Shout! Factory Presents: Lady Whirlwind And Hapkido (Review)


Image courtesy of Shout! Factory.

Image courtesy of Shout! Factory.

My first introduction to the wonderful world of Martial Arts film was due to a marathon of Bruce Lee films playing at the 62 Drive-In, I only was able to stay awake through two of the features but I strongly recall being enthralled by The Chinese Connection (Fist of Fury) and Enter the Dragon. Any aspirations I was harboring in my nine year old mind of becoming a martial arts master were quickly dashed when a week later while we were visiting a friend of my Father, I spied a pair of nunchaku and tried to imitate Bruce Lee…and almost broke my front teeth.

Still…I like Martial Arts films and our friends over at Shout! Factory were kind enough to let me review their upcoming double feature release of 1972′s Hapkido and Lady Whirlwind, each film starring the beautiful Angela Mao Ying (Enter the Dragon, The Invincible Eight). The films are on a single disc and feature Theatrical Trailers and English Opening Titles for Lady Whirlwind and TV Spot and Trailers plus interviews with Angela Mao Ying, Carter Wong, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao for Hapkido. The release date is for this Tuesday, April 22.

Lady Whirlwind

Lady Whirlwind stars Angela Mao Ying as Miss Tien, a mysterious woman who when we first meet her walks into a casino and earns a large amount of money on a game of dice, even with the house using loaded dice…so there seems to be something of a supernatural element…or so we are first lead to believe. We learn she is seeking a scoundrel named Ling Shih-hua, in fact she will trade all of her earned fortune if the casino operators turn him over but what happens is a whole lot of awesome kicking butt from Angela as she defends herself from the numerous thugs. We find out later that Ling Shih-hua (Chang Yi) who is presumed dead, we assume this as well since we see what looks to be his death at the beginning of the movie, actually had gotten Miss Tien’s sister pregnant and left her…which sadly caused the young woman to commit suicide. Miss Tien is now in town for revenge, sworn to kill Ling for his walking out on her sister but the young man begs her to spare his life just long for enough for him to destroy the leader of the gambling and opium syndicate. So Miss Tien and Ling grudgingly become allies as they take on the Japanese mobsters.

Lady Kung Fu - Hapkido

Hapkido takes place in 1934 and has Angela Mao Ying playing Yu Ying, a recent graduate of the school of Hapkido. She and her two friends, Fan Wei (Sammo Hung), and Kao Chang (Carter Wong) are sitting and talking in a park when some Japanese thugs show up and cause trouble. By the way, this is the first time I have had the pleasure of seeing these films and when Kao Chang is shown I almost did a double take, it IS Carter Wong…THE Carter Wong from Big Trouble In Little China!

Yeah, Thunder is in Hapkido!

Yeah, Thunder is in Hapkido!

Anyway, the trio are quick to prove they won’t be pushed around…thanks to a little bit of hot-headiness from Fan Wei. They have returned to China in hopes of setting up a Hapkido school of their very own. The problem is the Japanese consider this a lesser style of Martial Arts and do everything they can to throw a monkey wrench into their plans, especially the Black Bear Gang. That temper of Fan’s ends up getting him into some very deep trouble forcing his friends to do their best to calm the situation but being a Martial Arts film you can probably already guess there is going to be only one way to stop such harassment.

Lady Whirlwind and Hapkido are two very fun Martial Arts films, the kind you would certainly see at Drive-In theaters in the 1970s or maybe late night on cable television. Of the two, Hapkido is definitely my favorite…and not just because of the awesome Carter Wong. You can follow the link provided up top to pre-order your copy of the DVD or pick it up on store shelves this Tuesday!

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Download the Shaun of the Dead screenplay for FREE

Shaun of the Dead

This isn’t quite as retro as my usual posts, the film is only 10 years old, but I love Shaun of the Dead so much that I wanted to get the word out to as many people as possible. Edgar Wright, director of the Cornetto trilogy of films, has celebrated the 10th anniversary of Shaun’s release by providing the screenplays for all three of the trilogy on his website!

Take a look here to see both interactive websites and PDF downloads of the three films and enjoy – the files might not be around forever!

