legendary Weapons
Martial Club
Fists of the White Lotus

Thanks for any info.
Old 07-02-01, 10:46 PM
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Hey Ky-Fi,

I was wondering the same thing. Kind of got me vexed. Still no sign of my amazon order. Ordered Killer Army from BN.com about a month ago...web site said 2-3 weeks. I got a message saying the title was being delayed from the supplier (They postponed the release date to add some special features and stuff). Funny thing is their web pages still says available..ships in 2 weeks. Their web site looks like it hasn't been updated in a while. Lets keep our fingers crossed, although I am skeptical too.
Old 07-03-01, 09:38 AM
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according to http://www.dvdcult.com (go to the kung-fu dvd link up top), the street date on these have been pushed back a few weeks. Kind of disappointing, but hopefully we will get our hands on them soon. They also have a preview of the upcoming Killer Army release. Ground Zero seem to be putting out decent quality dvds of some great older Shaw Brothers flicks. Its too bad that they are having hold-ups meeting their street dates. But I guess we should be thankful we are even getting them I suppose.

Old 07-03-01, 02:27 PM
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Yeah, killed me these popped up so fast. Could only afford to get two so I placed an order for Legendary Weapons and Shaolin Challenges Ninja with the free shipping promotion. The minute they are delivered I'll spread the word.

I saw no mention anywhere of Martial Club, but Amazon has Shaolin Challenges Ninja, Dirty Ho, Fist of the White Lotus, Return of the Master Killer, Return of the Deadly Blade, and Legendary Weapons listed as supposed June releases, though delayed.

Apparently some of them did make it out. Kung Fu DVD has a good review of Dirty Ho... http://www.dvdcult.com/rev_DirtyHo.htm
Darn, widescreen too, cross my fingers and hope they will all be that way. Only one question remains: Where on Earth is [/b]Eight Diagram Pole Fighter[/b] my favorite kung fu, Gordon Liu/Liu Chia Liang film?

[Edited by iaido on 07-03-01 at 12:41 PM]
Old 07-03-01, 02:43 PM
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I ordered Dirty Ho, Legendary Weapons, and Return of Master Killer. I"ll post as well when/if they ship. Have only seen Dirty ho years ago, and I am looking forward to Legendary Weapons, and Return of Master Killer as I haven't seen them.
Old 07-03-01, 04:19 PM
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They do exist! Thanks for the info, guys. Wow, the Dirty Ho DVD looks great--can't wait for that one. I know that aside from the DVD's they've said they're going to release, Ground Zero also has quite a few SB Venom titles out now on VHS--like Flag of Iron, Daredevils, 10 Tigers from Kwantung, Magnificent Ruffians, etc. If they give all of those the widescreen DVD treatment, I'm gonna go broke!
Old 07-04-01, 02:37 PM
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Good news...my ground zero stuff shipped today from amazon. I'm in Canada, so it may take a couple of weeks. When peoples get theirs they should post their reviews.

Old 07-04-01, 04:53 PM
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Yeah, my Legendary Weapons is ready but they still dont have Shaolin Challenges Ninja in stock; its probably delayed until sometime later this month, I hope, otherwise it'll be a long wait.
Old 07-07-01, 12:04 PM
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OK, I see that Legendary Weapons, Return of the Master Killer, and Dirty Ho are on the shelves. I hadn't seen any of these, but I picked up Dirty Ho. The 70's cop show music at the beginning is a little strange and slightly cheesy, but after a couple of viewings I guess it just adds to the fun. Pretty cool movie, nice story and great Shaw Brothers production values, and a decent widescreen print---comparable to Kid With The Golden Arm. But wow, that final 3 on 2 fight scene is some of the most blindingly intricate choreography I've seen.
I'm especially curious as to other reviews of Return of the Master Killer, as I haven't seen too many. I believe the original SB title was Return to the 36th Chamber.

Decent job by Ground Zero, and I like their cover art---I'll definitely be buying most of the SB titles they put out like this one.

Old 07-10-01, 07:34 PM
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legendary weapons

Hi.

