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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 trains him in crane style while he secretly learns tiger style from his father's training manual. Written by
This movie is a great Shaw Bros. pic, except I liked the remake Fists of the White Lotus a bit better. Still they're both great, especially Master White Brows aka Pai Mai and Lau Kar Leung's intense choreography.
This movie is dark and there's little comedy which effectively sets up the revenge theme (a revenge theme in a kung fu flick?) to help motivate our hero from Shaolin. Tai Chen Kuan as Hung Hsi Kuan shows formidable Tiger Claws style and some neat training sequences with bronze statues and vital point strikes. BUT, I really loved watching Ying Chun (Li Li) and her crane style. Man, if you're going out with her, you better be able to break her leg stance! Plus, her effort and grace in movements are as good as Kara Hui's in Fists of the White Lotus. It's a strange, yet wonderfully hypnotic combination of kung fu and dance.
Now, the action. What do you expect from the real deal kung fu master Lau Kar Leung? Countless opponents, one on many battles, quick strikes, and amazing choreography are the strong points here. Pai Mai's battles are so awesome that he really seems invincible. I can't get enough of him dragging guys along with his groin! One of the strangest, yet highly entertaining kung fu villains ever. Plus, Lo Lieh mastered that menacing look that says, "You want to fight me? Are you kidding??" Strangely enough, I wasn't really rooting against him.
The only downside I can find with this one is that Gordon Liu only makes a brief cameo. However, Gordon Liu is the main star in Fists of the White Lotus AND he battles Lo Lieh as the menacing White Lotus. So, watch both films because they're the great stuff that SB movies are made of.
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