What do you mean, you’ve not seen the film? Best go watch this trailer then…

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Retro Records: Here Comes Peter Cottontail – Gene Autry (1950)

Retro Records
In 1950 Gene Autry had already turned his “Here Comes Santa Claus” that he co-wrote with Oakley Haldeman into a hit song as well as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” which was written by Johnny Marks. In 1950, composers Jack Rollins and Steven Nelson co-wrote the song for “Here Comes Peter Cottontail”, and asked the famous singer to record the song. It hit #3 on the Billboard Country Singles and #5 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

So join us on Retro Records as we listen to the wonderful Gene Autry and his soothing “Here Comes Peter Cottontail”!

[Via] MusicProf78

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The First Easter Rabbit – TV Movie (1976)

The First Easter Rabbit
Happy Easter everyone, we certainly hope you are having a safe and fun one. What would a major Holiday be without one of those Rankin-Bass TV specials? A lot less fun in my honest opinion which is why it’s more than awesome that K Webster has been kind enough to share this Easter TV special that originally aired on April 9, 1976 on NBC.

It is a charming story about how the first Easter Rabbit came to be, thanks to a stuffed toy rabbit and a fairy. It features the voice and singing talents of Burl Ives (Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, East of Eden), Robert Morse (Night Gallery, Mad Men), Stan Freberg (Lady and the Tramp, St. George and the Dragonet), Paul Frees (Frosty the Snowman, Bozo the World’s Most Famous Clown), Don Messick (Huckleberry Hound, Smurfs), and Joan Gardner (Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town, Here Comes Peter Cottontail).

Now to be fair, until today I had never seen this animated TV movie. So why not find some time for yourself and join us as we watch The First Easter Rabbit?

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Saturday Frights: The Legacy of Sean Hartter

Ya know creeps, most of the times things are pretty rollickin’ down here in the good ol’ Vault. We like to have a good time as we party with the ghosts and ghouls that lurk on the silver screen, the blue light reflecting back to make us all look like the denizens of the realm beyond. But there’s also the presence of real spirits within these walls as well, the bittersweet remnants of those friends that left our realm for the next way before their time.
One such individual was the supremely talented Sean Hartter, a man the ol’ Ouija Board Kid was proud to call friend. Over the course of a few scant years we collaborated on all manner of aesthetic assaults on the senses of the good readers of this very site, and we had many more phantasmagorical delights planned before he stepped through the gossamer veil that separates this world from the land of eternal twilight.
But while Sean has been gone for almost a year, he lives eternal through every piece of incredible art that he left behind for us to enjoy. I can remember vividly each conversation we had as we created our pieces for The Retroist; the art itself serving as an indelible testament to our friendship.
So please, take a minute and enjoy the following examples of our collaboration, and feel free to share any stories or pieces of Sean’s work that you have enjoyed!






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Saturday Frights – Recorded Live (1975)

Saturday Frights - Sean Hartter
A couple of days ago I shared the 1982 horror short entitled “The Dummy” and it got friend to both Saturday Frights and the Retroist, Matt Lappie, thinking about another horror short from the early 70s involving a bunch of video tape that attacks a poor guy. Matt did all of the hard work and was kind enough to share the video link with us so you too can enjoy this imaginative film short entitled “Recorded Live”!

The short was directed and written by S.S. Wilson (Tremors, Short Circuit) and features John Goodwin (Critters, Men In Black) as the hapless young man who shows up for a job interview before having to fight for his life against a heaping pile of ravenous video tape. There is some very clever stop-motion work going on in this short and while some of it is played for laughs…there is a point where you can see why we kids that caught this on HBO “Short Takes” remember it.

[Via] Hardware Wars

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Marvel Two-In-One Featuring: The Thing…And Tron?!

Image courtesy of the Super-Team Family Blog.

Image courtesy of the Super-Team Family Blog.

I love the Thing. He is hands down one of my favorite Marvel Comics characters and has been since I read my first John Byrne issue of the Fantastic Four (#243), I mean what is there not to like about Benjamin J. Grimm or his rocky alter-ego The Thing?

So when the always impressive and often humorous Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues! offered this awesome team-up of the Thing trapped on the Grid of Tron I knew I had to share it with you all. I bet the Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Thing could do quite a bit of damage to that Recognizer and the MCP before Tron shows up!

I mean if he can survive all of Arcade’s deathtraps and robot versions of the Hulk in Murderworld surely he can survive the Grid, right?
The Thing #3 - Ben Grimm -

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