# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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The Shaolin Brothers (1977) Directed by: Joseph Kuo

The output of 1977 by Joseph Kuo was pretty abysmal but out of the trio of The Shaolin Brothers, The Shaolin Kids and The 8 Masters, the latter even at the incredibly boring 90 minute length is heads and shoulders over the dynasty power struggles that essentially summarized the other flicks. Although appearing interesting initially as The Shaolin Brothers mixes in a hopping vampire storyline, despite being relatively unexplored in cinema by this point Kuo's handling of the cinema-friendly material (essentially shooting any moody scene in slooooooow motion and letting it run endlessly) is as boring as when the huge character gallery across the dynasties conspires and fights against each other. Essentially Ming rebels disguises as Taoist priests for a few reels while ruthless Ching general played by Carter Wong pursues. Only briefly showcasing intense and messy action in a compelling way, the scenes in particular towards the end are more than decent set pieces on their own but obviously lack impact in the whole scheme of things.

Shaolin Chastity Kung Fu (1981) Directed by: Robert Tai

Bandits terrorize a village. The inhabitants know kung-fu and everybody fights. Even the kids. Simple template and threatening to be very broad comedically, Robert Tai (Ninja The Final Duel) reels most of that in and goes for decent variety instead. The harsh looking training sequences (especially for the little ones) feel somewhat fresh for the genre and Tai neatly escapes the trappings of the low budget kung-fu picture by going for color. No fight truly feels like repetition, many feature creative wire work and acrobatics as well as a sense of power and violence. There's quality volume here, even if Shaolin Chastity Kung Fu is an example of a quick genre-fix that disappears from your consciousness immediately. Starring Alexander Lo Rei.

Shaolin Disciple (1980, Man Man)

Although it tries some actual filmmaking techniques and does not fully rely on the cliché structure of switching from serious to kung fu comedy, there's still nothing noteworthy here. That feeling lingers throughout because in all honesty, it's TOO rich on characters and sidetracks. Coherency-level drops, even though the sections containing possible supernatural elements increase the energy for a bit. Revenge, gold from a robbery is at the forefront but with poor exposition dumps and only flashes of intricate choreography (mainly during the swordplay ending), the movie fades really fast during and certainly after viewing. Starring Lau Ga-Yung, Kwan Hoi-San and Ku Feng.

Shaolin Drunkard (1983) Directed by: Yuen Woo-Ping

Less of the kung fu (yet still well put together when it does appear) and more of a fantasy comedy romp along the lines of The Miracle Fighters, it's understandable why efforts such as Yuen Woo-Ping's Shaolin Drunkard never really found the widespread audience that Drunken Master or The Magnificent Butcher did. Broad to the max and very uniquely Asian, since director Yuen and his brothers focus all energy on delivering silliness, albeit very creative silliness, it's a film for audiences that have embraced but maybe there also are those that dare embrace the low-brow nature to their Hong Kong filmmaking. Some quite stomach churning gore and body horror at times disrupt the goofy surface but having gone past those thresholds successfully, Shaolin Drunkard becomes manic fun from the Yuen Clan.

Yuen Yat Chor, Yuen Cheung Yan (as the titular drunkard as well as Yat Chor's grandma. The latter role being a reference back to The Miracle Fighters), Yuen Chun Yee, Yeung Hoi Yi and Eddy Ko star. Director Yuen Woo-Ping appears in a cameo.

Shaolin Drunken Monk (1981) Directed by: Ulysses Au

Not so extraordinary but rather ordinary revenge story, the ever so slight tweak here is that that TWO want revenge on Eagle Han Ying (one being Gordon Liu's character who's waited since childhood for his revenge and he's learnt drunken boxing in the meantime). Surprisingly dark and real as we see Liu kidnap a young woman and in her terrified state director Ulysses Au (The First Error Step, The Country Of Beauties) shows her peeing her pants. Despite also having Lau Kar-Leung and Chin Yuet-Sang on board for the action there's only select highlights here rather than a complete, quality product on their behalf. Liu vs Chin Yuet-Sang and his knife chain and the finale with Eagle Han Ying raises the low, low budget look of the Korean locations therefore.