I have just recently started acquiring some of the old-school stuff. I had seen somewhere that the movie "18 Legendary Weapons" was a recommended title. Is the Ground Zero DVD titled, "Legendary Weapons of China" the same flick?

Also, I have seen the movie "8 Diagram Pole-Fighter" mentioned all over the place. Does anybody have any info on how to get a hold of this movie preferably on DVD?
I would prefer DVD of course, but if it isn't available, then <ack> NTSC VHS tape <cough> would be sufficient <gag>.

Also, I already have the following titles:
Chinese Super Ninja
Five Deadly Venoms
Return of teh Five Deadly Venoms
Shaolin Master Killer (36th Chamber of Shaolin)
Kid With The Golden Arm
Dirty Ho
Legendary weapons of China
Kung-Fu - The Punch Of Death (Prodigal Boxer) <IMO I think I messed up getting this one>

Can anybody recommend some real top notch old-school that would be good to add to the collection?

THX!
Old 07-10-01, 09:44 PM
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Elengineer,
I think the new Ground Zero DVD of Legendary Weapons of China was originally called Legendary Weapons of Kung Fu-----I think 18 Legendary Weapons is a different title.
I would say you've got a great list---I would add Last Hurrah for Chivalry, and (not yet on DVD)Shaolin and Wutang (neither are actual Shaw Brothers productions, but they look pretty identical)

Also, I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but I just picked up the Ground Zero release of Legendary Weapons. Very disappointed. First of all it's not that great a print-----and it ain't letterboxed! This is really frustrating, because the trademark Shaw Brothers pre-credit fight scene is fantastic----but instead of pan and scan, they scrunched it up to fit on the screen, and as a result everthing is stretched out and you can't really see the action that clearly. Also, the rest of the movie is pan and scan, and the final 15 minutes is just a non-stop weapons battle between Lau Kar Leung and his brother, and just like Crouching Tiger, they keep going through the rack of different weapons--awesome choreography. But the cinematographer was clearly making use of the full width of the widescreen for the fights, and in this pan and scan version a LOT of the action is cut off, or at least partly out of the picture---very noticeable, unfortunately.

I see that Fists of the White Lotus is on the shelves now, too. I'm going to have to wait to see what other Ground Zero releases are letterboxed before I pick up any more, though.

Dang it, Killer Army better not be pan and scan!
Old 07-11-01, 01:43 AM
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Legendary Weapons

I just finished watching teh Legendary Weapons (of China) DVD. I agree that the "squish"-iness during the opening credits was ugly. I also agree that the full-screen format on this DVD is a disappointment. However, at least whoever did the cropping seemed to know what they were doing. While the cropping was noticeable, the fights were still framed well enough that you could really appreciate them.

I can't believe that finale. WOW. I wonder how many times they accidentally whacked each other while practicing? I swear that in some spots they only missed each other by inches. I was debating my wisdom in grabbing this flick up until the last 20-30 minutes of the film. Yowza. Now if somebody could just find a widescreen version of this thing...
Old 07-11-01, 07:42 AM
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Damn...wish mine would get here already from amazon...hopefully this week.

Elengineer. You had all the shaw classics availble on dvd before these new ground zero releases. Actually there is a release of flying guillotine but hte quality is so bad it makes it almost unwatchable.

Also 8 diagram pole fighter (AKA Invicible Pole Fighters) is unfortunely not available on dvd. I thiink the only way you can get a copy is to buy a copied version. Check out grandmastervideo.com. There a bunch of the old skool classics avaible on VHS....hopefully one day they will all be on dvd, but I heard that alot of the Shaw brothers masters are in bad shape as they were not archived well....

You should also add these classics to your collection:

Prodigal Son: I'm not a huge Sammo Hung fan, but this movie is awesome. Some great fight choreography, and the sets, production, and everything else was top notch.

Dreadnaught: Great Yuen Wo-Ping old skool flick. Yuen Biao has a great end fight with this villain dressed in opera paint (who is really Wo-Pings brother). Not as serious a tone as some of the shaw classics, but some great choreography and the last 20 minutes is amazing.

