Kung Fu Fridays in January 2012

New year, new month, new poster... Meet Jim Kelly AKA Black Belt Jones. On tap next month for my KFF Krew, films from four different countries...

Black Belt Jones (United States) - There's an important - if not necessarily "good" - part of Blaxploitation films that taps into the Kung Fu phenomenon, and Black Belt Jones is surely its purest manifestation. We last saw Jim Kelly in Enter the Dragon, but here he's the star and probably won't wind up on a meat hook.

Flying Guillotine (Hong Kong) - AKA Master of the Flying Guillotine AKA One-Armed Boxer 2 AKA The One Armed Boxer vs. the Flying Guillotine, this was a major inspiration for the Crazy 88s battle in Kill Bill, and it's finally out, fully restored and in the original Cantonese from Dragon Dynasty. About time.

A Better Tomorrow (South Korea) - While I'm waiting to get a good DVD version of John Woo's A Better Tomorrow (1986), we'll watch the Korean remake he produced in 2010. It's probably awesome anyway.

Norwegian Ninja (Norway) - Can Norway produce a proper martial arts film? The film's pedigree sounds insane. It stars Arne Treholt, who in 1985 was convicted of high treason and espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union and Iraq, as the leader of a ninja group saving Norway during the Cold War. It was written and directed by first-time director Thomas Cappelen Malling, author of "Ninja Technique II: Invisibility in combat 1978". How to achieve cult status in 3 seconds flat.

So that's how we're gonna warm the winter months. Secret handshakes will get you in for free.

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