BACK LIKE BAD HAIRLINES FOR THE MASSES!!!
Yep, had a bit of a slight hiatus but because you have been patient, here's the next installment of THE DIRTY 30!! Thirty of the best fight scenes in martial arts cinema according to Hai!Karate! Judging from the response we got, it appears we're on the right track. If you missed out on it(and shame on ya if that's the case), check out the first installment right HERE.So let's get into these next scenes posthaste - but first, a reminder of the criteria is below:
CRITERIA: For the scenes making this list, there's a couple of factors. The first being, standalone quality. How do they hold up if taken out of their picture and seen by itself? The second factor is, how finely choreographed it is. The third? The overall wow factor. That zone you get into when seeing these scenes and how it sticks with you.
Even the most casual of martial arts movie fans will instantly find themselves hyped up beyond belief once you hear the first notes of the music accompanying this scene. It's one of THE best opening film scenes of the genre, and one that is a calling card of the Shaw Brothers Studios worldwide. Now of course, when you got the VHS version stemming from what was televised stateside, you were missing about 15 or so seconds. That time included the title and opening movements of the Shaolin monks before the rogue Wu Tang monk engaged. And of course who can forget one of the ultimate lines ever uttered in the genre:
"I MAY HAVE BEEN EXPELLED, BUT I'M STILL THE BEST!! WU TANG!!!"
This gem got covered at length here already but the scene of Angela whooping natural ass in the ring - as a woman - earns a spot on the list because of its historical impact and because hey, it's another way for her to flex on her opponents. Observe:
Jet Li, the man, the legend. One of the pre-eminent talents in kung fu cinema to have ever graced the screen. In this film, he takes on a role he's most beloved for in the genre, that of the legendary hero Wong Fei Hung. Now of course, this is a kind of a standalone picture from the Once Upon A Time In China series that he did with famed director Tsui Hark initially. But in this film, with Yuen Wo-Ping at the helm, Jet gets to really work his creative side. Hence the scene where he becomes the "Iron Rooster." All of that is a prelude to his final fight against the corrupt magistrate Lui Yat Siu, played by Alan Chui Chung-San. Fei Hung gets his feet severely damaged by a cunning trick by Yat Siu, and so to turn the tide in his favor he downs a huge jug of wine. Which is out of character for Fei Hung, who's sworn off drinking. But what ensues is a brusque, yet well-crafted final fight scene that fully takes advantage of Jet Li's incomparable acrobatic ability and fighting prowess - with a little shit-talking thrown in for good measure.
Listen. There's a couple of you so-called Jackie Chan fans out there who haven't even heard of this scene. Yes, there are - trust me, I've gotten one or two gray hairs out of being frustrated at their lack of knowledge. But all that aside, this is one of those fight scenes that makes you really wonder how hard that Jackie and Benny went at each other. I mean, the sheer force of the blows that get landed in this scene still make me yell at the screen every time I see it. One of THE best mixed-martial arts battles ever put on screen in the 80's era. But hey, check it out for yourself and see if I'm lying. Oh and at 1:51 - JEEEBUS
Eastern Condors is one of my favorite martial arts flicks in that it showcases the great talents of Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao in a contemporary setting along with having quite a few WTF moments throughout the movie. You also can't beat the cameos. But anyway, this film about Asian prisoners-of-war enlisted to help the U.S. blow up a secret arms cache in Vietnam to gain their freedom is really off the chain. And this final fight between Sammo's leading man and the villainous Viet Cong general played by veteran actor Yuen Wah is a fine blend of slapstick and deadly serious battle that uses everything in the ammo dump. And to be clear - Sammo's long tradition of demanding realness in these scenes will make you truly wince a couple of times while watching this fight. You'll also ask how Wah's suit managed to stay without sweat stains as long as it did up until near the end.
That's it for now Hai!Karate fans...until the next installment, walk good!!!