Magnificent Butcher: Another old skool masterpeice from Wo-Ping. This one has Sammo Hung as the main star, but Yuen Baio also has a small role. Some great choreography and a good showcase of Sammo acrobatics.

Duel to the Deatch: If you like swordplay and ninjas this one will please you. A bit slow starting but the final 20 minutes is amazing.

You can get these four at any hk on-line retailer for fairlt cheap. I usually order from hivizone.com, but I have heard dddhouse.com is great, and their prices are comparable if not better than hivizone.

Here are some other domestic releases:

Budhist Fist: yet another Wo-Ping old skooler worth a look. There is a Tai Seng import and a Xenon release. Not sure of the differenses.

Eagle's Claw: this is one of those martial arts theater releases. It a pretty decent flick, and has a good widescreen transfer.

hit Man in the hand of budha: another martial arts theatre jobbie. Its pan and scan though, but the picture quality is decent, and its an above average old skooler....

Sh*t....I better get back to work. This should be enough for your list now....
Old 07-11-01, 01:51 PM
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Thanks

for the info everybody.

JHosk - Prodigal Son is one of my all-time favs. I have it on tape (urgh!), but the DVD (yea!) should be arriving soon along with Odd Couple, Dreadnaught, and a couple others (real cheap from dddhouse). I agree with you on Magnificent Butcher and The Buddhist Fist. The finale in MB with Sammo is really nice. TBF is just nice overall. Another one I have heard a lot about is Knockabout w/ Yuen Biao. I want it on DVD, but the Japanese version is real pricey, and the only other DVD I know of is supposed to be of lousy quality w/ unreadable subtitles. Bummer.


hmmm... so now I have the following recommended:
18 Legendary Weapons
8 Diagram Pole Fighter (aka Invincible Pole Fighters)
Duel To The Death
Eagle's Claw
Hit Man in the Hand of Buddha
Last Hurrah For Chivalry
Shaolin and Wutang

ergh. This hobby is starting to get expensive quick . Not too long ago, I just started out getting the American re-releases of the JC films. Then I found out just how big JC was, and how much the US versions had been chopped. This lead to a massive accumulation of JC flicks. Then I heard about Sammo and Yuen Biao...then Jet Li...then Michelle Yeoh...Then Sonny Chiba...then old-school (Venoms, Lau Kar Leung/Liu Chia Liang)...not to mention the 'goes-without-saying' Bruce Lee...in addition to western stars like Seagal and Van Damme...the collection has been growing like a virus lately
Old 07-11-01, 02:57 PM
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Re: legendary weapons

Originally posted by elengineer
I have just recently started acquiring some of the old-school stuff. I had seen somewhere that the movie "18 Legendary Weapons" was a recommended title. Is the Ground Zero DVD titled, "Legendary Weapons of China" the same flick?
Originally posted by Ky-Fi
I think the new Ground Zero DVD of Legendary Weapons of China was originally called Legendary Weapons of Kung Fu-----I think 18 Legendary Weapons is a different title.
Actually the scene you(Ky-Fi) describe at the end is 18 Legendary Weapons of China. These two films have a lot of confusion, but Ground Zeros Legendary Weapons sounds like it is 18 Legendary Weapons of China. And sionce these new releases are mainly Lau Kar Lueng films, it makes sense.

Anyway, elengineer, in addition to some of the films people have mentioned, and the good start you already have...try out Warriors Two, Return of the Chinese Boxer, Young Master, Chinese Connection, Flying Guillotine, and Blood of the Dragon.

As far as the lack of letterboxing and "squeeze", well Heck, thats how I grew up watching these films, and even though I've gotten used to letterboxing, it still doesnt upset me too much to find my kung fu pan and scan. I guess you cant break 20 yrs of being used to it that way; I just turn my brian on old school kung fu mode and it doesnt bother me too much.

