Five Shaolin Masters
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(Jan 01, 1974)
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As the film opens, the Shaolin Temple has just been destroyed by imperial Manchu forces. Thanks to a traitorous spy among the Shaolin disciples, the bad guys were able to take the Temple by complete surprise, killing all but five of its members. After fighting their way to safety, the survivors head off separately to make contact with other rebels. The Manchu are never far behind, as they are determined to stamp out all the rebels once and for all. Numerous fights ensue along the way, leaving the five Shaolin disciples alive but unsure of themselves, having learned that they are no match for the kung fu fighters of the Manchu. Having encountered their enemies (including the traitor that betrayed the Temple) face to face, though, they are now aware of their enemies' strengths and weaknesses. Proving that knowledge is power, each of them begins intensive training in the particular fighting style he thinks he will need in order to defeat his adversary. That, of course, sets the stage for one hell of a battle in the film's final 15-20 minutes.
I'm no martial arts film expert, but my understanding is that the great writer/director Chang Cheh brought together two generations of top-notch martial artists for this film.Read more ›
Like a lot of kung fu movies, this one is about revenge - But watch Shaolin Temple first, which chronicles their training and escape from the destroyed temple, in order to better understand what is happening in Five Shaolin Masters. This one has an excellent fight scene climax - actually five of them - going on simultaneously. You will love how Chin Kuan-Chun unleashes ALL of his Hung Ga styles on Fung Hak On's (one of my favorite villains) Mantis Fist.
You like old school kung fu? Then just go out and get this - BUT - do yourself a favor and get Shaolin Temple too - and have yourself a nice Kung Fu Theater weekend like we did in NYC back in the day.
The Shaolin heroes are comprised of his "first team" ~ Ti Lung as Tsai Te-Chung, the late Fu Sheng as Ma Chao-Hsing, Chi Kuan-Chun as Li Shih-Kai, David Chiang as Hu Te-Ti & an odd choice in Meng Fei as Fang Ta-Hung. Odd because it's Meng's only appearance in a Chang Cheh film to my knowledge. Billy Tang & Gordon Liu both make cameos, I don't know why he didn't use one of them. Anyhoo, Chang rounds out the film with great "villains";(shown with their own music) Tsai Hung as Pao Yu-Lung, Liang Chia-Jen a.k.a. Beardie as Chien San, Feng Ko-An as Chiang Chin-Chiu, Chiang Tao as Chen Wen-Yao & Johnny Wang Lung-Wei as Ma Fu-Yi. The story is simple; Manchus attack and destroy Shaolin with the help of a spy (explained in the prologue), each Shaolin hero gets matched up with their Manchu adversary, the heroes get beaten, they regroup, spend a year brushing up on their fu in the Shaolin ruins and have a 15 minute finale with our "improved" heroes taking on their Manchu enemies. However, Chang Cheh executes the narrative like no other. The Liu brothers, one of whom makes a cameo, deliver the goods in the choreography department, especially the end fight between Chi Kuan-Chun using the Cross Fist style against Feng Ko-An's Mantis Fist & Eagle Claw styles. Awesome stuff here and great stock music.
Now for the DVD; digitally restored & remastered blemish-free print. Widescreen, uncut, and it includes the original Chinese/English credits. One complaint though.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My favorite Kung Fu Theater movie. While pretty simplistic, and full of the usual martial art flick tropes, the movie really shines at the end where the Shaolin and Manchus clash... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
one of the best movies ever. the picture quality is good, the sound quality is very good. the movie content is exceptional.Published 3 months ago by Redbull
I remember seeing this in the 70's and had only seen it once or twice. Was again nice to see Alexander Fu Sheng and Chia Kwan Chung again. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Keith Edwards