Kung Fu Theatre – (Saturday morning’s best show)
By Marc Hicks (http://www.examiner.com)
Long ago there used to be this magical set up on television called UHF stations. These were extra channels that complimented the 3 big networks that you picked up on the antennae. The best part of UHF was that you had the local networks that featured such great entertainment like Creature Double Feature, Cartoon Cavalcade, and of course Kung Fu Theater.Early Saturday mornings was devoid of life until afternoon. That’s when young boys flew out of their homes and squared off with each other. “Huh! Hung-si Quan, you bastard. Show me your tiger-claw,” would emanate from boys lip syncing like their heroes on Kung Fu Theater. “My dragon-strike will finish you,” would be the reply.Yes Kung Fu Theater was a staple in the 70’s and 80’s. Every Saturday you would be tuned in to watch such greats as, The Five Deadly Venoms. Or Master of the Flying Guillotine. Chinese Super Ninjas was an all time favorite with their tricked out weapons and various levels of villains.
Oh this was a simpler time. A more peaceful time. Kung Fu Theatre was a window to a strange and mystical land. Where everyone you met was a bastard that you would have to fight to the death for whatever reason. And everyone could leap half a mile and fight with one arm falling off and blood spurting from your body like Niagara Falls in the spring.On Kung Fu Theatre, old masters would beat their most promising pupil senseless and then endow them with the skills to avenge their imminent death at the hands of an evil rival – usually a former student gone bad.The poor, but decent young pupil would suffer a merciless beating by Lung-wa, the most evil man in the providence. Only to be saved, beaten, and trained by a kindly master. And then avenge that master’s death.Some poor woman would be attacked by several evil men. Saved by the young, tortured pupil. Then she would fight for his love, losing out to his need to avenge the death of his master.The main villain would beat people up for no reason. Savagely attack the young pupil, but not kill him. Kill his former master. And then be dispatched by the young pupil who learned a really cool move from the great master before he died.Yes Kung Fu Theatre was a plethora of kung fu movie magic. Saturdays were a golden day where a young man could be entertained by exaggerated martial arts violence. And then go outside and attempt the very same moves on his friends. Oh if only Kung Fu Theatre was still around.
Don Reed – Kung Fu Theatre
I use to wild out on Saturday mornings.Nothing else on TV meant shit to me.Not even the cartoons that came on before Kung Fu Theater..It was all about Kung Fu Theater on Saturdays.I use to love to watch it and then all weekend I would try and learn the moves in the movies.So when Monday came I could whoop some ass at school.In my head I always rolled into school on Monday mornings like the guy in the Kung Fu Theater that rolled into a unfamiliar village after having his family killed.I was out for blood.I didn’t have anything to avenge back then so I guess I just liked to hit other kids..Unfortunately though all the other kids watched it too.So I got lumped up sometimes.It was like a ceremony we all had back then.Thinking back I’m glad I never killed another classmate or a family member.Or ended up in jail.
Every Saturday or so I’m gonna try and post a story I have associated with King Fu movies or the theater itself.For a round eye I have many.And then I’ll follow it up with a video one of my favorite Kung Fu flicks or something I might of seen on Kung Fu theater.
Kung Fu Theater Story # 1
The Legend Of The Flying Star
My brother and I used to go with my father to the Union flea market back in the day in Jersey.I guess it would be the equivalent to what west coast cats have in the Swap Meets.They sold all sorts of shit.From fat dookie chains,car parts,funnel cakes,mixtapes,vinyl,clothes,army and navy gear and much more.It was actually a pretty cool place.I have no idea what my father went their for.I think it was just a place he could let us wonder around and not have to baby sit.But long story short on they had this dude that looked like the Asian guy that sold gremlins in the movie The Gremlins their.His shop looked like it just sold lamps and various other shit like paintings,books,karate shoes,etc.But they had a blocked off area with a curtain where all the good shit was.Which was swords,butterfly knives,blow guns,smoke bombs,Chinese stars,etc.And that is what we went for.We lied to our parents and said we just liked it their.My brother said he liked it for music and always would buy a tape or something.I lied and bought a baseball card or something.Cause if they knew we were stockpiling weapons that we could kill each other with it would be stopped.Eventually after building up a aresenal our parents finally found us out.It was all my fault.It was a Saturday and like clock work we watched Kung Fu Theater and had a good time.We reenacted a little bit blahazay blah zay.Then later on that day my brother got me heated and was teasing the shit out of me for some reason.He pissed me off and was a lot bigger then me.So with my honor at stake and a Chinese star in my pocket.I had a case of the fuck its and throw one at his head.Luckily I had bad aim and it missed him and just stuck in the wall.But our luck we were so loud arguing out parents came in and saw the star in the wall.And like jail they raided our rooms and found all our weapons.They tried to get the information on were we got them from us.And despite many of painful torture methods like no TV, having to go to bed early and without dinner, and many more we didn’t crack.Instead my brother beat the shit out of me after for throwing a star at him and we made peace.We tried for weeks after hat to build back our arsenal but it all came to a end quickly.Instead of buying concealable weapons one day my brother bought this huge sword and tried to hide it in his pants.My parents saw it when he got to the car and put two and two together.Long story shot we didn’t go back their for awhile.
Years later we were all laughing about my my brother and I collecting so many dangerous Asian weapons over Xmas or some shit.And somebody asked why we collected so many.I simply replied “TO protect my family stupid”.
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)
This is the first Kung Fu movie I remember seeing and loving.At the time I ate alot of Count Chocula ceral and I loved vampires for some reason.So it was a great introduction into kung fu movies by having something familiar in it.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Count Dracula journies to a remote Chinese village in the guise of a warlord to support six vampires who are dispirited after the loss of a seventh member of their cult. At the same time, vampire hunter Prof. Van Helsing happens to be lecturing in the country and is persuaded by villagers to help them fight this curse of the ages.