Remember last year’s Old School Kung Fu Fest? Well, for one year it has slumbered in its grave. Now, lurching up out of the earth, it lives again – hungry for the flesh of the living! Presenting seven brand new flicks – and the return of two audience favorites – in a merry martial melody of unmitigated mayhem and shock-tacular kung fu cultism this is the one film festival that isn’t scared to rip off its shirt, flex its pecs, and kick your butt. An oasis of guilty pleasures in a city robbed of fun, the fest presents the return to the silver screen of the lean, mean, entertainment machines that ruled the silver screen in the 70’s and 80’s.
Kicking off with Sammo Hung’s posh wing chun epic, “The Prodigal Son,” considered by many to be the greatest martial arts movie ever made, the program continues with doses of just about everything Hong Kong has ever had to offer. The legendary Lau Kar-leung directs the incendiary Jet Li in “Martial Arts of Shaolin” (Li’s third picture). The Five Deadly Venoms are back in the “I’ve got no arms, but you’ve got no legs” revenge saga, “Crippled Avengers,” while Peter Cushing and David Chiang star in the Shaw Brothers/Hammer Studios collaboration “Seven Brothers Meet Dracula.” The Yuen Clan, made up of Yuen Wo-ping (The Matrix, Iron Monkey, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and his four brothers, weigh in with their masterpiece, “Dreadnaught,” starring the 76-year-old Kwan Tak-hing, and with their freak-out high-impact acid trip, ”
Taoism Drunkard.” An undiscovered gem, “Mar’s Villa,” is here along with the ode to women who beat you up without using their arms, “The Leg Fighters.” Even Japan gets in on the act, with screenings of the grindhouse version of the classic “Lone Wolf and Cub” series, “Shogun Assassin.”
Subway Cinema is a film programming collective, based in New York City, that is committed to increasing exposure and appreciation for Asian films, which have been traditionally overlooked by mainstream American critics and distributors. The Old School Kung Fu Fest 2001 is their seventh event. This year alone they have presented Once Upon A Time in Hong Kong: A Tsui Hark Retrospective, and this summer’s When Korean Cinema Attacks! Each event was attended by an enthusiastic crowd, who packed the house, tore off the roof, and vowed they’d be back for more.
The Old School Kung Fu Fest 2001 takes place November 8 – December 15, 2001 at Cinema Village (22 East 12th Street, between University and Fifth Avenue).
For more info and a complete screening schedule, call 212-924-3364 or visit the official Old School Kung Fu Fest 2001 web site.
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