Bad dubbing, nondescript action...not one of the genre's finest
THE EIGHTEEN JADE CLAWS OF SHAOLIN is a rather stodgy kung fu epic made by a Hong Kong crew in Taiwan. It's a film that desperately tries to emulate a Shaw Brothers production although the quantity of lacklustre action means that it can't hope to hold a candle to the quality of that studio's output. It's acceptable enough for the genre but also one of those films which is instantly forgettable despite the best efforts of the cast and crew.
The plot is simple but needlessly complex in places. A cruel killer is going around bumping off genteel folk, so an upstanding hero tracks him down to wreak vengeance. Although the way he teams up with a female fighter who has the misfortune to be dubbed with an annoying voice in the English version. The two fight at first but then work together, and of course it all ends up with a climactic fight with the bad guy.
The title refers to some mysterious jade artefacts which actually have little to do with the revenge story and don't impinge on the action much either. They're only mentioned towards the end of the movie. Polly Shang is good value as the female fighter and it's just a shame about that English dub while Chang Yi is as unremarkable as ever. The film features Lo Lieh doing one of his many 'guest villain' parts and as usual he's the best thing in it.
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