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Lightning Fists of Shaolin More at IMDbPro »Hung kuen dai see (original title)

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20 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

"Opium and the Kung Fu Master" - last film from Tang Chia

8/10
Author: Chung Mo from NYC
2 March 2007

Veteran action choreographer for the Shaw Bros. studio directed a total of three films on his own at the very end of the studio's existence. This was his last one and after that Tang Chia dropped out of the records. A contemporary of Liu Chia Liang, the other Shaw choreographer turned director, Tang Chia's style was very distinctive and some say defined the classic Shaw kung fu look. He had a fascination with elaborate weapons and apparently took to designing his own for many of the movies that called for something unusual.

A small town is protected by one of the famous Ten Tigers of Kwangtung, played by Ti Lung. The town is very safe as Ti Lung and his kung fu students patrol for criminals. Enter the rival kung fu school whom Ti Lung's students have beaten in a lion dance competition and then humiliated in a brawl. The rival school is joined by an opium dealing kung fu master who plans to turn the town into a community of addicts! Can Ti Lung's character fight this threat when he is quickly slipping into opium addiction himself?

Right off, the martial arts are excellent. Some of the best in any Shaw film. That is enough for some to find this film and I encourage them. The signature Tang Chia crazy weapons are not here but that doesn't lessen the quality of the martial arts at all. The story is quite unusual, you wouldn't expect a kung fu film to tackle the subject of addiction, usually drug dealers are just bad guys to be pounded and the issues of drugs are ignored. The film starts out as a light mixture of action, humor and slapstick. Halfway through the plot turns tragic and sometimes the old school theatrics are turned on full force. The action remains top notch. The ending is unfortunately telegraphed and that lessens the enjoyment a bit. Still the subject of the film is important and it was dealt with in an interesting way.

It too bad that Tang Chia apparently quit the business after this, his three films were quite good. Perhaps he felt that without the support of a studio like the Shaw's, he couldn't maintain the quality.

Recommended and check out the Shaolin "Zatoichi"!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of Shaws' last greatest!!!!

9/10
Author: EvilShinogi from Memphis Tn
16 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What do you get when you get a Kung Fu master (Ti Lung) hooked on Opium?? Serious trouble that's what.

This movie was good from beginning to the end. Some opium, traders want to move opium through China, but their serious threat is Ti Lung himself. Chen Kwan Tai tests Ti Lungs' skill to prove his worth. Now they see he is a problem so they set him up to try opium, and it works. Ti Lung then tried to fight but sees that his strength is now diminished due to the heavy opium usage, plus his young protégé dies trying to defend him.

This wakes Ti Lung up and he quits cold turkey, big mistake.........................for the bad guys that is. His act of vengeance is very powerful. I can't go on to long, because I'm about to try and watch it again.

My wife and I collect kung fu movies, unfortunately this movie is part of her collection, and I hate her for it. Get this movie, it is another Shaw Classic.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

...definitely a notch above the rest of the shaw bros movies

7/10
Author: bcheng93 from ny ny
18 March 2014

i have watched a lot of shaw bros. from the late 60's to their end which was the mid 80's. this was one of the last films from shaw bros and in my opinion one of their best.

some of the reasons it was a notch above were that it was beautifully shot, the cinematographer really had a good eye. the main leads were actually actors and not stuntmen turned actors, so they were pleasing to the eye. the kung fu choreography was as good as any and the lead villain had a really cool and lethal weapon. the main actress is the legendary and gorgeous Liu Shuet Whah who went on to become the queen of melodramatic television serials in Taiwan.

being said that the main leads were all actors and actresses first the acting was pretty good also. ti lung in one of his final and better roles before he teamed up with John Woo and did the legendary " a better tomorrow ". you also had the shaw bros legend Chen Kuan Tai as the main baddie and oh yes lee hoi san is in here also...and yuen wah too!

all in all a very very entertaining and well paced movie with a great story about the evils of hard drugs and drug addiction mixed in with some good and beautifully shot kung fu.

this one's a winner and a top 10 in my shaw bros movies that i have watched.

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Late-stage Shaw is an effective mix of martial arts and anti-drugs message

7/10
Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
29 November 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Although it was released just a year before the Shaw Brothers studio closed, OPIUM AND THE KUNG FU MASTER proves to be just as strong a piece of film-making as their earlier classics. I'm constantly astounded at the way Shaw continued to innovate and provide fresh-feeling movies even having produced literally hundreds of similar efforts over the preceding decades.

This film's a vehicle for martial arts legend Ti Lung, who takes on a role that requires acting as well as fighting ability. You see, OPIUM AND THE KUNG FU MASTER is the ultimate Shaw anti-drug film, detailing the horrendous effects of opium addiction among the working class population. Lung himself is the usual kung fu expert but an opium addict to boot, so conflict comes both internally and eternally in this story.

The scenario is fast-paced and inventive, ably mixing together the usual comedy hijinks (the cross-eyed guy is hilarious), furious action scenes, training, and dense plotting. Chia Tang's direction is outstanding and makes this a fine-looking film and the action never disappoints, although the final bout is a little brief for my liking and the film's true dramatic climax comes earlier. The triumvirate of villainy comes in the form of Chen Kuan Tai, Lee Hoi San, and Phillip Ko, all of whom are excellent.

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Pipe dreams...

7/10
Author: poe426 from USA
18 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In what has to be one of the more interesting turns for a character in a martial arts movie, Ti Lung (as Tie) oversees the day-to-day activities of his students (including a Lion Dance, which they win before belittling and then belaboring their opponents). Tie is a strict disciplinarian- at first. Enter Rong Feng (Chen Kuan-Ti), who decides to open an opium den. Rong learns of Tie's addiction and promptly offers him a jar of opium. Before you can say "uh, gimme a second to think this one over," Tie's all but comatose, sucking on a pipe day after day (and, one presumes, night after night). As one might well expect, when it comes time for Tie to step up and man the barricades against the evil opium dealers, he's barely able to stand: in a surprising sequence, he's knocked around by Rong in front of the whole village. Will he go Cold Turkey fu and bounce back, or will the mighty Ti Lung succumb to The Pipe...? There's a bit of high-flying, Old School wirework on display here (as one might well expect in a kung fu movie about opium addiction), but it's kept to a minimum. Not a bad movie, but definitely one with at least one foot planted just a bit too squarely in The Real World.

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