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Disciples, I bear sad, sad news...

It looks like Kung Fu Fridays has come to an end. Not due to a jinx palm blast delivered to my vital solar stance power point, but due to the closing of a cinema. The Revue Cinema, the home for the series, closed its doors on June 30th as did the Royal, The Kingsway and The Paradise. With the present shortage of cinemas in Toronto, it means that the Kung Fu Fridays series now has no home. After ten years of presenting kung fu film screenings in some form or other, I have decided to close the temple of Kung Fu Fridays for the time being.
Time to trek to a mountain top and ask for advice from my sifu on the future of KFF. Maybe a new temple will be found or built? Maybe the series will change, grow and become a new ferocious cinema experience. Who knows?

Many thanks to all those come came out to celebrate the fu, especially the disciples, novices and masters who helped out with the series over the years. You all know who you are. And thanks to all those who came out to THE VERY LAST KUNG FU FRIDAYS SHOW on June 23rd. For pictures of the event, visit the Kung Fu Fridays Blog which will continue to be updates. Buddha's name be praised! --- Colin Geddes

In the June 18th edition of The Sunday Star was a very respectful story on the passing of Kung Fu Fridays. Read it here.

Big thanks to Tim Bourgette, Midori Miyamoto and the staff at the Revue and the Royal, Tim Smy, Paul Ennis, Luis and the SUSPECT VIDEO staff, Dion Conflict, Kagan (buy the fant-abulous
Infinite Kung Fu comic book), Hal Kelly, Prize Queen Jen and all those who turn out to support the Fu.

Feel the rush of one hundred tigers as the hero delivers the death-blow to the villain on the big screen! A cinematic institution exclusive to Toronto, Kung Fu Fridays delivered thrills, spills and chills that mainstream Hollywood couldn't match as much as it co-oped various elements from the East. Evoking old time excitement and showmanship, each screening was an event with wacky trailers of coming attractions and a pre-show raffle for amazing prizes. As the lights went down, and the film reels whirled, audience members held on to their popcorn and prepared to cheer and boo for hero and villain alike, on the big screen. If you would like to learn more about off beat screenings and events, send me an email and I can add you to the bulletin list.

Please note: We have relocated to the Revue Cinema, due to theatre rentals at the Royal for specialty festivals, which threw off the regularity of the series.
The Revue Cinema is at 400 Roncesvalles Ave., 3 blocks south of Dundas West Station.
Call (416) 531-9959 for showtimes. Office opens 30 minutes before showtime.
Price is $6 for Members, $9 without membership card.
Grab a REEL DEAL card and see movies for $4.25 each!
Check out the full Festival Cinema schedule at www.festivalcinemas.com

June 23, 2006 – 9:45pm

Director: Chang Cheh
Cast: Chen Kuan-tai, Lu Feng, Phillip Kwok, Johnny Wang Lung Wei,
Lo Meng, Chiang Sheng, Sun Chien, Dick Wei, Jamie Luk Kim Ming, Cheng Miu, Poon Bing Seung, Chui Tai Ping
Hong Kong / Dubbed in English / 1978 / 90 minutes / 14A

Back by popular demand!
The Venoms in Mortal Combat: Crippled Avengers!

"Shapes! Shapes!" the grindhouse audience traditionally screamed as the onscreen martial heroes performed their geometric forms and stances - assuming a nice isosceles horse stance, fingers locked into rigid semicircular hooks, right before spinning around backwards, reaching up and under, and squaring the root of PI as they pull out the adam's apple of the villainous reprobate who's gotten in their way. Advanced Onscreen Geometry, with a minor in whupass - nowhere is this course of study more intense than in Chang Cheh's CRIPPLED AVENGERS starring the Five Deadly Venoms.

Chen Kuan-ti (sporting an evil variation of the mustache he will wear five years later in A LIFE OF NINJA) is the invincible Chu Tin-to. The Tinam Tigers show up at his house to teach him a lesson, but he's not in. They debate whether or not to leave a note but decide instead to kill his wife and chop off his son's arms. Severely put out, Chu tells his son he's not handicapped, he's handi-capable, especially with the new bionic arms dad gets him for Christmas. They're better than real arms - why, they even shoot darts. Rather than embark on an inspirational speaking tour of local high schools, Chu and son (Venom Lu Feng) embark on a scary terrorizing mission, strutting around town, pushing people around, and coming up with creative cripplings for those who point out Lu Feng's resemblance to the Venus de Milo. The first four victims of Lu and Chu's armless rage? High-kicking Sun Chien loses his legs; muscle man Lo Mang joins the hearing loss community; Kuo Chi gets the ol' iron fingers in the eyes treatment; and Chiang "Cutie-pie" Sheng (sensitively billed here as "An Idiot") has constricting metal bands clamped around his skull resulting in traumatic, permanent brain damage.
Luckily these are the other four Deadly Venoms. Lucky for us, unlucky for Lu and Chu. The Venoms learn Differently-Abled Kung fu and show up on Chu's birthday, much to the distress of Chu's Martha Stewart-ish major domo, Wong (giving new meaning to the term "the old ball and chain"), who desperately wants the party to go off without a hitch. As insurance he's invited every evil kung fu master to the celebration, and just as you feel the movie is approaching a predictable climax, cylinders seven and eight start firing and things get interesting.
Director Chang Cheh had previously directed the Five Deadly Venoms in a movie called, appropriately enough, THE FIVE DEADLY VENOMS. The team-up was so popular that they would go on to star in over ten movies together. Chang, god of the legendary Shaw Brothers Studio, specialized in male bonding and brotherhood movies. The Five Deadly Venoms were five men who'd strip off their shirts at the drop of a hat, with Peking Opera training, and martial arts skills that allowed them to spend more time off the ground than on it. The Chang/Venom team-up is as classic a pairing of director and actor as Josef Von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich; Chang Cheh had found his soulmates, the Venoms, and the Venoms had found their visionary, Chang Cheh. The movies they made together represent the best of everything they could do.
Filmed entirely on soundstages, CRIPPLED AVENGERS gives us a lurid dreamscape of paper trees and split-level teahouses in which this nightmare of amputation and pain unravels. Exotic weaponry is brought to bear against the seemingly indestructible bodies of the Five Venoms as they are crippled, learn martial arts, and then have their weaknesses exploited by their enemies in an exhausting series of end battles. Spanning 23 years, this movie kindles the flames of hate and revenge until they melt down men into monsters in an unending holocaust of martial glory.

Part dream, part nightmare, CRIPPLED AVENGERS oozes out of the id and spreads across the floor like a pool of blood. Satisfying on every level, this is as good as movies get. <from www.SubwayCinema.com >