Kick'em In The Ghoulies

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Snakes Christmas Top Ten Films 

Yes its me, Sertes Nake, and here I give you ten films to view at Christmas. But these are not your average top ten Christmas films, these have kick, and by that I mean at some point during the film theres going to be a fight. 
But without just picking a bevvy of fighters we all know are good to watch, here I am being a bit more choosey. Here the films are fun, often funny or comical or even just have the big brash colourful ending. But above all voilence is kept to a minimum, remember Martial arts is not violent, but the way it can be portayed can be. 

I'm going for a feel good factor here, fun films that you would not think of as Christmas films but surely are.

Again as with the previous top ten I will be counting down from ten to one.

NO'10 - Monster Hunt - 2015

Monster Hunt is the newest film here, but that's not to say that its not a classic. Its a Chinese film by Director Ramen Hui. The story is based on old stories by Pu Songling.

The story evolves around  ancient times and the world  has realms where Humans and Monsters live.

The story starts when the King of the Monster realm is dethroned and his his mate takes sanctury in the Human realm.

With Special effects by the team behind SHREK, Monster Hunt is a visual feast. It stars Bai Baihe and Jing Boran.

It truly is one of the best Films to come out of China in recent years.

Read our review for the full lowdown. 

There is a sequel as well with new cast members as well.

NO'9- Shaolin Soccer - 2001

Stephen Chow is quite well known in the West partly due to this film, but probably more so for his later film Kung-Fu Hustle. 

I enjoyed KFH, but my personal choice and a better film in my opinion is Shaolin Soccer. Now I was well versed on Stephen Chow's films prior to viewing this and he has made some off the wall hilarious films over the years.

But Shaolin Soccer is actually the first film about Soccer I have seen, and it is one of the most fun movies I have ever seen. 

And this from a person who does not like Soccer in any way, I dont watch it, I dont care about it. And I dont understand the obsession with it.

But any how Stephen Chow plays  a young man who gets noticed by a has-been Soccer star ( Ng Man Tat) who has fallen on hard times. 

After seeing Chow kick a drinks can with presicion and power , Tat convinces him to be part of a new Soccer team to go compete at  the nationals. The team though is a handful of unexperianced men in their later years who each have a particular ability which Ng Man Tat thinks he can utilise.

Add in the co- starring role of Vicki Zhou Wei who plays a Hot Bun maker and the results are hilarious. 

When I first got this film on DVD many years ago I must have watched it three or four times in the space of about a week. 

It truly is ingenius .

NO'8 - The Fearless Hyena - 1979

So why have a I included a classic Kung Fu movie as a Christmas film, well this is one of the most off the wall films Jackie Chan has ever starred in, it's a advert for Chan's comedic persona which he directs, as well as starring in and writing the screenplay.

Released in 1979 Chan depicts a Young student to his Grandfather ( James Tien)  who teaches him Kung fu. But being a young lad he gets up to msichievious acts and ends up working as a heavy for a Martial arts school whose leader is inept in Kung fu. He uses Chan to beat-up any challengers, and Chan does so using a range of styles from depicting a Mentally retarded man, a Women and using emotional Kung fu to hilarious effect.

This of course lands Chan in trouble when his style is spotted by enemy of his Grandfather.

And with the recent re-release of the film by 88films on Bluray there's no better time to watch Fearless Hyena.

NO'7 - My Lucky Stars - 1985

Before the Expendables came the Lucky Stars, Sammo Hung's hilarious slapstick comedy about a gang of petty crooks who have gone their seperate ways. Sammo Plays Kidstuff whose serving time and gets duped by the police to help them catch a criminal mastermind. Though the film worldwide is depicted as a Jackie Chan film, Chan's role is more of a surporting character. The film also stars Sammo and Jackie's classmate Yuen Biao in a small role with the likes of Richard NG, Eric Tsang, Sibelle Hu and Charlie Chin taking the larger roles. 

Action Choreography was by Yuen Biao and the Late Lam Ching-Ying who also stars.

The Lucky Stars films are comparable to the the earlier Aces Go Places films which where popular and both series of films have that slapstick Buster Keaton and Carry-On film vibe. But they just contain a good helping of Martial arts action as well.

Of note* The first three films are available on Bluray in a triple boxset in the UK from Eureka Entertainment.

NO'6 - Skinny Tiger Fatty Dragon - 1990

Out of all the Bruce Lee impersonators, the most perfected player is not any of those Bruceploytation actors but one of Bruce Lee's friends, Yes Sammo Hung gives a steller performance as Bruce Lee in the fight stakes throughout Skinny Tiger Fatty Dragon.

