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Shaolin Hero (1969)

Mie men zhi huo (original title)
| 1982 (Taiwan)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Fei Meng
Ka-Yan Leung
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fu-Chien Chang
Ching-Lin Huang
Chung-yu Huang
Phillip Ko
Jun-Jun Yang
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1982 (Taiwan)  »

Also Known As:

Avenging Eagle  »

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2.35 : 1
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Mixed-up mess of a kung fu flick
2 June 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Boy, this is a tricky film to get details on. The Vengeance Video DVD release in the UK is entitled FASTER BLADE, POISONOUS DARTS, a title which has also been linked to an (unrelated) martial arts flick of the 1980s. Also known as SHAOLIN HERO, this is a Taiwanese kung fu flick directed by one Wang Yu (a Taiwanese filmmaker, not the Chinese actor better known as Jimmy Wang Yu).

The film itself is a mess and only die-hard fans of the genre are likely to derive enjoyment from it. The plot features numerous leading characters, played by the likes of Meng Fei and the actor affectionately known as 'Beardy', who looks youthful and chubby here. There are female characters who ride around in bath litters, prove to be deadly assassins, and also employ some blind fighters. The narrative involves a series of murders that are pinned on an innocent character, played by Fei, who has to clear his name, although only at the climax is the evil mastermind behind the scheme revealed.

FASTER BLADE, POISONOUS DARTS is a cheap and shoddy looking movie that nevertheless does have plenty of action to recommend it. The fight choreography is neither the best nor the worst I've seen, and the fights are plentiful if nothing else. Eagle-eyed viewers may spot stock villain Phillip Ko who shows up to fight at the end, a bit like Hwang Jang Lee in that respect.


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