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Kung Fu Fridays: Vengeance
Colin Geddes presents 10 of the most kick-ass kung-fu classics from the Shaw Brothers, one of the most revered Hong Kong film studios.
Vengeance / 報仇
Director: Chang Cheh
Cast: Ti Lung, David Chiang, Wang Ping, Alice Au Yin-Ching, Ku Feng
Hong Kong, 1970, 98 minutes
Mandarin with English subtitles
After breaking box-office records with such swordplay films as One-Armed Swordsman and Golden Swallow, Chang Cheh began a gradual transition into the realm of unarmed combat with this ultra-violent revenge drama, which features David Chiang and Ti Lung (the director’s preferred heroes during this phase of his work) in their first film together. Ti Lung plays a dignified Beijing Opera performer whose brutal murder at the hands of a local gang launches his mysterious, white-suited brother (a relentless, wraithlike Chiang) on a path of bloody retribution. Watching Chang’s fighters flipping and diving across the screen, armed with knives, butterfly swords, and bare fists, it’s easy to see how Vengeance served as a major influence on the climactic battle between The Bride (Uma Thurman) and the Crazy 88 in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1, as well as the Axe Gang in Stephen Chow’s Kung Fu Hustle.