Martial Arts Team-Ups of Asskickery

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 6.52.20 PM
“Hey, let’s look at some martial arts team-ups, Ti Lung.” “Okay, David.”

Tonight Yayan Ruhian teams up with director Takashi Miike in Yakuza Apocalypse. He might also team up with a frog, a vampire hunter and a vampire gangster. And last night, we saw Tony Jaa and Wu Jing team up together for justice and against terminal illness. So it seems like an excellent time to look at some Martial Arts Team Ups of Asskickery!

David Chiang and Ti Lung are the quintessential martial arts team-up. They started working together on The Young Juvenile / Dead End (1969) and worked on countless films together between then and the release of Chang Cheh’s Blood Brothers in 1973. It’s not actually countless, but since Ti Lung has currently been in 118 films and Chiang has been in 138 and is still going strong, I’m just leaving it at that. In fact, there are so many movies, I’m just going to pass along this tribute video.

After working Chiang and Ti Lung, director Chang Cheh gathered a new stable of actors including, Sun Chien, Philip Kwok Chun-Fung, Lo Meng, Lu Feng, Chiang Sheng and Johnny Wang Lung-Wei in 1978’s The Five Deadly Venoms. Here the chief of the Poison Clan (Dick Wei) explains to Yang Tieh (Chiang Sheng) the nature of his mission–and just happens to introduce the Five Deadly Venoms themselves.

Various combinations of these actors appeared together in Chang’s subsequent films, including Crippled Avengers / The Return of the Five Deadly Venoms (1978); Ten Tigers of Kwantung (1979);  Shaolin Rescuers (1979) and The Kid With The Golden Arm (1979).

One of the many pleasures of Hong Kong cinema is playing, “Recognize the Deadly Venom” in this film. For instance, Lo Meng and Philip Kwok appear in John Woo’s Hard Boiled (1992), which features a pretty sweet team-up between Chow Yun-Fat and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai. Please note how Philip Kwok dismounts his motorcycle here…

But to get back to kung fu team-ups, Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao have appeared in a bunch of movies together (and in various combinations), including Project A (1984), Wheels On Meals (1984), and Dragons Forever (1988). Here they fight Benny “The Jet” Urquidez in Dragons Forever.

Lot fewer offices and factories feature glass furniture after this kind of things.

Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung also teamed up with Lam Ching-Ying (Mr. Vampire) in one of my favorite movies, The Prodigal Son (1981).

Sammo Hung did a lot of work with the great Angela Mao Ying, and even presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award at NYAFF. When Taekwondo strikes, it’s Angela Mao Ying kicking Sammo Hung’s ass.

And Sammo even teamed up with Donnie Yen in my favorite fight in SPL (2005). (With Simon Yam Tat-Wah in peril!)

See Tony Jaa and Wu Jing team up in  SPL 2: A TIME FOR CONSEQUENCES:
Fri, Sept 18, 3:30 PM BLOOR HOT DOCS
Sun, Sept 20, 6:30 PM SCOTIABANK 2

Meanwhile, Yayan Ruhian teams up with Takashi Miike in YAKUZA APOCALYPSE:
Fri, Sept 18, 11:59 PM RYERSON
Sat, Sept 19, 3:00 PM SCOTIABANK

This post originally appeared on the official blog of the Midnight Madness program at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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