The 1970s must have been a terrifying time to be alive. Not only were we dealing with the end of the Vietnam War and entering into a period of economic malaise, but literally everyone was kung fu fighting. And if Carl Douglas is to be believed, those kicks were fast as lightning. As someone who doesn’t want to fight or get lightning kicked, I prefer my kung fu to be on the silver screen rather than within striking distance. And we have a feeling that you do too, which is why we’ve launched a brand new film series entitled Shaw Brothers Kung Fu Theatre on Alpha, Nerdist and Geek & Sundry’s new streaming service. Over 8 weeks, we’ll be screening some of the greatest kung fu films ever made brought to you by the studio that popularized the genre, with live commentary by Nerdist associate editor Kyle Anderson, me, and a host of special guests too!
From films like Five Deadly Venoms to The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and beyond, we’re going to give you a crash course in some of the finest cuts from the Shaw Brothers Studio vault. So, in honor of the martial arts mayhem about to unfold over the next two months, I’ve put together a primer on some of the greatest kung fu films ever made. Whether you’re a newcomer to the genre or a lifelong fan, these are essential viewing for increasing your kung fu IQ.Which of these kung fu flicks have you seen? What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below, then be sure to tune in Friday nights on Alpha to join Kyle Anderson and me for new episodes of Shaw Brothers Kung Fu Theatre at 7:30PM PT.
Image: Warner Bros.
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Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about Star Wars and the Avengers. Follow him on Twitter and ask him about all things TV ( @Osteoferocious).