The noble Ten Tigers, one woman and nine men, protect their Cantonese region the villainous Lord Yung and his underlings. When Yung kidnaps the wife of one of the Tiger's students, the ...
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The noble Ten Tigers, one woman and nine men, protect their Cantonese region the villainous Lord Yung and his underlings. When Yung kidnaps the wife of one of the Tiger's students, the Tigers disguise themselves as a Princess and her followers in an attempt to gain access to Yung's palace on his birthday.Written by
TEN TIGERS OF SHAOLIN - standard kung fu tale with better-than-average fights
TEN TIGERS OF SHAOLIN (1979) has enough well-staged fight scenes to please hardcore kung fu fans, although the lack of a strong story may turn off some viewers. The lead actor is Bruce Leung (aka Bruce Liang/ Hsiao Liang), whose brother, Leung Siu Hung, happens to be the film's fight choreographer. Bruce Leung has achieved some renewed fame in 2005, thanks to his performance in Stephen Chow's KUNG FU HUSTLE as "the Beast," the mad kung fu master busted out of an insane asylum by the Axe Gang to vanquish the defenders of Pig Sty Alley.
The simple storyline of TEN TIGERS charts what happens after the title group of kung fu fighters disrupts the criminal operations of Lord Yung, a local corrupt official. In retaliation, Lord Yung's men kidnap the wife of a student of the Tigers, leading to a series of escalating confrontations culminating in a huge brawl in an open field between the Ten Tigers and all of the villains' men.
One interesting scene involves the one female member of the Tigers (Mi Hsueh, aka Michelle Lai) disguising herself as a visiting princess with other Tigers dressed as her guards, while the rest of the group pose as beggars clamoring for money. The plan is to get Lord Yung to invite the "princess" and her party into his house so they can then look for the student's kidnapped wife. This is all a great buildup to what should have been a series of very clever scenes, but instead the film abruptly drops this narrative thread in order to speed things up to the climactic battle.
And what a battle it is. It takes up the last 25 minutes of an 85-minute film and features at least two dozen martial arts performers fighting in a variety of kung fu styles and with different weapons. In short, the goods are delivered.
Jason Pai Piao (HELL'S WINDSTAFF, SHAOLIN RESCUERS) is the only real name in the cast, although there are other familiar faces throughout. I was unfamiliar with Bruce Leung before seeing KUNG FU HUSTLE, although I'd seen some of his films before, and sought out this film precisely to see him in a starring role. He's quite an effective performer and fighter and I'd like to seek out more of his starring roles. Ground Zero's DVD edition offers a better print and transfer than we'd normally expect from that company.
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