Of the four reissues of Shaw Brothers movies with the late [Alexander] Fu Sheng to come out in 2009, "Disciples of Shaolin" may please his fans the most, especially if they felt burned by "Brave Archer and His Mate" (his role, not the roles done by "Venoms" and "baby Venoms").
This effort gets only four stars because the screenplay is highly derivative of Bruce Lee's "The Big Boss" (a little of "On the Waterfront", too? Chang Cheh DID like his Brando); otherwise, it's FIVE stars for the end product.... No spoilers here for newcomers!! With great fight choreography [by Lau Kar Leung], evocative photography and fine acting, it looks and feels [almost] like an "A" picture ("Heroes Two" seems more like 1960's "Batman", by comparison).
From the opening credits onward, it's a Fu Sheng showcase that will please the men as much as the ladies; in some scenes, he comes off like Jackie Chan, and this is BEFORE Jackie became known of in Hong Kong, let alone the world! His performance here gives the best of David Chiang a run for its money, and this remark comes from someone who is partial to Chiang's work, so that's saying a lot. Also, let's not forget Chi Kuan-chi's part as Fu Sheng's older brother; if you liked him in "Showdown at the Cottonmill", you'll like his moves (as well as his acting) here. The [typical] great supporting cast helps keep things moving. The music cues add to the flavor, too; is some of this from "blaxploitation" movies?
Another decent Image DVD (nice new logo, guys) with English and Mandarin soundtracks (subtitles at your command), and add bonus points for the front cover of the case that looks like a comic book cover ("Master of Kung Fu", maybe)! A must-have for Fu Sheng fans, and it would make for a good first stop in starting up a collection of the movies of "Alexander the Great"!
All the best, Brother Fang.