A Chinese man (Liu) marries a Japanese woman through an arranged marriage and manages to insult all of her Japanese martial arts family by issuing a challenge to her that is misinterpreted ... 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 »
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 disgraced former Kung Fu expert makes a living as a merchant with the help of a hot headed friend. When the men are harassed by gangsters, the merchant decided to teach his friend monkey boxing so they can defend their business.
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 »
The workers of a dye factory have their pay cut by 20% when the factory owner brings in some Manchu thugs to try and increase production. Desperate to reclaim their full wages, the workers ... 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 »
A prince of the Sung Dynasty has been taken prisoner by Ching invaders and is being held in an impenetrable fortress by elite men of the Ching. A group of fighters loyal to the Sung set out... See full summary »
A young martial artist seeks revenge on the Ninja who kills his martial arts brothers and teacher. He finds help in the form of a new teacher (who knows Ninjitsu) and new brothers. Together... See full summary »
In 1974, Chang Cheh was roughly halfway through a career that already included such milestones as "The One-Armed Swordsman", "The Heroic Ones" and "Blood Brothers". While it can be argued that all martial arts movies are fantasies, Chang's films ("Blood Brothers", especially) were peopled by vividly wrought, three-dimensional characters that the viewer cared about. But, despite assembling a stellar cast for "Five Shaolin Masters", it is here that the veteran director begins to eschew character development. Of the titular masters, only Fu Sheng has any humanity; the remaining heroes (David Chiang, Ti Lung, Chi Kuan-chun, Meng Fei) and all of the villains (Wang Lung-wei, Chiang Tao, Fung Hark-on, Tsai Hung, Liang Chia-jen) are emotionless comic book figures, boldly but crudely drawn. From this point forward, Chang's characters and plots would become increasingly stylized until he was directing what were essentially live-action cartoons, like "Five Element Ninja". The films were still entertaining, but with rare exceptions (such as "The Chinatown Kid") were no longer engrossing. But hey, I won't get too stuffy in my analysis of what is undeniably an entertaining movie. There are lots of fights, both empty-handed and with weapons, and they're beautifully choreographed by Liu Chia-liang--soon to become a director in his own right--and Liu Chia-yung. (Look for brief cameos by the latter and by the Lius' adopted brother, "Master Killer" Gordon Liu.) Judged strictly on action, "Five Shaolin Masters" is a winner, and fans of the genre will want to see it more than once.
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