“Master, Master, teach me Kung fu.”
“Kung fu is not child’s play. You have to work very hard.”
The Master is usually a drunkard and the pupil inevitably has to climb up steep slopes with buckets of water, as a part of the “hard work.” Often the pupil is a weakling who gets beaten up by the toughies and seeks refuge with the Master. Sometime in between the Master or someone close to the pupil gets killed and the pupil goes out to seek revenge. The adversaries are also masters of the ancient art of Kung fu, therefore it is tough to beat them. But the Master had taught the pupil one masterstroke, usually known by some amusing name, such as “Snake in the Monkey’s Shadow.” And this is what does the trick when everything seems to be lost in the climax fight. There would also exist a love interest, another exponent of the martial arts and wooing involves some fisticuffs and flying kicks.
Most martial arts movies we watched as a kid were somewhat on these lines. Watched numerous of them, we did. Whenever we planned a night’s stay at a friend’s a martial arts movie was a must (other popular genres during our teenage pyjama parties were horror, comedy and adult. No romantic films). The movements were so fast that our eyes could hardly make anything of them and the stunts so impossible for us to even think of emulating, yet we enjoyed them. The action and the humour. Kung fu shoes were a style statement and entire afternoons were spent in perfecting that roundhouse kick and nunchaku (we also called it twin stick) occupied a place of pride on the bedroom wall. Evenings were spent debating the feats of Bruce Lee and the conspiracy behind his death (some believed that he was still around). Jackie Chan wasn’t enigmatic as the Big Lee, but he sure was funny.
3. The Crippled Masters
5. Drunken Master
6. The Karate Kid
8. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
9. Kung Fu Hustle
10. Fist of Legend