Legendary Heroes (Legendary Weapons of China / The Shadow Whip / The Shaolin Intruders / The Deadly Breaking Sword)
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In a world beyond your imagination, the greatest heroes who ever lived face off against the deadliest foes imaginable! Now four of the greatest, most action-packed martial arts epics come together for the very first time in this special collector's set, all restored and remastered to their original razor-sharp splendor!
Legendary Weapons of China: Confronted with brutal invading hordes during the Boxer Rebellion, heroic Lei Kung turns to a powerful arsenal of the most bizarre, deadly weapons ever unleashed in this eye-popping kung fu classic.
The Shadow Whip: A female super-swordfighter known for her fatal whip-wielding skills avenges her family and faces off against an army of foes in this rousing, visually stunning fan favorite.
The Shaolin Intruders: This stunt-packed spectacle follows three innocent martial arts masters wrongly fingered for a series of brutal murders at a holy temple, with a breathless race against time forcing them to uncover the truth.
The Deadly Breaking Sword: Two martial arts masters embark on a fast-kicking mission for justice against the nefarious Dr. Kuo, who terrorizes the population in a quest to master one of the world's most coveted weapons.
- Aspect Ratio : 2.35:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated Unrated (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.75 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches; 4 Ounces
- Item model number : IMG4633DVD
- Director : Lau Kar-leung, Chia Tang, Chung Sun, Wei Lo
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 6 hours and 21 minutes
- Release date : June 2, 2009
- Actors : Tiet Wo Chu, Sheng Fu, Hou Hsiao, Kara Hui, King Chu Lee
- Subtitles: : English
- Language : Unqualified (DTS ES 6.1)
- Studio : IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
- ASIN : B001URA5YS
- Writers : Kam-Hung Yip, Kuang Ni, Tai-Heng Li
- Number of discs : 4
- Best Sellers Rank: #146,918 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I was in heaven took me back to when I was a kid.
Languages have no English option but it does have English Subtitles. Bonus material is mostly trailers but it does have a behind the scenes gallery and a Production Stills Gallery
The Deadly Breaking Sword
Does have an English soundtrack and/or Subtitles and the Extra's include Trailers and a Stills Gallery
No English Soundtrack but it does have English Subtitles and again Bonus Material is the always present Trailers and Stills Gallery
Legendary Weapons of China
Does have and English Soundtrack as well as English Subtitles and only Trailers in the Bonus Materials
Kicking off with SHAOLIN INTRUDERS (1983, 90 minutes) we meet Quao Yiduo the playful gambler (Jason Pai Piao), Lei Xun the wandering tai chi master (Tung-Shing Yee), and Ye Qinghua (Yu-po Liu) the lovely girl wielding the lethal gold knives. When a series of horrible murders implicate these three martial artists, they have no choice but to seek out the true killers, even as various clans descend on them for a reckoning. The three unearth one clue: that each of the victims had perished with a palm imprint on the chest. This bone-breaking technique - called the Shaolin Jingang Palm - is taught only in a Shaolin Temple. So off our heroes go to the local Shaolin Temple.
Accused of harboring homicidal monks, the Shaolin Temple's abbot is willing to cooperate, sort of. But only if our protagonists can first pass a gauntlet of grueling tests. The final two trials are pretty awesome, with Lei Xun going up against twelve well-synchronized monks and then both Lei Xun and Quao Yidao taking on the abbot himself, the fight being staged solely on a formation of wooden benches (first to touch the ground loses). But just because I'm pointing out these two skirmishes doesn't mean that the other fight sequences aren't equally spectacular and elaborate. There is some amazing, rousing $#!+ here!
SHAOLIN INTRUDERS is more than the sum of its fights, however. It's a twisty revenge tale, and you get invested in the main characters. My favorite character is the roguish gambler Quao Yiduo who is well versed with martial arts but doesn't mind resorting to trickery to achieve his ends. He keeps things lighthearted in an otherwise dark story and later does an amusing bit of Drunken Sword fighting. We also get monks with evil cackles and those traditional bushy eyebrows and crazy beards. What's not to like here?
LEGENDARY WEAPONS OF CHINA (1982, 105 minutes) still stands the test of time, still is a testament to Lau Kar Leung's skills not only behind the camera but also to his mastery of the martial arts. This movie is one of the best in the genre and offers an exciting opening credits sequence as various martial artists demonstrate the legendary eighteen weapons of China.
During the Boxer Rebellion, Lei Kung (Lau Kar Leung) was commanded to make the Empress Dowager's troops bullet-proof. But Lei Kung failed abjectly, and he soon grew weary of watching his students senselessly perish by firearm. Lei Kung disbanded the troops and went into seclusion. For this act of treason, warriors from various fighting sects are deployed separately to unearth and assassinate him. And I guess there's also that one added insult to redress, that these clans' application of subterfuge, camouflage, and hidden weaponry were denounced by Lei Kung as insufficient against foreign weapons (ie: guns & bullets). This constitutes a serious slap to the face.
The assassins end up in this tiny town and begin to poke and prod around, eventually even resorting to staging fights to draw Lei Kung out of hiding. Meanwhile, no one suspects the old, quirky woodcutter who can haul ridiculous piles of wood.
Lau Kar Leung (a.k.a. Liu Chia Liang) is the real star of this film, but he gets fabulous support from Gordon Liu, the very beautiful Kara Hui, and Hou Hsiao. And I have to say that it kills me each time I see an obvious knockout like Kara Hui trying to pass herself off as a man... and getting away with it for most of the film! Her character is sympathetic to Lei Kung's plight from the start and she helps out the old warrior (because Lei Kung has let his kung fu go).
