Chopsocky (or chop-socky[1]) is a colloquial term for martial arts movies and kung fu films made primarily in Hong Kong and Taiwan between the late 1960s and early 1980s. The term was coined by the American motion picture trade magazine Variety following the explosion of films in the genre released in 1973 in the U.S. after the success of Five Fingers of Death.[1][2] The word is a play on chop suey, combining "chop" (as in karate chop referring to a strike with the edge of the hand) and "sock" (as in a punch).

Chopsocky movies are usually characterized by over-blown story-lines, cheesy special effects (particularly exaggerated and sometimes bizarre sound effects during the actual fight scenes), and excessive violence. The genre also is known for its clumsy dubbing. Although the term "chopsocky" is commonly used as a name of martial arts cinema by the general media, the word can be disparaging as well. Another common meaning is a generalization for martial arts movies from Asia or Hong Kong in particular without necessarily having the negative connotation. Variety magazine, the originator of the term, defined "chopsocky" simply as a martial arts film with no negative connotations.[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Chopsocky"
  2. ^ "U.S. Rage of Chop-Socky Films; Karate Breaks Out of Chinatown". Variety. January 9, 1974. p. 72.
  3. ^ "Slanguage Dictionary". Variety.
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