Billy Chong

Billy Chong in Kung Fu Zombie
Billy Chong in Kung Fu Zombie
Billy Chong, whose real name is Willy Dhozen (Willy Dozan), was born February 10, 1957 in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia.

His 1981 film Kung Fu Executioner (also known as Shou zhi ao chu, Black Jim Conquers All, and Black Jim va tout casser), co-starring Carl Scott, took place on the mean streets of 1930s Shanghai, China.

In the film, Chong and Carl Scott seek revenge on the Triads for the murder of Chong’s family. Chong and Scott use the weapons of kung fu to full effect onscreen, including the tonfa, ropedart, nunchaku and kali. The film’s opening sequence is to this day talked about by martial arts film aficionados, as being one of the best weapons opening sequences ever put to film.

Another Billy Chong Hong Kong classic is the 1982 supernatural action adventure Kung Fu Zombie (Wu long tian shi zhao ji gui), which was a semi-sequel to Kung Fu From Beyond the Grave (also known as Yin ji). Yin ji featured Lieh Lo as a villainous “necromancer”.

In Kung Fu Zombie, a criminal heads to a small town in order to kill Billy Chong over a past dispute. But instead of getting his own hands dirty, he hires a Taoist wizard to animate some zombies to do the job for him. The plan goes horribly awry, and the bad guy ends up getting killed in his own trap. This pisses off the villain’s spirit and he forces the priest to reincarnate him – only they can’t find a suitable body. Meanwhile, an undead fiend of sorts comes to town to kill Billy’s father over some other past dispute. This is where all of Billy’s kung fu training comes in handy, and he manages to kill the attacker. With this, the other bad guy finally has a body to use, but the reincarnation goes wrong and the corpse is reborn as a vampire.

The last of Billy Chong’s Hong Kong classics was the 1983 film A Fistful of Talons (also known as Hu ying), which was directed by the great Sun Chung (who also directed The Avenging Eagle, Notorious Eight, Human Lanterns and many more). A Fistful of Talons featured Whang Inn-sik (Ing-Sik Whang) from Bruce Lee’s Return of the Dragon and Jackie Chan’s The Young Master. The film featured sweeping camerawork, great sets, and amazing fight choreography, but was a failure at the box office for unknown reasons.

Chong was disheartened by the mysterious disappointment and returned to the Indonesian film industry, where it was rumored that he ran a snooker parlor. However, that was apparently untrue. However, he did go on to become a leading figure in the Indonesian film and television market.

One of his major films upon his return to his homeland was the 1983 movie Pandakarr Warrior (also known as Pendekar Liar), a polished Indonesian film that’s rarely been seen outside of Asia.

In the late 1980’s Chong was offered a supporting role in Lau Kar-leung’s star-studded Hong Kong film Aces Go Places 5: The Terracotta Hit, opposite Sam Hui, Karl Maka, Leslie Cheung, Nina Li and Conan Lee. But creative differences led to Chong’s role drastically reduced to a few kicks against Hui in the the finale before disappearing.

Chong was later rumored to be appearing in Tsui Hark’s 4th installment of Once Upon A Time in China series of films, potentially as Wong Fei Hong. Jet Li had already departed the ongoing epic series. However creative differences apparently played a role in that opportunity slipping away.

The actor continued to work in Indonesian television, notably in a supporting role as a disillusioned hitman in Alip Santosa’s Darah Dai Cintas – Love and Blood. In the show, the hitman’s past catches up to him after he meets a former associate. The appearance gave a glimpse of what could have been during his Hong Kong film career, as he takes down a criminal organization lead by the U.K.’s Impact Magazine editor Mike Leeder.

By this time Chong often wore many hats, as actor, action choreographer, scriptwriter and composer.

Select Filmography

  • A Fistful of Talons
  • Sun Dragon
  • Black Belt Karate
  • Invincible Monkey Fist
  • Crystal Fist
  • Superpower
  • Kung Fu Zombie
  • Kung Fu Executioner
  • Kung Fu From Beyond the Grave
  • Aces Go Places 5: The Terracotta Hit
  • Pandakarr Warrior
  • Darah Dai Cintas (TV series)