When I opened my Thursday newspaper in 1972 and locked eyes on Angela Mao, I felt a bit dizzy.
I wasn't used to seeing fighting ladies; my friends' mothers didn't count, and a fighting sister was just annoying.
As far as I was concerned, ladies in movies were lesbian vampires (with bloody breasts), the mushy halves of romantic potboilers, or annoying princesses.
A kung fu fighting lady was a whole new ball game for me. And I liked it.
I begged my mother to give me passage to the Forum Theater, where Lady Kung Fu (He qi do; Golden Harvest) was playing, but my begging (and tears) amounted to nothing. When my father got home, I appealed to him, too. Instead, I got a whack for something because he was pissed off at my mum. I didn't mention kung fu hotties again.
As far as fighting women went, the Asians definitely got there before the rest of the world. And while the rest of the world walked around believing that Asian women were submissive creatures, I knew better. Years later I'd know even better than better because I married one. It didn't last a dynasty, but it lasted long enough to be called long term. The ex-wife couldn't kung fu kick, but she was about as submissive as a tiger snake.
Lady Kung Fu came out the same year as The Chinese Connection. In the following year, '73, Enter The Dragon would truly cement Bruce Lee's status as an international action superstar. Ms. Mao appeared in that one, too.
When I finally saw Lady Kung Fu, I was impressed. Simple set-up. Creative action. And the harder Ms. Mao kicked, the sexier she looked.
The male brain's a funny thing.