Chan Siu-pang was born in Hong Kong in 1933. A fan of Cantonese opera since childhood, he joined an opera troupe to learn the Northern style martial arts that was performed on stage for acrobatic effects. He later joined the Shen Chang-fu Circus as a trapeze artist. In the 1950’s Chan went along with his master Kwok Hung-bun into film, working as a martial arts performer and stuntman. In the 1960’s, martial arts films featuring mythological creatures were popular in Cantonese cinema and, to supplement his income, Chan played many of the fantastic beasts other martial artists turned down, such as Magical Crane in The Secret Book (1961), Three-headed Monster in The Golden Scissors (1963) and Golden-eyed Magical Condor in The Young Swordsman Lung Kim-Fei (1964). In the early 1960’s he was promoted to martial arts choreographer, working mostly on lowbudget productions by independent companies, collaborating with directors such as Ng Tan, Siu Sang, Law Chi, Lo Wei and John Lo Mar.
In the 1970’s, Chan worked with director Joseph Kuo, choreographing films like The 18 Bronzemen (1975), Return of the 18 Bronzemen (1976) and The Blazing Temple (1977). He also made occasional appearances on film.
In 1976, he began his career as a director making martial arts films, starting with The Best of Shaolin Kung Fu (1976), followed by Shaolin Death Squads (1976), The Mysterious Heroes (1978) and The Magnificent (1978), among others. In the 1980’s he switched to stories set in contemporary time with the action thriller Interpol (1982). Then, under the name of Taiwanese director Tai Peng-ling, he made three films about voodoo practices, Brutal Sorcery (1983), Curse (1985) and Fury of the Heaven (1986).
Chan’s final film as martial arts choreographer is Yang Chi-yao’s The Three Kingdoms (1990). His final onscreen appearance was in Election (2005), playing the character Uncle Monk. Chan passed away in 2005 at age 72.
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||Fury of the Heaven|
||Choi Lee Fat Kung Fu|
||The Mysterious Heroes .|
||The Best of Shaolin Kung Fu|
||Shaolin Death Squads|
||The Invisible Terrorist|