A rich man's son (Yuen Biao) believes himself to be the best kung fu fighter in Canton. Unfortunately, his father, anxious for his son's safety, bribes all his opponents to lose. After a ... See full summary »
A plump butcher student of Wong Fei Hung, Lam Sai-Wing (Sammo) gets into trouble with a rival kung-fu school known as Five Dragons and is accused of raping the head of that school's ... See full summary »
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 »
The anti-Ching patriots, under the guidance of Ho Kuang-han, have secretly set up their base in Canton, disguised as school masters. During a brutal Manchu attack, Lui manages to escape and... See full summary »
Jackie Chan is a youngster, living in a remote village with his grandfather who teaches him Kung-Fu. He keeps getting into fights, even though his grandfather warns him not to show their ... See full summary »
A dying teacher instructs his final student to check on the activities of five former pupils, each of whom he taught a unique and special style of kung-fu to: The Centipede, Snake, Scorpion... See full summary »
After Chen Zhen's execution in Shanghai, the Japanese feared that his death would unite all Chinese kung fu schools against them. Fearing this, the Japanese gave orders to the head of the ... 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 »
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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