Quite often humor rears its head. For one thing, Alexander Fu Sheng, sort of the Shaw Brothers' answer to Golden Harvest's Jackie Chan, has an extended cameo as a charlatan hired by the bad guys to put on a fake fight (again, to draw out Lei Kung). There's even a broad comedy bit - which may or may not work for you - involving hypnotism kung fu with the Maoshan hypnotist manipulating a voodoo doll.
LEGENDARY WEAPONS OF CHINA has fabulous choreography and stunts. The fights are tremendous, and to spice things up, in some of these, the participants occasionally switch allegiance. I really liked the covert tussle in the crawl space. The film culminates in a masterful extended fight between Lei Kung and his treacherous brother (played by Lau Kar Leung's real-life brother) as they go thru each of the eighteen legendary Chinese weapons. Lau Kar Leung really lives up to his street cred. All must bow down to his crazy mad skills.
THE SHADOW WHIP is the earliest film in this bunch (1970, 79 minutes). It stars Cheng Pei Pei who made big waves in several Shaw Brothers kung fu films in the '60s, starting with the classic COME DRINK WITH ME. I have to say that I wasn't feeling THE SHADOW WHIP as much as the other films in this collection.
Sadly, Cheng Pei Pei is dressed up in unflattering red and white furs, making her look like a cuter version of Kris Kringle. The plot is wafer thin, although Pei Pei makes the story tolerable. For fifteen years Fang Chengtian, notoriously known as the Shadow Whip, had been in hiding after having stolen an official's personal jewelry. But now he's been found out. Luckily for him, over the years, the Shadow Whip had trained his niece Yang Yun (Pei Pei) in mastering the bullwhip, and she comes to his aid. Along the way, Yang Yun will also get revenge for her father's murder. The End. Oh, and Yang Yun picks up a half-hearted love interest in the shape of a wandering warrior. And there are recurring thugs called the "Serial Trio" who occasionally pop up to annoy the protagonists.
Okay, I absolutely had no clue that the bullwhip was a Chinese martial arts weapon. And I think what tempers the fun for me is that the whip sequences aren't consistently exciting (in fact, it looks downright cumbersome). You'd think, just by its nature, the whip, to be at its most effective, discourages close quarters combat. However, Pei Pei gets her share of vicious infighting. I do like how both Pei Pei and the Shadow Whip utilize their bullwhips to grab hold of an opponent's weapon only to direct it into piercing the flesh of another opponent. But, overall, Pei Pei's other bullwhip film, WHIPLASH ("Hu Bian Zi"), exhibits more dynamic sequences featuring the bullwhip. It also sucks that some of the fighty fights are speeded up, which makes them look downright ridiculous (not that the swordplay was so top drawer, anyway). Another thing that bugged me is that seemingly everyone here can leap all the way up to roof- and treetops. The result is that this amazing feat becomes rather pedestrian after a while. On the interesting side, the story takes place in snowy northern China, and the wintry locale provides a nice change of scenery. SHADOW WHIP isn't among Cheng Pei Pei's best films. But it's okay. She's still plenty feisty in this one.
THE DEADLY BREAKING SWORD (1979, 105 minutes), in co-featuring a stoic, classical martial artist and an uncouth, buffoonish fighter, reminds me just a smidge of SAMURAI CHAMPLOO, that fabulous anime, except of course this movie came first. This is another oldie but goodie, and it showcases a layered storyline. The action sequences are highly watchable, and you get to check out the difference between Ti Lung's more deliberate and traditional wushu versus Alexander Fu-Sheng's more freewheeling, comedy-tinged style. You get the feeling that when Ti Lung's character tries to mentor Fu-Sheng's in the ways of the noble martial artist, the sermon was just falling on deaf ears. Alexander Fu-Sheng has always been incorrigible. But he does some pretty nifty stuff with that dagger of his.
Your interest is piqued right from the opening scene as two boastful warriors face off, as Lian San (Michael Chan), the "Throat-Piercing Halberd," challenges Tuan Changqing (Ti Lung), a.k.a. "Deadly Breaking Sword." Of the two, Tuan Changqing has more flash to his game. Lian San may have notched one hundred kills, but Changqing trumps that with his colorful schtick: each time he has a duel he brings a coffin along for his opponent. And then there's his habit of breaking off an inch of his blade in his opponent's body when he goes for the kill. You'd think his sword would be down to a nubbin by now, b ut whatever. Tuan Changqing happens to be one of the central protagonists. But Lian San, an inch of steel in his chest, will be heard from later.
The other main principal is Xiao Dao (Alecander Fu-Sheng), a.k.a. "Little Dagger." Xiao Dao is a clownish gambler. His latest foray with dominoes lands him even deeper in debt with the gambling house. This is ideal for the gambling house's girl owner as she means to make him her husband. Meanwhile, the neighboring brothel welcomes in the newly arrived high class prostitute who has her own dark agenda. Her scheme will unite Little Dagger and Deadly Breaking Sword in a struggle against the master villain of the piece, the insidious physician they call the Killer Doctor. The Killer Doctor has a secret weapon, though, and it's the revitalized Lian San (a.k.a. "Throat-Piercing Halberd," remember him?) who, because of the Killer Doctor's medical ministrations, is deadlier than ever and now sports hair inexplicably turned red and white. This time, it'll take both Deadly Breaking Sword and Little Dagger to fend off Lian San. Fantastic action, good slapstick comedy, and fun chemistry between Ti Lung and Alexander Fu-Sheng make THE DEADLY BREAKING SWORD a must see for fans of wuxia pian.