Chen Kuan-tai battles assassins that use a deadly, beheading weapon to kill dissidents. Based on true events, the film's weapon was completely fabricated because in real life, no one ever ... See full summary »
After his students are killed by the One Armed Boxer, a vengeful and blind Kung Fu expert travels to a village where a martial arts contest is being held and vows to behead every one armed man he comes across.
A couple unite - she is fluent in the crane style of kung fu, he in tiger style. They have a son, but the boy's father is killed by the evil eunuch Bai Mei. Disguised as a girl, his mom ... See full summary »
The Yang family was the loyal strong-arm of the Imperial army. But a jealous General betrays the Eilte Spearman and their father to the opposing Mongol army. After an ambush of a battle, ... See full summary »
A dying teacher instructs his final student to check on the activities of five former pupils, each of whom he taught a unique and special style of kung-fu to: The Centipede, Snake, Scorpion... See full summary »
An evil gang attacks the Chi school of Golden Sword Kung Fu. One student sacrifices his life to save his teacher and his school, his dying wish is that his son be taken in as a student. ... See full summary »
After defeating The Long-Armed Devil and his armies, our nubbed hero has been living in retirement as a farmer, but circumstances causes him to come out of retirement and take on The Eight ... See full summary »
Chi Ming-sing is a former disciple of a gang run by overlord Yoh Xi-hung. Yoh's disciples hunt Chi relentlessly as he travels on a soul-searching journey. He comes to the aid of a seemingly... See full summary »
Director Chang Cheh reunites the Five Venoms in his second biggest cult hit in the West. It's Lo Meng's most memorable performances whose showdown with fellow Venom Kuo Chue is artistically violent while being graphically artsy.
Shaolin Mantis (Orig. Tang lang) is a 1978 Shaw Brothers film directed by Lau Kar-leung. Starring David Chiang and Liu Chia Hui. Shaolin Mantis tells the story of a man who learns martial arts by observing a praying mantis.
Chen Kuan-tai battles assassins that use a deadly, beheading weapon to kill dissidents. Based on true events, the film's weapon was completely fabricated because in real life, no one ever survived to tell what the weapon actually looked like. Written by
Great, surprisingly plot driven outing for the deadliest of all weapons
I've been interested in flying guillotines ever since watching the lesser known, but pretty entertaining take off picture Fatal Flying Guillotines that starred Carter Wong. That was the first old school kung fu film that I ever bought and I still like them a lot, though I don't watch them quite as often. When I first saw this film I was mildly disappointed, as I expected more action and flamboyance in keeping with the other films to feature the flying guillotine. Its a real grower though, for I watched it again last night and had a great time. The talented Huo Meng Hua directs with his customary steady hand and flair for action, stirring up intrigue and providing satisfying, brutish fight scenes. Chen Kuan Tai is the main character, an assassin who has developed a conscience and though his acting may not be great, he is a fine fighter, fending off various opponents with his forceful but unshowy moves. There is less fighting in this film than one might expect, but the fight scenes are very much at the service of the plot and characters. The fights look more realistic than usual, with a good hard hitting style and antagonists who always seem credible, rather than the expected skilled, balletic opponents of some of the Shaw Brothers' other films. The story is decent and it takes its time to develop through the movie, with interesting characters and some well spun tension. Huo Meng Hua also scores highly with a paranoid imperial atmosphere, where people do terrible things to avoid being killed by the government and fear is rife. The flying guillotines are less the force of evil in the film than tyrannical rule and its crimes against the people, those who unquestioningly work for these regimes and those who seek to exploit them for personal gain. The guillotines themselves are just a tool in an iniquitous system and the film is focused more on humanity, and human iniquity than showcasing kung fu prowess. Which isn't to say that the film lacks in guillotine action, its just that it isn't as grisly or madcap as it might be. This is pretty much a very fine film, with a classy feel, great Shaw Brothers style and familiar yet lovable set designs. It has splashes of mild gore, good fighting in a good plot and surprising attention to characters. With perhaps a touch more energy it could be truly marvellous, but this is still ace viewing. Just don't confuse it with Master Of The Flying Guillotine, as this can easily lead to confusion.
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