MASKED AVENGERS
CHA SHOU
1981, AGFA, 92 min, Hong Kong, Dir: Chang Cheh

When a trident-wielding gang known as the Masked Avengers terrorizes the countryside, Chiang Sheng and his martial arts students vow to hunt them down. Reformed Avenger Phillip Kwok offers assistance - but there is a double agent in their midst. Featuring many familiar faces from the Venom Mob and an amazingly choreographed final battle in a booby-trapped temple, this unusually dark and bloody actioner is one of the best Shaw Brothers films of the 1980s.


CRIPPLED AVENGERS
CAN QUE
1978, AGFA, 100 min, Hong Kong, Dir: Chang Cheh

Also known as RETURN OF THE FIVE DEADLY VENOMS, this action-packed film features the same director and most of the cast of that martial arts classic, but in a completely different storyline, and it’s all the better for it. A bitter warlord and his son rule a town with (literally) iron fists, maiming all who give them the slightest offence. Four of their victims - a blinded toy salesman, a deafened blacksmith, a legless passerby and a brain-damaged swordsman train with a kung fu master to seek revenge, transforming their disabilities to advantages.


BLACK MAGIC 2
GOU HUN JIANG TOU
1976, AGFA, 85 min, Hong Kong/Singapore, Dir: Ho Meng-Hua

Ho Meng-Hua's sleazy, hilarious, creep-tastic, bonkers, turned-up-to-11, sorcery-vs-science sequel to his own BLACK MAGIC weaves the absurd tale of skeptical city doctors visiting a small village as reports pour out of bizarre inexplicable maladies plaguing the townspeople. The madness includes spell-induced zombification inflicted via squeamishly long nails in skulls, skin worms, puss, oozing sores, pulsating wounds, a breastmilk-eternal-life-elixir-consuming sorcerer, necrophilia and even more! Elevated by periodic hypnotic surrealism, gothic decor, voodoo dungeon lairs, an effortlessly cool performance from Shaw regular Lo Lieh (DIRTY HO, THE ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN), and a funkadelic soundtrack featuring the likes of Nicolas Flagello's absurdly catchy theme song “Wailing Wail,” plus “Last Bongo in Belgium” by Viner's Incredible Bongo Band (later sampled by the Beastie Boys for the track “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun”). Assuredly one of the wackiest, most unhinged slices of exploitation horror heaven from the gloriously trashy days of the Shaw Brothers, you'd have to be a mindless zombie yourself to miss this one!


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