GLOCCOVNAA is an abbreviation for 'Great Life of Conflict, Climax or Virtually Nothing At All'. That was the long and ridiculous name I came out for my blog when I was 18 years old. Do click on the colourful icons on the right to check out different types of posts in this blog.

13 October, 2014

Fire Power: 三毛 (Three Hairs)

In certain cases, fire power could come just from brute force, no guns, no tanks, just the power of the fist. During the 1970s, martial artists like the late Bruce Lee brought Chinese martial arts to the world. But after his passing in 1973, many others tried to ride on the success and continue making Kung Fu action films till the late 1970s when things started to get stale. A new wave of Hong Kong action stars made their entrance to the big screen, among them was Sammo Hung 洪金宝.

Based on physical appearance, nobody would expect him to be a martial arts expert. However despite being plump unlike most other martial artists, he exhibits superior agility, strength and creativity in mixing humor with martial arts. Sammo Hung is the eldest member of the Seven Little Fortunes 七小福, a performance group of the best students from the China Drama Academy guided and selected by martial arts master trainer Yu Jim-Yuen 于占元 in the 1960s. Among other members of the group are actors Jackie Chan 成龙, Yuen Biao 元彪 and action choreographer Corey Yuen 元奎.
Hung (right) in his directorial debut, 三德和尚与舂米六 (1977)
Since the 1970s, Sammo Hung has been making many martial arts comedies under his and actor Karl Maka 麦嘉's production company Gar-Bo 嘉宝 (subsidiary of Golden Harvest 嘉禾) until 1980 when he decided to start his own company Bo Ho 寶禾, co-founded Duk-Bo 德寶 in 1983 and founded another company BoJon 寶祥 for movies that he acted in. Thus far he has produced a total of 124 films in Hong Kong, many of which are action comedies he also acted and directed.
Winners and Sinners 奇謀妙計五福星 1983, directed and starred Sammo Hung (third from right).
Over the years, he has participated in many films as an actor, director, producer and most notably action choreographer. When his fellow martial arts colleagues Jackie Chan and Jet Li gained popularity in the western world during the late 1990s, US network CBS approached him to make a Saturday night TV series with Sammo as the lead role playing a Chinese police in LA. That series was called Martial Law and aired from 1998 to 2000 for two seasons. The series was successful as a prime time series but Sammo chose to leave after the second season because he felt that he was made into a fighting machine with little else to do. I remember watching this series on TV after dinner and it was so awesome. I think it was facinating to see my favourite action star back then speaking English on an American show and defeating all those bad guys with martial arts instead of guns.

After Martial Law, he returned to Hong Kong and had on and off successes throughout the years. He had another breakthrough in Ip Man (2008) as the action director and in its sequel Ip Man 2 (2010) where he also stars as the opponent to the title character.
Bonus trivia: Hung was nicknamed "Sammo" due to his resemblance to a famous Chinese comic character 三毛 (cantonese: Sam Mou).

This is a tribute to the Fat Dragon, the great Sammo Hung.


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