Shaolin Ex Monk (1978) Directed by: Cheung San-Yee

Quite disgustingly transparent with its intentions, part of Shaolin Ex Monk is a gloriously failed Jackie Chan imitator starring Blacky Ko (who was never a good kung fu comedy lead. Would work better in gangster roles) with light shenanigans set to Warner Brothers cartoon music and none of it works. When bringing in other familiarity such as when John Liu's character trains's Blacky, Shaolin Ex Monk starts to click as Liu brings charisma and trademark kicking to the picture. Traditional action therefore comes alive but it's the more wire enhanced aspects that entertains more as Liu's characters begins unveiling a mystery surrounding a masked ninja and several murders. It's not a plot we keep up with but overall Shaolin Ex Monk has its share of eye brow raising moments and truthfully, it's almost all due to Liu's solid presence regardless of what he's doing. Also with Jack Long.

Shaolin Hand Lock (1978) Directed by: Hoh Mung-Wa

All involved in this Shaw Brother's production (including action director Tong Gaai) punches in as usual but does deliver fair competence considering the common plot framework. David Chiang is Cheng Ying who is taught the titular technique fully but has his family murdered by Fang Yu Biao (Chan Shen) shortly after his final training has concluded. Yu Biao was hired by wealthy smuggler Lin Hao (Lo Lieh) and Cheng Ying goes to Thailand to execute a revenge plot. It starts by stealing Lin Hao's gold in order to prove his worth and get close to him as only bodyguards can...

Therefore seemingly lensed in Thailand partly, the setting is more modern as we get the sights of trains and the action direction contains motor bike stunts for one scene. Director Hoh Mung-Wa (The Mighty Peking Man) does roll full steam ahead concerning his revenge plot but stopping at the very last second is a choice that generates more of a curious narrative when we see Cheng Ying manipulate his surroundings to believe other ones but him are after Lin Hao. Michael Chan co-stars while Kara Hui and Dick Wei briefly appear.

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The Shaolin Heroes (1980) Directed by: Wu Ma

Marshal Wong Fei (Ti Lung) rounds up Ming rebels and Shaolin brothers for the Ching dynasty and proceeds to torture and train them for possible use in the Ching army. Wong Fei is suspected to be working undercover however...

With sets looking suspiciously like being on loan from Shaw Brothers, Wu Ma has also gathered up cast and crew worthy of an entry in the Shaw Brothers catalogue. This means a great deal of talent, a great deal of talent put to good use and I Kuang's script is straight faced and very sharp, complemented by very present actors such as Ti Lung and Michael Chan (looking incredibly well immersed in this period movie in particular). The mystery isn't great but Wu Ma keeps interest because The Shaolin Heroes doesn't echo templates. Much is supposed to be heartbreaking and again while no great shakes in terms of its twists, competence keeps Wu Ma's vision very much alive. Especially when the movie is so well costumed and the sets are magnificent. With Dorian Tan, Wong Chung, Danny Lee, Wong Ching, Wu Ma and Shih Szu. Action directed by Robert Tai and the movie is also known as simply The Heroes.

The Shaolin Kids (1977) Directed by: Joseph Kuo

Armed with a huge cast and sets, Joseph Kuo intimidates with the English title of the film as kids and kung-fu normally don't mix well (hello Kids From Shaolin!). Even though it barely touches upon Shaolin or any kids, the film manages to be largely unbearable despite. Essentially a 306+ character gallery conveying a bloody power struggle between the Ming and Ching dynasties, it sounds simple but is muddled beyond belief. Only the bursts of weapons-action entertain and especially the extensive, quite ferocious assault during the ending ranks as classic Kuo imagery put on screen. Starring Polly Kuan, Tien Peng and Carter Wong. God only knows who they were in the movie and what they were doing...

Shaolin Kung-Fu Mystagogue (1975) Directed by: Chang Paang-Yee

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Possessing the genre trademarks including a Ming rebels vs. Ching rulers plot, here's a standard kung-fu vehicle that will make for a fine evening's viewing. With Carter Wong and Hsu Feng fighting against their opponents that includes a badass Chang Yi and his weapon of choice The Bloody Bird, you early on realize Shaolin Kung Fu Mystagogue sparks when it's about fun with gadgets. Best sequences does indeed use weaponry such as Chang Yi's that acts as a boomerang, cuts down trees and various other Wuxia techniques is crudely but wildly fun orchestration by the filmmaking team. With Buddhist monk's mentioning that the ultimate form is not for everyone, you betcha it's a desired skill in this universe that will appear at a climactic point plus finally, you get a pair of delightful rooms of traps-sequences. All looking as creative as can be coming from this cinema as well as fake and there's nothing wrong with that. Sit back and kick back, it's a feeling this widespread viewer and reviewer not often feels like doing. Mang Fei, Suen Yuet and Phillip Ko also stars.

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