Unfortunately here are some of the great old school films not on DVD, yet (but maybe complaining will somehow help)> Eight Diagram Pole Fighter, Faster Blade-Poisonous Darts, Dance of the Drunken Mantis, Flag of Iron, Executioners of Death, Master of the Flying Guillotine, Death Chambers, Shaolin Martial Arts, Martial Club, Brave Archers, Mad Monkey Kung Fu, Daggers 8, and Killer Army.

Oh yeah, elengineer, how's your copy of Kung-Fu - The Punch Of Death. Is it one of those cheap ones (I saw one for $5 at a K Mart and was thinking of giving it a chance)? Worthwhile or not?
Old 07-11-01, 05:16 PM
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various

iaido - With regards to the GZ Legendary Weapons, the film itself opens with a title of "Legendary Weapons of Kung Fu" (despite the box title being Legendary Weapons of China") if that helps clear up any confusion.

My copy of KF:POD is the one reviewed over at KungFUDVD. The link is here:

http://www.dvdcult.com/rev_KungFuPOD.htm

Personally, I wasn't overly impressed with the film at all; not plot, writing, choreagraphy, and print quality. On the plus side, it only cost me US$6.30 so it wasn't that great a loss. I thought the print quality itself wasn't the best, but that could be due more to the condition of the master they were working with. Getting a martial arts DVD for 6 bucks was something I couldn't easily pass up. Keep in mind that the above are just my personal opinions and some people might feel differently about the movie/DVD.

Warriors Two is another of my all-time favorites. I remember when I first watched it I thought it was going kinda slow and was unimpressive. huh huh huh...was I in for a shock. Kinda what it must be like waiting in one of those jets that gets launched off of an aircraft carrier...not much is happening and then all of a sudden...WHAM! Speaking of Sammo, I really wish my Odd Couple DVD would hurry up and get here. I hear that has some awesome weapons work. I also like Young Master and all the Bruce Lee films. Return/Way of the Dragion is my favorite of Bruce's flicks.

all - Is the DVD that is out now titled "Fatal Flying Guillotines" the original Guillotine flick, or a sequel/prequel? It gets real confusing trying to keep up with the retitling of these old films. And here I thought just trying to keep up with all the differently edited JC films was a tough job .

Oh yeah, speaking of older flicks, I don't know if anybody here likes Sonny Chiba, but a word of warning that if you do, I would avoid getting the "two-fer" DVD from Diamond that has Dragon Princess and The Bodyguard. Both are in full-screen (not even Pan & Scan) and the cropping was done horribly. I could only bear to watch about the first five minutes of Dragon Princess. The cropping was literally so bad I couldn't stand it. You couldn't even see the actors faces. I think that whoever did the cropping just set the crop for the absolute middle of the film frame and left it there. bleargh...
Old 07-11-01, 05:45 PM
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Iaido,
Yes, I also grew up watching the Shaw Brothers movies on TV in the early 80's with the squished and pan and scan format, and those certainly got me permanently hooked on Shaw Brothers, so I know what you're saying. But, after seeing some of the widescreen releases of their movies over the last few years, and seeing how much set, costume design and fight framing was left out, I can't really enjoy the pan and scan versions anymore. Although, that may be the only choice, because I think in DVDcult's review of Shaolin Challenges Ninja, they mentioned the pan and scan master print is the only thing they have access to.

I'll have to check out Prodigal Son---I'm usually really biased towards Shaw's, but I've heard so many good reviews of this one.

Regarding Kung Fu-Punch of Death, I had quite a different opinion than elengineer did. I think it's from 1972, so the choreography admittedly isn't as fast or complex as the late 70's stuff, but I thought this movie made up for it in other areas. I think it was relatively big budget, and the costumes and sets look great----just like a Shaw production. Also, I really liked the story (a Fong Sai Yuk tale), and the acting, as well as the traditional Chinese score. But what really stood out for me on this one is the cinematography and editing, especially during the fight scenes---I just thought the camera work looked very professional and creative. And, although the picture is soft, it's a nice,colorful widescreen print--I kind of look at the movie as piece of history on the evolution of KF movies. I think there's two versions out now for the same price,and with the same quality picture. The one I have is the Direct Source version (brownish-yellow cover with the shadow figure kicking). It also includes a very hilarious trivia game, where they play scenes from the movie, and a totally straight-voiced narrator quizzes you---asking you which guy got killed, or why someone got beat up--combined with some of the dubbed lines, it's very funny. This is by far the most entertainment value I've gotten out of an $8 DVD!
Old 07-11-01, 06:02 PM
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elengineer,

