The best ‘80s kung fu movies, and other martial arts movies, embody the rugged individualism and spirit of the decade; a time when the most exciting films involved non-stop action and intense fight scenes. Many of these films are about one man taking a solo journey to defy the odds and defeat his enemies - and let’s not forget, getting the girl while he’s at it.
What are the top ‘80s kung fu and other martial arts movies? Jackie Chan's films dominated the silver screen in the 1980s and 1990s. In ‘85 he wrote, directed, and starred in Police Story, a film Chan would later say was his personal favorite. The film spawned several sequels, and kept Jackie Chan in the public eye throughout the ‘80s. For '80s martial arts stars, this decade was all about the hero's journey. Be it the underdog hero from the Karate Kid or the unstoppable powerhouse, Chuck Norris, audiences were treated to countless acts of individual bravery. You'll also find great kickboxing movies on this list as well.
If you’re familiar with ‘80s kung fu and other martial arts movies, you may know the work of legendary director Sammo Hung, a pioneer of the Hong Kong New Wave movement. Many of his classic films are featured on this list.
Vote up the best '80s kung fu and other martial arts films and vote down any that you think other fans should skip.
- U.S. soldier Frank Dux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) has come to Hong Kong to be accepted into the Kumite, a highly secret and extremely violent martial-arts competition. While trying to gain access into ...more
- Best of the Best is a 1989 American martial arts film directed by Bob Radler, and produced by Phillip Rhee, who also co-stars in the film. The film also starring Eric Roberts, James Earl Jones and ...more
- Eric Sloane (Dennis Alexio) is an American kickboxing pro, helped by his brother, Kurt (Jean-Claude Van Damme), in his quest for glory. But when the two go to Thailand to take on legendary Tong Po ...more
- Daniel (Ralph Macchio) moves to Southern California with his mother, Lucille (Randee Heller), but quickly finds himself the target of a group of bullies who study karate at the Cobra Kai dojo. ...more
- Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free TrialKurt Russell plays hard-boiled truck driver Jack Burton, who gets caught in a bizarre conflict within, and underneath, San Francisco's Chinatown. An ancient Chinese prince and Chinatown crime lord ...more
- No Retreat, No Surrender is a 1986 American martial arts film directed by Corey Yuen in his American directorial debut, and starring Kurt McKinney and Jean-Claude Van Damme. The film was released in ...more
- A GI (Michael Dudikoff) rescues a colonel's daughter (Judie Aronson) and fights an arms dealer's ninjas in the Philippines.
- Police Story is a 1985 Hong Kong action film written and directed by Jackie Chan, who also starred in the lead role. It is the first of the Police Story series featuring Chan as a Hong Kong police ...more
- Leroy Green (Taimak), a young martial artist living in New York City, trains tirelessly to attain the same level of mastery as the great Bruce Lee. One night, his life changes forever when he rescues ...more
- The Karate Kid, Part II is a 1986 American martial arts film. A sequel to 1984's The Karate Kid, Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita reprise their respective roles as young karate student Daniel LaRusso and ...more
- A martial-arts expert and former CIA agent, Nico Toscani (Steven Seagal) is working as a Chicago cop when a relatively routine drug-trafficking investigation leads to an international conspiracy. ...more
- A Japanese gallery owner denies his violent ninja heritage until American drug traffickers kidnap his young son.
- Police Story 2 is a 1988 Hong Kong action crime comedy film written, directed by and starring Jackie Chan as Chan Ka-kui. It is a sequel to the hit 1985 film, Police Story, continuing the storyline ...more
- Wheels on Meals is a 1984 Hong Kong martial arts comedy film written and directed by Sammo Hung, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao.
- Texas ranger J.J. McQuade (Chuck Norris) likes to work by himself, until a Latino state trooper, Kayo Ramos (Robert Beltran), needs his help to find out who hijacked a U.S. Army convoy and hurt ...more
- Scott James (Chuck Norris), a veteran martial arts expert, is recruited as the protector of the wealthy and beautiful Justine (Karen Carlson) after she becomes the target of a ninja clan. When Scott ...more
- In a future beset by chaos and violence, mercenary Gibson Rickenbacker (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is charged with a mission that could change everything: protecting beautiful cyborg Pearl Prophet (Dayle ...more
- Dragon Ma (Jackie Chan) is a lieutenant in the 19th-century Hong Kong marines. Pirates have been terrorizing local waters, with assistance from the corrupt authorities. Dragon Ma hopes to defeat the ...more
- The Young Master is a 1980 Hong Kong martial arts film written and directed by Jackie Chan, who also starred in the lead role. The film co-stars Yuen Biao, Feng Feng and Shih Kien. The film was ...more
- Dragons Forever is a 1988 Hong Kong martial arts action comedy film directed by Sammo Hung, who also co-stars in the film. The film stars Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao. The three actors, known ...more
- The Karate Kid, Part III is a 1989 martial arts film, and the second sequel to the hit motion picture The Karate Kid. The film stars Ralph Macchio, Noriyuki Morita and Robyn Lively. As was the case ...more
- Armour of God is a 1986 Hong Kong action film written and directed by Jackie Chan, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Alan Tam, Lola Forner and Rosamund Kwan. The film features Chan's ...more
- In the 1930s, an effete Chicago mobster (Jose Ferrer) pits a Chinese kicker (Jackie Chan) against a king-size brute called Kiss.
- In Chicago, honor-driven Sgt. Eddie Cusack (Chuck Norris) and his team stake out a drug exchange involving notorious drug czar Luis Comacho (Henry Silva). Cusack is caught off guard, however, when ...more
- Retired CIA agent Matt Hunter (Chuck Norris) is forced back into the business when a villain from his past re-emerges. Soviet Mikhail Rostov (Richard Lynch), a terrorist whom Matt once caught, wants ...more