Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Mark Long, Jack Long, Jeanie Chang, Tien-chi Cheng, Hou Tao Hsiao
Director: Joseph Kuo
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
Studio: Tai Seng Entertainment Release Date: 06/28/2005 Run time: 90 minutes
One of the Greatest non-Bruce Lee Kung -Fu flicks
M. Beckford | 06/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The second that "Mystery of Chess Boxing" begins, you can pretty much tell that you are in for a treat. From the high flying intro to the very first appearance of the mighty Ghost Faced Killer, this movie is pure adrenaline. This movie follows an unexperienced, but energetic young man that is searching for the man that killed his father. The action sequences in this movie are some of the best that you can hope to find anywhere. The Ghost Faced Killer is one of the best villians ever captured on film, and his acrobatic fight scenes have no equal. This is absolutely one of the best films from director Joseph Kuo. Mark Long will be remembered forever for his efforts and Jack Long did some of his best acting as the reluctant old Chess Master. Whatever it takes, you must pick this movie up! This is one of those movies that you get just to invite all of your friends over and scream your heads off. Even an appearance by the usually annoying Sam Seed can't slow this down a bit. Amazingly, Seeds' scene happens to be one of the best! It's a rendition of the classic "grab the pebble from my hand" theme. Perhaps the direction of Joseph Kuo motivated Seed to put some effort into his characters. All in all, just a must have for fans of Kung-fu flicks"
This is a retitled kung fu classic, MYSTERY OF CHESS BOXING
Brian Camp | Bronx, NY | 10/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"NINJA CHECKMATE (aka MYSTERY OF CHESS BOXING, 1979) is a top-drawer work from Taiwan-based kung fu filmmaker Joseph Kuo (18 BRONZEMEN, SHAOLIN TEMPLE STRIKES BACK). It stars Lee Yi Min (WORLD OF DRUNKEN MASTER) as a kung fu student-in-training and co-stars Jack Long as his main teacher and Mark Long as the feared villain, "Ghost-Face Killer." Simon Yuen, the old "Drunken Master" himself, puts in a cameo as a cook who makes Lee his kitchen apprentice and gives him his first kung fu instruction in a couple of clever (and funny) scenes involving cooking and kitchen work.Lee undergoes plenty of training in this film, eventually studying both chess boxing and "5 Elements" kung fu under Chinese chess master Jack Long (who has a pretty daughter, played by Jeannie Chang). The training scenes are interspersed with fight sequences involving "Ghost-Face Killer" and the various kung fu masters he tracks down and kills as part of an elaborate revenge campaign. Ghost-Face's path leads him eventually to the chess master and his student and a final stretch involving three major kung fu bouts, which all involve chess fighting moves like "Double Horse Attack" and 5 Elements moves like "gold cuts wood" and "earth absorbs water." The expert fight staging is photographed simply and efficiently in wide angle compositions, giving the performers ample time and space to show their stuff, never once resorting to unnecessary cutaways or camera tricks. MYSTERY OF CHESS BOXING is actually a more appropriate title than NINJA CHECKMATE, since there isn't a ninja in sight. This is easily one of producer-director Kuo's finest films, ranking just below his all-time masterpieces, BORN INVINCIBLE and 7 GRANDMASTERS, both of which also starred Jack Long and Mark Long, while the latter film also starred Lee Yi Min. The name, "Ghostface Killer," was later appropriated by a member of the rap group, Wu Tang Clan, as part of the group's ongoing and deeply felt homage to classic kung fu films."
Bishop takes the 5-Element Fist
Mantis Lake | Detroit, MI USA | 01/12/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"One of the problems with a good rating on an old-school classic is that people who haven't seen it tend to view the enthusiasm without the benefit of a grain of salt. If you can lace the reviews with a little skepticism, you'll find a pretty sweet movie behind it. It's not without its problems: It's full-screen, not remastered (though considering that, the picture quality is very good), and the fights that don't include the Ghost-Faced Killer (Mark Long) tend to suck. Luckily there are very few fights without Ghost-Faced Killer.
This movie starts with two good fights and then wallows in unpleasant humor and molasses kung fu for about 20 minutes or so. If you can get past the 20 minutes, the rest is pretty smooth sailing. Li Yi Min stars as a young man in search of a good kung fu teacher so that he can take revenge on the Ghost-Faced Killer, who offed his father. He carries with him a pendant that the GFK left after killing the old man. He enrolls in a school where he is bullied by the other students. Then the master kicks him out when he finds the pendant, not allowing the young man to explain why he has it. The master is also an enemy of GFK. The time he spends at the school is where the movie sucks as Simon Yuen has a cameo. He later becomes the student of Jack Long (also GFK's nemesis), who teaches him how to defend against the GFK's 5-Element Fist with some methods of Chess Boxing.
This version from Red Sun is pretty good and will have to suffice until a better one comes along. Hopefully it'll be in widescreen and actually be titled "The Mystery of Chess Boxing", as this movie has NO NINJAS at all. It features the director and cast from "7 Grand Masters", but lacks that movie's consistency, though I think some of the fights in this are a little better. With an improved, uncut version including the real title, this is a 4-star flick. How can you not love a movie with such a memorable villain?
1979. aka: The Mystery of Chess Boxing"
Old "skool" kung fu for real
M. Beckford | Toronto Canada | 05/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I rushed out to get this flick based on the hype!! I was truly impressed with this one. It was entertaining from the start to the finished,,great story line,,,and the many fight scenes,there are absolutely no boaring parts. If you walked away at anytime, more than likely you may have miss something sweet!!!! I now have two new martial arts hero to my collection, Jack and Mark Long,,simply amazing!!! I said it before, and will say it again,,,3 words for this flick "TOUGH, TOUGH, TOUGH!!
This flick is easily up there among my top 5 best flicks ever, I would not be surprized if this movie is not even better than 7 Grandmasters,,which has always been my personaly favourite!!!
This is definately a must have,,no matter what the cost,,there will be no dissapoinments!!"