Good, But not as good as the other Shao Lin films to follow
This was a huge deal in the SF Bay Area, back in a time when there was no Jet Li or Chow Yung Fat, yet it was still reviewed in the hip weekly papers and Chronicle. This film, along with Heroes Two and Shao Lin Martial Arts almost brought some critical respect for the Genre when it seemed all but dead after Bruce Lee died. Sadly, it didn't take off, and Chang Cheh cranked out as many stiffs as he did Masterpieces. Hell, he wasn't making movies for western audiences, anyway.I just remember how stunned the theater owners were when all these white hippie intellectual couples showed up at the Great Star theater in droves to see this flick. The one thing that is lacking is in the fighting scenes you never see the Tiger Crane fist technique, only punches and palm strikes. They must have realized that something was missing, because every Fu Sheng Shao Lin movie, and damn near every movie about Shaolin, had the tiger Crane moves after this. Just so you know, there were actually 5 systems out of the temple that survived the burning, but you would never know it from these flicks.
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