IMDb > The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978)
Shao Lin san shi liu fang
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The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978) More at IMDbPro »Shao Lin san shi liu fang (original title)

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Kuang Ni (writer)
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Release Date:
June 1979 (USA) See more »
He who struggles initially, might succeed eventually, and even finally. See more »
The anti-Ching patriots, under the guidance of Ho Kuang-han, have secretly set up their base in Canton... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
"The 36th Chamber of Shaolin" - An essential martial arts movie See more (68 total) »


  (in credits order)

Chia-Hui Liu ... San Te
Lieh Lo ... General Tien Ta
Chia Yung Liu ... General Yin
Norman Chu ... Lu Ah-cai (as Hsu Shao-Chiang)
Yu Yang ... Hung His-kuan (as Yang Yu)
John Cheung ... Lord Cheng (as Chang Wu-liang)
Wilson Tong ... Tang San-yao (as Tang Wei-cheng)
Hang-Sheng Wu ... Tung Qian-jin
Yue Wong ... Miller Six (as Yu Wang)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tung-Kua Ai ... Abbot in charge of Head Chamber
Billy Chan ... Soldier
Lung Chan ... Abbot in charge of Staff Chamber
Shen Chan ... Director of 'Wrists Chamber'
Szu-Chia Chen ... Chen Yen-ping
Wah Cheung ... Shaolin disciple
Han Chiang ... Senior monk
Nan Chiang ... Director of 'Eyes Chamber'
Yuet Sang Chin ... Soldier
Alan Chung San Chui ... Soldier
Ging Man Fung ... Beggar
Li Jen Ho ... Abbot in charge of Top Chamber
Kwok Choi Hon ... Lin Zhen
Hou Hsiao ... Shaolin disciple
Yuan Hsio-Tieng ... Director of 'Boxing Chamber'
Lun Hua ... Chang Hsiang-yung
Ma Ku
Hoi Sang Lee ... Abbot of Justice Office (as Li Hai Sheng)
Ta Lei
Ke Ming Lin ... Soldier
Tsun Liu
Lao Shen ... Abbot in charge of Dining Hall
Austin Wai ... Shaolin disciple
Fat Wan ... Soldier
Ching Ho Wang ... San Te's father
Han Chen Wang ... Abbot in charge of Leg Chamber
Hung Wei ... Teacher Ho
Wing Tat Woo (as Yung-Ta Hu)
Hsin-chuan Wu

Directed by
Chia-Liang Liu 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Kuang Ni  writer

Produced by
Mona Fong .... producer
Chia-Hsi Huang .... assistant producer
Run Run Shaw .... producer
Lawrence Wong .... executive producer
Original Music by
Yung-Yu Chen 
Cinematography by
Yeh-tai Huang 
Arthur Wong 
Film Editing by
Chi Leong Cheang 
Yen Hai Li 
Art Direction by
Johnson Tsao 
Costume Design by
Chi-Yu Liu  (as Chi You Lau)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Yuen Tong .... assistant director
Other crew
Chia-Liang Liu .... fighting instructor
Chia-Liang Liu .... martial arts instructor
Cheng Peng .... production assistant
Wei-Cheng Tang .... martial arts instructor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Shao Lin san shi liu fang" - Hong Kong (original title)
"36th Chamber" - USA (short title)
"Master Killer" - USA (short title)
"Shaolin Master Killer" - USA (video box title)
"The Master Killer" - USA (dubbed version)
See more »
115 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.See more »
San Te:I should have learned Kung-fu instead of ethics.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)See more »


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28 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
"The 36th Chamber of Shaolin" - An essential martial arts movie, 31 August 2007
Author: dee.reid from United States

Anyone familiar with the hip-hop super-group the Wu-Tang Clan knows that "The 36th Chamber of Shaolin" (a.k.a. "Shaolin Master Killer"), directed in 1978 by Liu Chia-Liang, is essential viewing for any martial arts movie fan. This movie started the whole "good-guy-gets-his-butt-kicked-and-undergoes-martial arts-training-to-exact-vengeance" storyline that's been used so many times in the martial arts movies since (i.e., the American "Karate Kid" movies). In it, anti-Manchu patriot San Te (Gordon Liu) is a humble country boy who is cast out of his village when Manchu soldiers (led by the villainous Lo Lieh) slaughter his parents, orphaning him. He manages to make it to the famous Shaolin Temple, where he is nursed back to health by the monks living there, and soon undergoes a rigorous and dangerous regiment of training to master the 35 "chambers" (styles) of kung-fu. In seven years, he completes his training, mastering all 35 styles, invents a brand-new weapon (the three-section staff), and suggests creating a 36th chamber - to spread kung-fu beyond the Shaolin Temple's walls and bring it to the masses. The whole story is pretty formulaic (what martial arts movie from the '70s doesn't have a formulaic plot?), but what gets this movie going is its rousing training sequences. These are not the run-of-the-mill stuff we're used to seeing in these movies. San Te's quest to become a martial arts warrior is a tortuous journey of self-actualization, a kind of virtue commonly lacking in the genre; San Te actually becomes a better person as a result of his experiences at the Shaolin Temple. Most grind-house cinema aficionados love this movie (Wu-Tang Clan co-founder the RZA in "The Wu-Tang Manual" does an entire section on the martial arts movies that influenced his development of the Wu-Tang Clan and much of their underlying philosophy). Finally, I'm glad to see an old-school martial arts movie that has its heart and brain in the right places.


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