Thanks to such filmmakers as choreographers Tang Chia and Yuen Cheung-yan (brother of Matrix master Yuen Woo-ping), this battle between Scorpion, Snake, and Centipede sects to create the "... See full summary »
In this stirring saga of the "Martial Arts World," Lo Lieh plays a righteous swordsman trying to protect another hero's wife and daughter from a corrupt minister's murderous plans...two ... See full summary »
The Third Master (Erh Tung Sheng, aka Derek Yee, in the role that launched his career) is considered to be the greatest sword master of the day. His displays of skill and strength bring ... See full summary »
A prince of the Sung Dynasty has been taken prisoner by Ching invaders and is being held in an impenetrable fortress by elite men of the Ching. A group of fighters loyal to the Sung set out... See full summary »
A town is taken over by a brutal gang, which has taken a safe in a robbery of another town and needs to find someone who can open it for them. They terrorize the townsfolk, beating up and ... See full summary »
Gordon Liu Chia-hui reprises his famous Monk San Te role as he tries to support and protect Shaolin her Fang Shih-yu who purposely attacks corrupt Ching officials. Fights by legendary action director Liu Chia-liang are to die for.
Two friends, ex Shaolin monks, part ways as they brush with the ongoing rebellion against the government. The ambitious one rises up to be a powerful military commander, while his betrayed friend resorts to learn the calm ways of Tai Chi.
After defeating The Long-Armed Devil and his armies, our nubbed hero has been living in retirement as a farmer, but circumstances causes him to come out of retirement and take on The Eight ... See full summary »
Bells of Death is a classic Shaw Brothers production that I first saw in the early 90s when it was released on VHS in North America. I remember being amazed when I discovered that it was made in 1968...and now that I have the restored DVD version put out by Celestial I can fully appreciate how fresh it still feels. This might seem counterintuitive considering that the plot revolves around a man who devotes his life to avenging the murder of his family at the hands of bandits...a kung fu cliché if there ever was one. But while the concept was by no means original in 1968, it was also far from being stale. Add to that the creative cinematography, camera work, and set pieces and it becomes apparent why Hollywood is still trying to catch up to Hong Kong action films almost 40 years later. So while some people call this film completely derivative, I wonder why it hasn't been copied more. Maybe just due to its relative obscurity.
With the popularity of Tarantino's Kill Bill, his homage to Asian action cinema (the Shaw Brothers rip-off of the Warner Brothers marquee front and centre, the soundtrack almost directly lifted from films like Bells of Death) it might be instructive and entertaining for more people to watch these old Shaw Brothers' films. The candle fight scene at about the mid- point of Bells of Death is enough to justify hunting the film down. If Hollywood is going to strip mine old films to recycle ideas it could do much worse than recreating such brilliantly executed scenes.
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