There may be an abundance of martial arts movies, but the quality ones are certainly few and far between.
One of my all time favorites is Shogun Assassin, which was released in the States by Universal in 1980, and it is not only ultra bloody and action packed, but it had a really engaging story narrated by the shogun warrior’s baby son, a unique touch you’ve never seen in a chop socky flick before.
Talk of bringing Lone Wolf and Cub back has been going around for some time, and I’m sure Kill Bill brining interest back in old school martial arts films has a lot to do with it being redone, and now Deadline reports that the father and son kung fu team will indeed be back through a company called Kamala Films, and David and Janet Peoples, the screenwriting team who also gave us Blade Runner, Unforgiven and Twelve Monkeys will be writing the script. (Now for the bad news, Justin Lin, director of Fast Five, is on board to helm).
There are also reports that the ABC TV show Kung Fu may become a feature film, with Bill Paxton, who we all know and love from Weird Science, Aliens, and many other films, potentially directing. According to Deadline, Legendary, who also gave us The Dark Knight, is putting it together, hoping it will start shooting next summer in China. This will be Paxton’s third time in the director’s chair, having previously helmed Frailty and The Greatest Game Ever Played.
Although it hasn’t been around in years, you may recall growing up with the Kung Fu, starring the late David Carradine, either when it was first on ABC from 1972 to 1975, or in re-runs. The most memorable part of the show for me was the intro, a blind old man telling his young “Grasshopper,” “When you can snatch the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.” Carradine finally gets fast enough to beat the old man’s slight of hand, and begins wandering the world, going from adventure to adventure.
Searching on YouTube, there’s a series of clips of the show’s wisdom called The Tao of Kung Fu, and the show included such bon mots as, “The wise always remain humble,” “Peace is prized above victory,” “Peace lies in the man who walks the path,” and “Nature is always impartial.” I also love the scene where Carradine says to the master, “I am puzzled.” “That is the beginning of wisdom,” he replies.