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 »
Wu Sung, a military swordmaster, is acused of murdering his adulterous sister-in-law and a thug, and sent to exile in Meng Chou. At the prison camp, Shih En, son of the camp commander, ... 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.
The indomitable martial arts team of director Chang Cheh and stunt choreographer Liu Chia-liang continues the compelling saga of Golden Swallow from King Hu's Come Drink with Me in this ... See full summary »
A Kung Fu master finds out that an opium den is destroying the lives of the town he lives in, and vows to put an end to the den, but first he must try to defeat the strongest enemy he has ever faced: his addiction to the drug itself.
Two clans compete for dominance over the martial arts world in this classic of violent swordplay and political intrigue. A complex tale of deception and double crosses. Killer Clans leaves ... See full summary »
The Black Tavern - another under-appreciated SB classic
This was the best Shaw Brothers film I've seen in awhile. When Celestial started remastering and releasing the Shaw catalog they pretty much covered the "classics" in the first couple years, so nowadays the releases don't have so much notoriety. Or maybe they just aren't as good...but The Black Tavern bucks a recent trend of good but non-essential releases. This is about as essential as Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan, or Boxer from Shantung, but without the stars, except for a brilliant Ku Feng. Basically the plot revolves around the impending arrival of a box of treasure to the "black tavern" (actually it's never referred to as such) and the various gangs of thieves who plot to ambush it upon its arrival. The cool part of this film is that there is no "shining knight", in fact no good guy at all, for the bulk of the film. Each of the thieves have their own charm and Ku Feng plays the most intriguing (and most dangerous) of them all. Most of the film is about the gangs fighting against each other, allying with one another, and betraying one another.
The thing that adds yet one more star to an already excellent narrative is the above average swordplay. There is a bit of under-cranking, but not too noticeable if you didn't know what to look for. The final fight was absolutely brutal as well. The film is jam-packed with action but it seemed like that last fight lasted 20 minutes or something - great stuff and definitely up there with early Chang Cheh. Anyways if you're tired of revenge-themed "You killed my master/Stole my sword!" wuxia films, this is a nice and highly entertaining change of pace.
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