Disciples of Shaolin
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This effort gets only four stars because the screenplay is highly derivative of Bruce Lee's "The Big Boss" (a little of "On the Waterfront", too? Chang Cheh DID like his Brando); otherwise, it's FIVE stars for the end product.... No spoilers here for newcomers!! With great fight choreography [by Lau Kar Leung], evocative photography and fine acting, it looks and feels [almost] like an "A" picture ("Heroes Two" seems more like 1960's "Batman", by comparison).
From the opening credits onward, it's a Fu Sheng showcase that will please the men as much as the ladies; in some scenes, he comes off like Jackie Chan, and this is BEFORE Jackie became known of in Hong Kong, let alone the world! His performance here gives the best of David Chiang a run for its money, and this remark comes from someone who is partial to Chiang's work, so that's saying a lot. Also, let's not forget Chi Kuan-chi's part as Fu Sheng's older brother; if you liked him in "Showdown at the Cottonmill", you'll like his moves (as well as his acting) here. The [typical] great supporting cast helps keep things moving. The music cues add to the flavor, too; is some of this from "blaxploitation" movies?
Another decent Image DVD (nice new logo, guys) with English and Mandarin soundtracks (subtitles at your command), and add bonus points for the front cover of the case that looks like a comic book cover ("Master of Kung Fu", maybe)! A must-have for Fu Sheng fans, and it would make for a good first stop in starting up a collection of the movies of "Alexander the Great"!
All the best, Brother Fang.
Fu Sheng plays Guan Feng Yi, who moves to the town of his martial brother, Wang Hon (Chun). Guan Feng Yi is poor and gets offered a job in the textile mill that employs Wang Hon. A Manchu-run rival mill across town is roughing up the workers but Wang Hon discourages Guan Feng Yi's involvement, even though both are trained fighters. Eventually, Guan Feng Yi does fight, wastes just about all his boss's enemies, and gets quite the lucrative promotion, including a gold pocket watch (it was digital in "Chinatown Kid") and unlimited brothel access. Is this a good thing or will it cost him his integrity and the friendship of Wang Hon? Or perhaps his life?
If not compared to the other two movies, this is a pretty good old-school fu-flick, and I am perhaps biased, as I saw the other two first. The fights won't blow anyone away but they're fast enough once Fu Sheng starts swingin'. The brawls mostly stay on the Basher side but there are some genuine Hung-Gar moves shown as the fight choreographer is the great Lau Kar Leung ("Legend of the Drunken Master").
Another stellar release from Image Entertainment. I wish they had some special features but, whatever. On the plus side, there are LOADS of sweet Shaw Bros. trailers! The remastering job by Celestial is fantastic, as usual.Read more ›
Actually, there are many powerful & emotional scenes here, and they don't all involve fu. Speaking of which, by 1975 the bar on choreography (done here by Lau Kar-Leung) was definitely raised on Chang's pictures, and it rarely dropped below that line from this point on. Good visuals, good kung fu. Great use of shoes & gold pocket watches representing higher echelon status to Fu Sheng. Image did another first-class job here; remastered, widescreen, and a choice between a decent English dub or the original Mandarin with good subtitles. Just as a note of interest, Johnny To remade this film in 1993 as "The Barefooted Kid", an acclaimed film that was also choreographed by Lau Kar-Leung.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of Fu Sheng's best films, right before Chinatown Kid. Very heartfelt and moving story.Published on June 2, 2014 by Brian Smith
First of all the audio in this movie is horrible, not to say that these movies usually have great audio, but it sounds like it is being played in a small tunnel. Read morePublished on April 30, 2014 by Julian Pope
This movie was garbage... The ending was quick and a waste of money... I wish I could get my money backPublished on December 21, 2013 by john flowers