The Shaolin Temple is the last place to resist defeat by the Manchu Dynasty, mostly because of their unique fighting style. Men from far and wide come to wait outside the temple, hoping ... See full summary »
A band of counterfeiters wants to make Hong Kong their new territory. The disgraced leader of the Special Squad will have to team-up with a group of Hong Kong police officers in an attempt ... See full summary »
Supposedly dead, embittered former official, The Ghost Face Killer has returned and seeking revenge on those martial arts masters than once opposed him - his name is infamous and his Five ... See full summary »
In a small town somewhere in 19th-century China, two brothers, each using their own particular style of martial arts, defeat a bully of a fighter who is terrorizing the town. In the ensuing... See full summary »
The kingdom of the Ming Emperor is being over run. He decides to kill himself and his daughter - but she escapes with a severe injury. She is helped by a female warrior and hopes to defeat the invaders.
A couple unite - she is fluent in the crane style of kung fu, he in tiger style. They have a son, but the boy's father is killed by the evil eunuch Bai Mei. Disguised as a girl, his mom ... See full summary »
There were a lot of Spaghetti Easterns churned out in the 70s and 80s, and this particular movie is good, but not great. This is product, nothing move, with the obvious intention to fill 90+ minutes of screen time and get the product into the theaters as part of a double or triple feature. Then go crank out some more, rinse, repeat....
Still "7 Steps" feels to me as if someone(s) on a tight budget and schedule went to the effort to make something solid and enjoyable for their audience.
The camera and photography spend enough time on the scenery and the sets that you get a nice sense of atmosphere; the costumes are fun and interesting; and the endless plethora of fight scenes have a lot of energy and flow in fun and surprising ways (there are a few moves and stunts here that I don't recall seeing anywhere else). The cast is especially solid; these guys are mostly stunt men and fighters, not "actors", but you can see the fighters going through various emotional changes and states of mind during the fights (my criteria for a well made kung fu movie).
Even the plot even has a slightly fresher approach; instead of the "single hero revenges his fallen master/fights the evil dynasty" trope, the hero and his teacher team up in each major fight scene to beat (and mostly kill) each individual member of the gang of bad guys who want to take over their village. In fact, they are fairly ruthless and sneaky about it!
Bonus: the sound track,while muffled in spots,has some dynamic range and textures instead of the usual flute and trumpets motifs.
In short, if you like this kind of thing, you'll probably enjoy "Seven Steps". If not, this probably won't convert you.
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