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 »
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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
Not as much fun as Wang Yu film, but moves along quite well.
This is one of those few movies that enters cinema legend simply because a better remembered film was made in response to it. Flying guillotine was quite popular in its day, thus Wang Yu's idea of stealing an idea from it. Now it's become difficult find.
Of course I saw this after seeing Wang Yu's later film. Consequently I was actually prepared for a film much less fun than the later film.
well, it is a little less fun - but only a little. Ho Meng-hua has really paced this film well - Whenever we reach a point where the plot appears in danger of slowing down, Ho makes sure something happens to recapture our attention.
The cinematography is quite good, and the editor has used the footage well. But my sense is that the largest contribution was from Ho Meng-hwa.
Of course, it helps a little to have Chen Kuan Tai play the hero. Chen was not only a brilliant traditional kung-fu performer, he could also act quite convincingly.
There are a number of slips in the film, but thanks to its pacing, these are easy to ignore. It's definitely a "grand-guinol" B-movie; but I wouldn't have it any other way.
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