5 of the Best 80’s Hong Kong Golden Age Films You Need to Own
People love action movies — it's just wired into our consciousness. But many people don't know that some of the best action movies out there weren't made in America.
One of the greatest cultural hubs of action cinema of all time is Hong Kong — particularly in the 70's and 80's.
Understanding the best Hong Kong action movies is key to understanding where action films are today. Many directors cite this period as being extremely influential to them.
Hong Kong cinema from this period is legendary. The indie, low-budget, any-means-necessary spirit, combined with the legendarily well-trained Hong Kong actors makes these classic wuxia movies extremely distinctive.
This article will walk you through some of the best early 80's Hong Kong films.
- Clan of the White Lotus
CLAN OF THE WHITE LOTUS (1980) is a Hong Kong kung fu action film produced by the legendary Shaw Brothers Studio (the studio behind the immortal 36th CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN that influenced album names and samples from hip hop group The Wu Tang Clan).
It is the follow up to EXECUTIONERS FROM SHAOLIN, and is an essential slice of kung fu cinema that was a hugely inspirational film for the young aspiring film-maker Quentin Tarantino.
- Legendary Weapons of China
LEGENDARY WEAPONS OF CHINA (1982) is another Shaw Brothers Studio classic. The film was directed by Lau Kar Leung, who also stars in the film alongside Gordon Liu (the star of 36th Chamber) and Kara Wai.
Gordon Liu is an absolute icon in the world of Hong Kong Cinema, playing the role of Pai Mei in Tarantino's tribute to this cinematic world — Kill Bill.
- Wheels on Meals
WHEELS ON MEALS (1984) is an action-comedy classic featuring Hong Kong all-timer Jackie Chan.
This movie features several of the greatest Hong Kong movie stars. Sammo Hung plays a key role (Magnificent Butcher, Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon).
Jackie Chan switches between a goofy, lovable comic action-star to serious persona in the final fight in this film — between Jackie and real life martial arts master Bennie "The Jet" Urquidez; perhaps one of the greatest fights ever put to screen and reveals Jackie's mastery of fight choreography.
- The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
THE EIGHT DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER (1984) is yet another martial arts classic from the team of Lau Kar Leung and Gordon Liu. This one does get the respect and attention it deserves. In fact, it's known as one of the greats from this era.
Liu stars as a vengeful master who'll stop at nothing to achieve his goals. If you want to see some of the most vicious fights from this era, we can't recommend this film enough.
- Police Story
Another Jackie Chan film entry, Jackie Chan's POLICE STORY (1985) isn't just a great 80's Hong Kong action film — it's one of the best action films of all time. There's no better film to illustrate why Jackie Chan is a film legend. He didn't just star in this film, he directed it and the success of this first Police Story film started a franchise that is still going on today; notably the third instalment, SUPERCOP, also stars a young Michelle Yeoh (EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE).
The movie features some great fights and stunts throughout. The opening car chase and the mid-point comedic pencil sequence stand out. This film is truly legendary for its final fifteen minutes of no-holds-barred non-stop action.
Jackie Chan never used CGI, did all his own stunts, and was a rigid perfectionist in his meticulous choreography. This doesn't show anywhere better than in Police Story. This sequence culminates in what could just be the deadliest stunt in an action movie.
Don't forget all the out-takes at the end of this film as well!
Watch the Best Hong Kong Films
Above are some of the greatest Hong Kong Acting movies of all time. Terracotta Distribution carries the best Asian classics out there for you to enjoy.
For more films like these great Hong Kong films, check out our films and simplify your search by using our Menu navigation "GENRE" category to find all the action films and exactly what you are looking for.