Sunday, November 02, 2014

IN MEMORY OF: Lo Lieh (Jun 29, 1939 - Nov 2, 2002) [Five Fingers of Death (1972) (天下第一拳)]

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12 years ago today on November 2, 2002, Lo Lieh died from a heart attack ... he was 63 years old.

Wait ... what? You never heard of Lo Lieh? He is probably best known as Chao Chih-Hao in Five Fingers of Death aka King Boxer, as the White Lotus Priest in Clan of the White Lotus (which he directed!) and General Tien Ta in Gordon 'Master Killer' Liu's 1978 film, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin.

Lo Lieh as Chao Chih-Hao in Five Fingers of Death aka King Boxer
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Lo as White Lotus Priest in Clan of the White Lotus

Lo Lieh as General Tien Ta in The 36th Chamber of Shaolin
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Before there was Bruce Lee, there was Lo Lieh! For many martial artists, Five Fingers of Death was the film that started them in their Sojourn of Septillion Steps!

Posting the full movie Five Fingers of Death in his honor. Enjoy!

Five Fingers of Death aka King Boxer 
(Chinese Title: Tian xia di yi quan
(天下第一拳) "Number One Fist in the World")


A promising young martial arts student named Chi-Hao has spent most of his life studying under a master and has fallen in love with the master's daughter Yin-Yin. After the master fails to properly fight off a group of thugs, he sends Chi-Hao to study under a superior master, Shen Chin-Pei. He instructs Chi-Hao to learn from Chin-Pei and defeat the local martial arts tyrant, Ming Dung-Shun, in an upcoming tournament in order to earn Yin-Yin's hand.


  • Lo Lieh (Traditional: 羅烈 / Simplified: 罗烈) was born in Pematangsiantar, Indonesia.
  • Lo's birth name was Wang Lap-Tat (王立達).
  • As a teen, in 1962 Lo joined the Shaw Bros. film company and took acting classes. By 1969 he had become the first kung fu superstar ahead of Bruce Lee!
  • Five Fingers of Death was released in March 1973 and predated Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon.
  • Five Fingers of Death is considered the movie that started the 1970's North American craze despite being eclipsed by Lee's Enter the Dragon.
  • In 2002, Sight & Sound Magazine asked Quentin Tarantino to name his twelve favorite movies of all time ... Tarantino ranked Five Fingers of Death at number 11.

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Stickgrappler's Sojourn of Septillion Steps