Kung Fu HD, the first and only 24/7 high-definition channel dedicated to martial arts cinema is airing 60 restored Shaw Brothers classics each night at 8pm ET through September and October. Classics such as VENGEANCE!, HEROES TWO and THE BOXER FROM SHANTUNG are being shown uncut, commercial-free and in 1080i high definition widescreen.
NEW YORK, NY (August 27, 2008) – KUNG FU HD – the first and only 24/7 high-definition channel dedicated to the intense fighting action and cinematography which have elevated the Kung Fu film to pop culture eminence – continues its mastery of the genre by presenting the U.S. high-definition premieres of 60 classic films from the legendary Hong Kong-based Shaw Brothers Studio. Each night at 8PM ET through September and October, KUNG FU HD will premiere one of these masterpieces of martial arts and wuxia – all transferred to 1080i high definition.
The entire month of September pays homage to “The Godfather of Hong Kong Cinema,” Chang Cheh. The best-known and most prolific of the Shaw Brothers directors, Cheh revolutionized Hong Kong filmmaking and directed over 100 films in his celebrated career, from swordplay films (The Assassin, Golden Swallow) to kung fu films (Five Shaolin Masters, The Kid with the Golden Arm) to modern period dramas (The Boxer from Shantung) and lavish costume epics (The Water Margin, Boxer Rebellion). A pioneer of what is known by some as “heroic bloodshed” – films that emphasize brotherhood, loyalty and honor – Cheh has influenced scores of directors including John Woo, who served as an assistant director on many Cheh films. And, on nearly every night through the month, genre fans will be treated to some of his best-loved work, including:
THE WATER MARGIN (1972) – Rated R
U.S. HD Premiere on 9/1 @ 8PM ET
This sprawling affair based on the true legend of how 108 rebel heroes successfully defeated invading Sung armies on their mountain headquarters stars David Chiang, Lily Ho and Ti Lung.
VENGEANCE (1970) – NR
U.S. HD Premiere 9/2 @ 8PM ET
In the first of Cheh’s Blood Brothers movies pairing the deadly duo of David Chiang and Ti Lung, a brother seeks justice against a crime boss who killed his brother. Vengeance was a watershed movie of Hong Kong martial arts cinema that defined Cheh’s cinematic approach for years.
THE BRAVE ARCHER (1977) – Rated R
U.S. HD Premiere 9/5 @ 8PM ET
Following his father’s death, Kuo Ching (Fu Sheng) is raised and trained during the Sung dynasty by a group of kung fu experts. This film, the first in the Brave Archer series, was one of the first to usher in Cheh’s “Venom Mob,” a group of actors/choreographers/weapons experts who would go on to star in many of his films.
GOLDEN SWALLOW (1968) – NR
U.S. HD Premiere on 9/13 @ 8PM ET
Golden Swallow (Pei-pei Cheng) finds her peaceful life shattered when an unrequited suitor starts a killing spree in her name. As she tries to clear her good name, the two men in her life also race towards a final showdown. Hsin-yen Chao and Lo Lieh also star in this swordplay epic, a follow-up to King Hu’s wuxia classic Come Drink with Me, which was originally known as The Girl with the Thunderbolt Kick in the U.S.
THE BOXER FROM SHANTUNG (1972) – Rated R
U.S. HD Premiere on 9/15 @ 8PM ET
After heading to Shanghai for a better life, a boxer quickly gains fame and fortune and falls into a ring of corruption and gang warfare. Ching Lee and David Chiang star in this film, one of the first on which John Woo served as assistant director.
BLOOD BROTHERS (1973) – NR
U.S. HD Premiere 9/17 @ 8PM ET
Blood Brothers tells of one of the most sensational scandals in Chinese history, the assassination of a provincial governor (Ti Lung) by his lieutenant and sworn brother (David Chiang).
THE NEW ONE ARMED SWORDSMAN (1973) – Rated R
U.S. HD Premiere on 9/23 @ 8PM ET
David Chiang and Ti Lung star in this sequel to Cheh’s classic The One Armed Swordsman. Here, the revenge plot which forms the basis of nearly every Cheh film receives particularly vivid treatment, with the crippled Chiang out to avenge the murder of Ti, who has been viciously murdered.
THE ASSASSIN (1967) – Rated R
U.S. HD Premiere on 9/26 @ 8PM ET
Yu is a two-armed swordsman who is betrayed by a jealous rival, but initially seeks a life of simple pleasures until an accidental meeting with another patriot sets him back on the road to bloody, brutal vengeance.
FIVE SHAOLIN MASTERS (1974) – Rated R
U.S. HD Premiere on 9/28 @ 8PM ET
Shaolin renegades fight against their Manchu oppressors and traitorous collaborators. David Chiang, Ti Lung, Meng Fei star.
Other Shaw Brothers films premiering in high-definition during the month of September include SHAOLIN HAND LOCK (9/3), SHAOLIN ABBOT (9/4), THE BRAVE ARCHER 2 (9/6), BRAVE ARCHER 3 (9/7), SHAOLIN MARTIAL ARTS (9/8), THE DUEL (9/9), SHAOLIN MANTIS (9/10), FIVE ELEMENTS NINJAS (9/11), ALL MEN ARE BROTHERS (9/12), CHINATOWN KID (9/14), SHAOLIN TEMPLE (9/16), INVINCIBLE SHAOLIN (9/18), THE KID WITH THE GOLDEN ARM (9/19), THE HEROIC ONES (9/20), HEROES TWO (9/21), MEN FROM THE MONASTERY (9/22), THE NEW ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN (9/23), THE DEADLY DUO (9/24), LIFE GAMBLE (9/25), FOUR RIDERS (9/27), DISCIPLES OF SHAOLIN (9/29) and THE DELIGHTFUL FOREST (9/30).
As with all films airing on KUNG FU HD, these premieres will all be presented uncut, in high-definition, and commercial-free in their original aspect ratios. KUNG FU HD is available in the U.S. Cablevision’s iO digital cable service (channel 776).
About KUNG FU HD (www.kungfuhd.com)
Welcome to the Wild, Wild East, where blazing fists and super chop-socky action rule the land with KUNG FU HD. The first and only 24/7 high-definition channel featuring the intense fighting action and cinematography which have elevated the Kung Fu flick to pop-culture eminence, KUNG FU HD offers viewers an explosive slate of digitally re-mastered films starring the world’s most legendary martial arts stars – from Bruce Lee to Jet Li, and everyone in between. From the mean streets of contemporary Hong Kong to the crouching tigers of the Qing Dynasty, enter the dragon with KUNG FU HD!
Five Shaolin Masters (1974) • Golden Swallow (1968) • Shaw Brothers • The Assassin (1967) • The Blood Brothers (1973) • The Boxer from Shantung (1972) • The Brave Archer (1977) • The New One-Armed Swordsman (1971) • The Water Margin (1972) • Vengeance! (1970)