Sammo had previously portrayed a Bruce Lee persona in the 70's film Enter the Fat Dragon where he plays a Bruce Lee fanatic who is fed up with all the imitators. 

Here he plays a cop whose partnered with his money pinching friend played by Karl Maka. Together there on the trail of some nasty drug dealers and using some very un-authorised ways go about creating havoc for the criminals and the Police Force. 

But that's OK as we get to see Sammo bust some heads Bruce Lee style where the two cops go up-agianst Transvestite Assassins, Alsations, and face of against the likes of Mark Houghton and Lau Kar-Wing.

Of note this has been picked up for a Bluray release in the UK in 2022 by Eureka Entertainment

NO'5- Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain - 1983

Tsui Hark's epic fantasy adventure is best viewed on the biggest screen possible to take in all the visual splender of this movie.

Starring Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung, Moon Lee, Brigette Lin, Adam Cheng and many others including Corey Yuen Kwei who also is responsible for the action choreography.

It follows the exploits of a band of Monks and a Soldier among others set out on a journey to find celestial swords to avert a immortal being succombed to a evil force.

From stand out battles, high wire stunts and a  all out visual showpiece Zu Warriors is a must own for Hong Kong film fans.

The film was also influential in the making of Big Trouble in Little China- 1986

Whats more there's even a recent Bluray available of the film for that added visual splendour.

NO'4 - Fight Back to School - 1991

Stephen Chow's  Fight Back to School is one of those off the wall type films that only only Stephen Chow could make. Chow plays a detective whose told by his Boss to go undercover as a student at a local school to track down the Bossess firearm which has been stolen.

His contact his his Uncle played by the late Richard Ng Man Tat who gets a job as a janitor at the school. Being that Chow has no comprehension about modern day schooling he often gets detention and fouls up most things as he tries to uncover the whereabouts of the missing weapon, only to uncover a bigger problem when he finds out a local criminal is dealling drugs at the school.

Its Stephen Chow's abilty to find the comical element in most things that's so good here, you will be rolling up in laughter at times, especially  the banter between Chow, and Ng Man Tat. But amongst all this madness Chow still finds ways to add in the action, and it comes thick and fast. 

NO'3 - Cutey Honey - 2004

Now come on, we all like cute Japanese Anime and what better then a Live action film featuring Eriko Sato as a cute Powerful super heroine, think of Power Rangers or Kamen Rider and your know what to expect.

This one of these fun Japanese films with loads of colour and eye poppping visuals. So a real Christmas movie in my book.

Based on a 70's Manga of the same name, Eriko Sato plays one Honey Kisaragi whose father builds her a Andriod body after a terrible accident befalls her. 

This new Android body has powers where she can manifest into various forms, one being that of a Sword weilding warrior.

If it all seems familiar the more recent Alita Battle Angel has a storyline not the same, but definetly with elements similar.

One of my favourite Japanese films.

NO'2 - Aces Go Places -1982

Before the Lucky Stars came to be, Samuel Hui and Karl Maka were making comedy caper films which were runaway hits. 

Directed By legend Eric Tsang, Hui plays Kong a thief who teams up with Baldy ( Karl Maka) to recover some stolen gems. Sylvia Chang stars as a Police Suprintendant. Also look out for Dean Shek in a small role.

The Aces Go Places films are a series of crime caper films with tones of James Bond and all wrapped up in some of the best comedy from the far east. 

In all their are 5 films in the series, ending in 1989.

There is a reboot film called 97 Aces Go Places directed by Chin-Kar Lok and starring Alan Tam and Tony Leung Chiu Wai.

But the original is a blast and so much fun..

NO'1 - MIRACLES - 1989

Jackie Chan's magnum opus from 1989 is a lavish production based on the legendary Pocketful of Miracles. Jackie plays a country bumpkin whose gone to the city to make his fortune only to be accidently named as a successor to a crime syndicate.

Set in 1930's Shanghai the sets are lovingly created, Jackie's direction is sublime, especially the single one take shot through the Hotel, it was a marvel how he pulled it off and shows Jackie knows his stuff.

Also starring the late Anita Mui as Jackie's love interest who gets a job paying of a debt with Jackie in his newly opened nightclub.

Also on hand is the brilliant Wu-Ma and Richerd Ng as the bumbling detective out to catch Jackie out.

In the end the film is about doing the right thing and not being selfish, and that a good deed will stand you in good stead even though it may cuase you more probems then you bargained for.

If ever a Martial arts film could be called a Christmas film, then this is it. It will make you laugh, cry, smile, and laugh again as your whisked away into a world of a forgotton time where everyone dressed to impress. 

Also Miracles is available on BluRay in the UK in a special editon  restored edit by 88Films.