Hot Dayum! Here’s a rad ass kung fu movie I recently checked out that deserves some serious love yet remains all but forgotten by most here in the USA. If you dig comic books and kung fu I say you gotta take a moment to check out…
Operation Scorpio, aka The Scorpion King (1991)
This unique Hong Kong kung Fu movie from 1991 is barrel of zany fun. It’s jam packed with some truly stunning action and hyper-crazy early 1990’s Kung Fu mayhem!! This one’s got a ton of heart and a cool ass story about a comic book artist, Yu Shu, who’s got a wild ass imagination and spends his time daydreaming of being a real life superhero. It opens with a great sequence that perfectly sets the stage for the frantic charming martial arts extravaganza. His wild imagination gets the best of him when his ‘in class cartooning’ soon gets him expelled from medical school leaving him to help his Uncle’s buddy, Master Yat around his popular noodle restaurant. But Yu soon finds himself fully wrapped up in the evil web of a criminal prostitution ring, when going out on a limb, he helps a woman escape from their stronghold late one evening while walking about town. Now the duo are on the run and take shelter hiding out in Master Yat’s noodle house, they’ll eventually find a lot more than noodle’s in his bustling restaurant.
Shit gets pretty awesome as the movie constantly introduces us to a colorful cast of unique characters and the villain’s seemingly superhuman fighting abilities inspire our main character to take a stab at kung fu himself. He secretly heads off to local martial arts school that’s taught by one of the most bad ass, muscle bound kung fu experts I’ve ever seen in cinema. This dude rivals Bolo Yueng! The movie plays out a bit like a comic book version of “My Bodyguard” & “The Karate Kid” and it’s filled with comedy, romance and downright incredible martial arts sequences. Sonny, (The Scorpion King), the lanky villain of the movie, shows that size clearly doesn’t matter when it comes to superhuman kung fu and proves himself to be quite a cinematic threat to anyone who stands in his way. His “scorpion” style of fighting is a treat to see in action as well and one of the best action scenes is when Yu’s Hulking kung fu teacher decides to try and put an end to his problems himself. This truly epic and a bit of a heartbreaking confrontation is definitely not to be missed..
We’ve got a ton of cool shit going on in this one & one of the most entertainingly cheezy sequences of the movie involves the rigorous kung fu training endured by Yu as he masters martial arts through a full on noodle making work out. We’ve got some great twists and turns in the plot as well and just about everything in this movie is quirky enough to elevate this one to a level of it’s own in the ranks of late 80’s early 90’s martial arts movies. Cool sets, ultra colorful characters, superhuman kung fu, heart and unique little story drive this movie into territory I wasn’t even aware existed in the genre. Operation Scorpio, aka ‘The Scorpion King’ is a total treat for any comic book fan and it’s no wonder the flick was produced by the legendary Sammo Hung. It stands on it’s own and really deserves a lot more attention and notoriety for it’s pure charm and ultra endearing cheez factor it delivers. Seek this one out, as it really is a forgotten gem…
I just recently started reading The Shaolin Cowboy from Dark Horse Comics and so far it’s a blast. I’ve been familiar with the title and years ago browsed through the comic thinking that for the art alone, that it looked like something that I’d love to read. Well about six years ago was when the seventh and at that time the last issue was released. I forgot about the book, and honestly with comic books being around four bucks a pop it sometimes isn’t a matter of wanting to read a title, but choosing what I can afford. If it were up to me I’d be reading or trying out dozens of titles weekly.
Well last month I saw The Shaolin Cowboy was back in a new mini series and this time I decided to give it a shot as honestly I’ve had a hard time getting into my favorite superhero books lately for whatever reason. Well I’m happy to say the book is delivering on a different level than I’m used to. Shaolin Cowboy doesn’t really seem to have a real plot, I could tell this by the weird “the story so far” section that preceded issue #1. The comic book is a strange dream like tale that is a real feast for the eyes! It’s artist Geoff Darrow is hands down one of the best, if not the best in the industry.
Issue #2 was a surreal treat, it featured thirty three straight pages of zombie carnage as the Shaolin Cowboy hacks, slashes, punches and kicks his way through a horde of undead, swinging a bo staff rigged with two chainsaws on each end. It’s a beautiful massacre and not a word is spoken in all thirty three pages. Darrow has claimed this book is his excuse to “draw whatever he wants” and the character “does whatever he wants”, I say that’s more than ok with me, I’ll be back for issue 3 and hopefully the last seven issues will be released in a trade soon.
Lastly, while reading the recent issue I’ve decided that they should consider making a movie based on this book. It’s clearly evident that The Shaolin Cowboy should be played by Sammo Hung. He’s the perfect age and look for the part, and I can only imagine him choreographing these bizarre fight scenes. From Sammo’s back catalog of weird ass movies I’d say he’d be perfect for the part and hell maybe even as director. I said it here first!
It’s pretty much common fact this day and age that ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ is one of the coolest movies ever made. Anyone wanna disagree with me here? It pretty much stands alone as one of the best, most original movies that John Carpenter has ever done and defies any real genre. Carpenter must be a genius right?!
Most likely that’s true, but even genius minds get inspired to create awesome things often from some other source. Sometimes though these brilliant minds can unintentionally take full credit for something great. So I wanted to take a quick minute to address just what movie was indeed the inspiration behind ‘Big Trouble’. Ever heard of “Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain“? I didn’t think so!
This rad Hong Kong flick from from 1983 was indeed the inspiration for Carpenter’s masterpiece! John Carpenter has gone on record several times citing this movie as his inspiration for his 1986 feature film. Yep this little known special effects driven flick was what got Carpenter’s mind reelin’ to eventually compose “Big Trouble in Little China”. This one is an unknown gem, at least here in the United States where it’s extremely hard to find. Director Tsui Hark, who was attempting to break out a s a superstar, attempted to mix the kind of mythological adventures that were popular at the time, with a more Hollywood approach and more western stylized special effects work.
Even more impressive was that he brought in the people behind Star Wars for technical special effects assistance. Add in my favorite chinese actor Sammo Hung and you’ve got quite a stellar movie! So go check it for yourself but keep in mind that there was a remake (which wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as the original) and if you loved ‘Big Trouble’ eat your heart out with this one! Hong Kong cinema in the 1980’s was a ton of fun!
Here is the FULL movie uploaded to Youtube!!
Well it was my birthday recently and I decided it was time to add some new gems to my dvd collection! So these here movies are recommendations for every dork’s collection! So let’s not waste any time here, these are what I scored! All of these are available on dvd-though you may have to do a little searching around…
First up is Neon Maniacs-I will tell you right off the bat this movie is BAD! But bad in a very good way! As you can tell from the trailer this one has got all the goods for a terribly bad good 80’s horror flick!
Next I got Return to Oz Continue reading
Last night I had the pleasure of viewing an amazing movie I had never seen before from the 80’s! Spooky Encounters was something that had sat in my online que for months until it finally arrived for me in the mail. What I saw was one of the coolest horror comedies of the 80’s! I guess for me it was so rad because I have never really seen a movie quite like it-kinda like Sam Raimi directing a kung fu movie back when he still made unique and exciting cinema ( I suppose he redeemed himself with Drag Me to Hell-but it takes alot to recover from Spider-man 3!).
It’s pretty much got all that you need, great kung fu, a great soundtrack, ghosts, kung fu zombies and Sammo Hung’s (the movie’s star) comedic genius! So much that it’s jumped to the top of my list of dvd purchases! Continue reading