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Worst one in the 36 Chambers Series!
on July 28, 2011
I am a big fan of Shaw Brother movies, and I saw the first and third versions of the 36th Chambers movies. The first one stars Gordon Liu as San Te, who runs away and joins the Shaolin Temple. He is at first rejected but overcomes the obstacles before him through hard work, patience, determination, and diligence, winning admirers within the temple until he earns his own chamber... The 36th Chamber.
The third movie in the 36 Chamber series stars Gordon Liu in a supporting role next to Hsiao Hou who plays Fong Sai Yuk. In both of these actors' extremely capable hands, Disciples of the 36th Chambers doesn't disappoint. The martial arts is great. Disciples of the 36th Chamber is also the last movie Lau Kar Leung directed through Shaw Brothers.
Comparatively, Return to the 36th Chamber is a TERRIBLE movie. In fact, it is probably the worst movie Lau Kar Leung ever made. For one, the movie doesnt' have a lot of fighting. Mostly actors like Gordon Liu (pretending to be monk San Te) getting beat up along side Hsiao Hou (dressed in disguise as a defenseless factory worker with bad teeth and skin). The worst part is that Hsiao Hou didn't get to display any of his acrobatic skills or kung fu in the movie and Gordon Liu didn't do any "real" fighting until the last five or ten minutes of the movie. Kara Hui was in it and she also did nothing. It was a big fat waste of time and I was so disappointed, I only needed to watch it once, unlike the other movies where I watch them over and over again.
Gordon Liu plays a loser con man who can't get his lies straight, even after he is accepted into the Temple as a pupil of San Te (PLAYED BY ANOTHER ACTOR!!! luckily for him, the actor did a good job but still, he was NOT Gordon Liu in his most famous role). In this movie, Liu learns something called Scaffolding Kung Fu... that's right. Scaffolding. SIGH.
If you like the 36th Chamber movies, watch the original or Disciples of the 36th Chamber (the latter is my favorite out of the series). Master Killer aka 36 Chambers is heralded as the best kung fu movie in history (though in my opinion, 8 Pole Diaphram, also starring Gordon Liu, is a much better movie).