flying guillotine and fatal flying guillotine are two different movies. Fatal FLying Guillotine dvd is put put by world video. I have the dvd and enjoyed the movie. HOwever quality is not great. Its full screen and the print has alot of scratch. However its not blurry like those lame ass telefilsm international dvds which are obsiously transfers of really bad dub-of-dub VHS tape. Fatal Flying Guillotine was a good movie and ok dvd. Flying Guilotine is available from the aforementioned telefilms internation (beverly wilshire or staurn productions) for cheap. Its a decent flick, but hte dvd is real bad. They sell them at Walmart just up the road from me for 6 bucks canadia (4 us) so that should indicate the quality.
Old 07-12-01, 02:01 PM
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Yes, I forgot about title confusion when referring to Flying Guillotine...So, my answer is why not get them both Fatal Flying and 'Just Plain' Flying Guillotine. To also help, when I mention Master of the Flying Guillotine, dont think its a sequel to either one. 'Master' is a sequel, but to a different film, Chinese Professionals (aka One Armed Boxer). ([i]iaido wipes the sweat from his forehead as his mind swirls with multiple HK titles)

Hey lets not even start on name confusion...I still find myself calling Michelle yeaoh, Michelle Khan. Kinda hard to break the cycle when I spend, lord knows how many, years calling her Khan.
Old 07-13-01, 02:09 PM
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Okay Ky-Fi, I figured out how to nail down if Ground Zero's Legendery Weapons is the acclaimed one or the lesser one.> Does the film open with a bunch of monks testing themselves against bullets? If so, the its the "classic" Legendary Weapons and I cant wait to get my hands on it.
Old 07-13-01, 02:56 PM
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Well,

I am not Ky-Fi, but I can answer your question for you.

The new GZ "Legendary Weapons of China" DVD (after the title/credit fight sequence) does open with a bunch of monks in this place testing themselves against bullets. They go into their breathing exercises, and then stand their as people from a balcony fire down upon them. They stand their for a few seconds while "merit badges" of paper are placed on their wounds. Then, they all fall over dead. Other fun scenes are a demonstration of some kind of werid chinese-voodo as one monk is forced to jam his fingers into his eyes and rip them out. And as one more amusing scene, a guy is "Voodo-ized" and ordered to rip off his own groin.

Hope this helps.
Old 07-13-01, 09:18 PM
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Iaido,

There's a LOT of Shaw Brothers movies that I haven't seen, so I"m not too sure about exact original titles. As elengineer said, the box says "Legendary Weapons of China", but the burned in English title is "Legendary Weapons of Kung Fu".

And, as elengineer also said, it does have the scene of the cult members (Gordon Liu being the principle one) testing themselves against bullets. The plot covers some of the same stuff of OUATIC 2---during the Boxer Rebellion, some of the cults mix magic and spells with the martial arts, and think it can protect them against bullets. Lau Kar Leung was in the cult, and went away to form a new branch. But, he realized their stuff was useless against guns, and he didn't want any more Chinese killed, so he quit the cult. His brother then sends Gordon Liu, Hui Yin Hung, and another guy to kill him. Hui Yin Hung and the other guy meet Lau Kar Leung, and take his side, and they defeat Gordon Liu-----then it's the weapons battle between the brothers. I would have to amend my earlier criticism of the DVD----sure, it would be great in widescreen, but it's not too bad a print.

