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I'm trying to find an asian (I think) movie that I watched when I was a kid back in the 90's. The movie itself may be from the late 70's -80s. It had some crazy fights in mid air and what-not, it was a very cheesy movie.

All I remember was one average guy that was trying his best to get into a martial arts school, where he worked as a janitor. Their members (the good guys) looked very strong, possibly bodybuilders (or at least that's how I recall it). They used to practice all kinds of exercises to become more powerful. The sensei of the school would not accept the main actor into his school at the beginning, but after a while he got persuaded into it. At the beginning of his training he was very weak (I think I remember the sensei touching our guy's flabby abs), but after a while he became very powerful.

In the end he was strong enough to fight the bad guy (might be someone's son from a rival martial arts school) and defeat him.

I don't remember what the main plot of the movie was, this is all I remember.

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Some stark similarities between this movie and Karate Kid (though I assume you've already ruled that out): Mr. Miyagi was a janitor; main character started out weak who became strong; defeat of bad guy from rival martial arts school. Though these are probably all fairly common in martial arts movies. – stevvve Mar 17 '12 at 16:07
@stevvve is correct, parts of that sound like The Karate Kid. Are you sure you're not mixing up bits and pieces? Bodybuilders, in the western sense, are not common in eastern films. Could be an early Chan flick, sort of sounds like Drunken Master. – user977 Mar 17 '12 at 23:54
Nope, it`s not Karate Kid. Ive watched that many times. Anyways thanks for trying guys but it looks like i'm doomed never to find this one, haha >:] – Ricochet Mar 18 '12 at 0:40
It's neither Drunken Master. It looked like one of those "cheap" asian flicks that were poping in that era like mushrooms after the rain, and like i said these guys were doing some supernatural fights, cheesy stuff. – Ricochet Mar 18 '12 at 0:47
There is a close to sure way to rule out if it's western or eastern. If you were reading subtitles or hearing really bad dubs then it's most likely Eastern. Also the music tends to be significantly different – phwd Mar 19 '12 at 21:13
up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is the movie, it's called Operation Scorpio / Scorpion King.

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Welcome to Movies and TV Beta! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – TylerShads Jun 16 '12 at 2:32
That is the movie, Gogulet! Wooot, thank you so much! :) – Ricochet Jun 28 '12 at 11:42

Shaolin Master Killer also titled The 36th Chamber of Shaolin

Pretty close to the plot minus the mid-air fights.

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+1 Hah, completely forgot about that. Fits in much more ways than my answer. – Napoleon Wilson Mar 25 '12 at 23:32
+1 This was the one I was pegging as the answer, just couldn't for the life of me remember the title. – System Down Mar 26 '12 at 19:43
Shaolin Master Killer looks close to what i was looking for but it ain't it :) – Ricochet Mar 26 '12 at 21:33
I also just remembered these days when i thought more of the movie that the sensei was not an old guy, he was the strongest one out of his school with a well built body. I played a bit of Sherlock Holmes these days and tried google-ing all sorts of things to find this movie. Bolo Yeung would be a close look to the sensei but he wasn't in this movie. Also gaved up on looking it up after finding a kung-fu movie fanatic that told me there are about +5000 movies from that era. Props to Christian for talking like that about Jean M. Jarre's music :P – Ricochet Mar 26 '12 at 21:38

I'm not really sure and many things don't match, but the part of the main character being the janitor of the martial arts school reminds me of Snake in the Eagle's Shadow, an early Jackie Chan movie I watched quite often many years ago, with a great synthesizer soundtrack (featuring works from Jean-Michel Jarre and Space).

But in this movie the martial arts students aren't really good guys and they bully him all the time until he gets trained by some old wise guy. I also don't think there was any supernatural stuff in it, but with all this synthesizer music and sound effects (and some over the top cinematography), one could really get the impression of supernaturality, especially as a kid.

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American Shaolin? A movie about an American guy who tries to join a Shaolin temple in China, to become a monk and learn about kungfu. These guys aren't bodybuilders here but your description sounds similar in some aspects.

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