The American Martial Arts Film by M. Ray LottMartial arts have appeared in American movies since the days of Mr. Moto and Charlie Chan, but English-language martial arts films as a genre did not develop until the 1970s, with the breakthrough success of Bruce Lees Enter the Dragon. Theyve since proliferated enormously, encompassing every level of filmmaking quality, employing every martial arts system known, and spawning a cadre of action superstars known for their ability to kick butt more than for their talent as actors. Low budgets, straight-to-video releases, and a lack of critical respect have not lessened their influence, and they remain hugely popular and continue to inform the work of the leading lights of American cinema, from Coppola to Stone to Tarantino. This history of American martial arts films, from major features to direct-to-video releases, examines English-language martial arts films in terms of both their historical development and their critical relevance. The first section describes the most common martial arts techniques, the history of martial arts in America, and gives a global overview of the history of martial arts films. appearances of martial arts in American movies; the influence of Chinese kung fu film imports; martial arts on television and the films proliferation; the explosive growth of the genre in the 80s; and recent releases, trends, and the direction of English-language martial arts movies. There is a selected filmography of 300 movies.
The Best Kung Fu Movies of the 1980s
Perhaps no other movie better exemplifies the hyper-nationalism of American martial arts films than American Ninja. By far the cheesiest and most intentionally hilarious entry on the list, this homage to Chinese movies is a must-watch for any martial arts movie buff. All you need to know about this movie is that a young boy is trained by the ghost of Bruce Lee to fight against Jean Claude Van Damme. Enough said. Expanding his range as an actor, Norris plays a Texas Ranger who is out to defeat a sort of mentally-ill Kung Fu Frankenstein on a killing spree. The only blaxploitation film on the list, The Last Dragon is packed with action, cheesy dialogue, and a ton of Motown. Definitely the most musically enjoyable of its peers.
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Following is an incomplete list of films, ordered by year of release, featuring depictions of martial arts. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The inclusion or exclusion of items from this list or length of this list is disputed. Please discuss this issue on the talk page. July Los Angeles Times. Retrieved