BUT!!!!........after hearing that Fist of the White Lotus was letterboxed, I picked it up. AWESOME print-----letterboxed and probably the sharpest you're going to find a SB movie. Very cool, fun movie---some of Gordon Liu's best fighting, IMO. In one great fight scene he uses a chain whip against two swordsmen---amazing. I'd highly recommend this one.
Old 07-14-01, 01:56 AM
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weapons

Sorry about barging in on the conversation. I just get a little enthusiastic about this stuff.

Ky-Fi - Whip chain?!?! Letterboxed?!? Thanks for the info! I will have to pick that one up. I have never really seen a lot of whip chain used, but then again I am a newbie as far as old-school stuff goes.

All - I wish there was a good list of different flicks and the weapons that are used in them. That would be pretty cool. Also the quality of the choreagraphy would be a good thing to add too. Out of all the old-school movies you have seen what would you vote for in the following categories:

1) Best (long) Staff Weapon
2) Best (short) Staff Weapon
3) Best Three-Sectional Staff
4) Best Spear
5) Best Sword (doesn't matter type)
6) Best Kwan-Do (thick staff with huge sword-like blade on the end)
7) Best Butterfly Swords

My personal votes (subject to change) are

1)*
2)*
3) Shaolin Master Killer
4)*
5)*
6) Dirty Ho
7) Shaolin Master Killer

* - tough category, I need to go back and review some movies now in order to answer


P.S. Ky-Fi, I will second the recommendation that you go grab a copy of Prodigal Son! I don't remember ever hearing anything truly bad about that film from anyone who has seen it.

Last edited by elengineer; 07-14-01 at 01:59 AM.
Old 07-14-01, 02:17 AM
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Re: weapons

Originally posted by elengineer
Sorry about barging in on the conversation. I just get a little enthusiastic about this stuff.

Ky-Fi - Whip chain?!?! Letterboxed?!? Thanks for the info! I will have to pick that one up. I have never really seen a lot of whip chain used, but then again I am a newbie as far as old-school stuff goes.
Ugh, this is starting to kill me. I had to preorder the two movies that Ground Zero didnt do widescreen, Shaolin Challenges Ninja and Legendary Weapons. I would have ordered them, regardless, but I cant wait until I can get my hands on widescreen Dirty Ho and Fist of the White Lotus next month.



1)Best (long) Staff Weapon> Always love the fight with Donnie Yen and Jet in Once Upon a Time in China 2
2)Best (short) Staff Weapon> Has to be under the train in Drunken Master 2 or Pedicab Driver. But Hell, Eight Diagram Pole Fighter's title pretty much speaks for itself.
3)Best Three-Sectional Staff> 36th Chamber of Shaolin (Master Killer), of course
5) Best Sword (doesn't matter type)> non HK film's, but Lone Wolf and Cub has some great "movie" swordwork

Have to really dig for those I missed,...so many great fights,... so many great fights

Last edited by Slumbering Fist; 07-14-01 at 01:35 PM.
Old 07-14-01, 09:31 AM
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Re: weapons

Originally posted by elengineer

1) Best (long) Staff Weapon
2) Best (short) Staff Weapon
3) Best Three-Sectional Staff
4) Best Spear
5) Best Sword (doesn't matter type)
6) Best Kwan-Do (thick staff with huge sword-like blade on the end)
7) Best Butterfly Swords

My personal votes (subject to change) are

1)*
2)*
3) Shaolin Master Killer
4)*
5)*
6) Dirty Ho
7) Shaolin Master Killer

elengineer----hey, when it comes to old-school discussions---the more the merrier .

Actually, I would agree with the choices you made, and my list would be:

1-(Staff)-Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
2-(short staff)---none come to mind
3-(3-Sectional staff)-Shaolin Master Killer (Iaido---I'm pretty sure this is the one where he invents the 3-sectional)-also, Killer Army would be a contender for this category.
4-(Spear)-Kid with a Tatoo (1979 Shaw Brothers---Ground Zero has it out on VHS--the main villain is a spearman)
5-(sword)--Last Hurrah for Chivalry
6-(Kwan Do)-Dirty Ho
7-(Butterfly knives)-Shaolin Master Killer

Last edited by Ky-Fi; 07-14-01 at 09:33 AM.

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