masterly master lee

a home for forgotten and famous korean pulp, its heroes, its heroines, and its pulpeteers

Archive for martial arts

Manchurian Tiger 龍虎對鍊 (1974) review

A title like this sure gets the Master going. Manchurian Tiger… with Han Yongcheol 한용철 aka Charlie Han, the guy who packs a punch and a kick or two. And directed by the dean of Korean action Lee Doo Yong 이두용.  The movie starts out great with Han extorting money from a dubious-looking character. We know we’re in Manchuria because the dubious-looking character is dressed in Chinese-style clothes (let the Master rephrase: cinema Chinese-style clothes). Action then switches to the bad guys (same clothes, mixed with Japanese-style clothes to conveniently identify who’s bad) who are kicking, punching and whipping the bejeezus out of a Read the rest of this entry »

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When Taekwondo Strikes 跆拳震九州 (1973)

Classic Taekwondo movie starring the great Jhoon Rhee (李俊九) and Angela Mao. Set during the colonial period, it tells of the tribulations Koreans went through at the hands of the merciless Japanese occupier. Some, however, fight back using Taekwondo. Now, for those who grew up watching Olympic Taekwondo, this may sound like a lost cause, but proper Taekwondo Read the rest of this entry »

The Jaws Of The Dragon aka The Fierce One (1976) review

Master Lee likes movies with James Nam because he’s such a good bad guy. So, what to think of a movie which he not only directed, but also stars in as the main good guy? Well, fortunately, the good guy here is a criminal, so James Nam can be as bad ass as he wants to be while staying in character. Read the rest of this entry »

The Kung Fu Fever 정무지보 (小師傳與大煞星) (1979)

the black dragon going at it

Another internationally coproduced product of prolific Korean martial arts flick director Kim Si-Hyun 김시현. This one stars Dragon Lee 거룡, sidekick staple Choi Min-Kyu 최민규 and the Black Dragon himself, Ron Van Clief (respect from Master Lee for the Black Dragon!). And quite rarely, Ron Van Clief is the bad guy in this movie about a lost book with the secret finger techniques of Bruce Lee (“So well-suited to a woman,” coos pretty female lead Amy Chun with what hopefully is irony). Read the rest of this entry »

Run Away 런어웨이 1995 review

Oh yummy, a very early Kim Seongsu 김성수 movie! He’s the pulp master that brought us Musa (Musa: The Warrior) 무사, There Is No Sun 태양은 없다, and Beat 비트. And this one features as martial arts director the unsurpassed Jeong Duhong 정두홍.

Yi Donghui (Yi Byeongheon 이병헌), a handsome game designer, and Choe Miran (Kim Eunjeong 김은정), a pretty free-lance illustrator (who lives in an impossibly large loft), have a steamy one-night stand, Read the rest of this entry »

American Ninja The Magnificent 아라한 1986/1988 review

khsMaster Lee is pissed off. He really is. He just went into a well-known thugs den to pick a fight (well, not just one to be honest), beat a few thugs up, get rid of some frustration and cool down a bit. He was anticipating spending an evening at home, working out, felling some trees with his bare hands and watching a new DVD he just received: American Ninja The Magnificent. Read the rest of this entry »

An Emperor Of The Underworld 암흑가의 황제 1994 review

dragonleeAn Emperor Of The Underworld, directed by Hwang Jang Lee 황정리 (who also convincingly plays the überbaddie here) is a very solid action vehicle for Dragon Lee 거룡, his chubby and funny sidekick Yi Jin-Yeong 이진영 and the very, very pretty and voluptuous Kim Mi-Yeong 김미영. Dragon and his chubby friend are ex-commando’s, forced by the police to take on evil crime lord Hwang Jang Lee. This they do. Read the rest of this entry »