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Shaw Brothers + Venoms = AWESOMEMarch 19 2011
Francisco A Wong
- Published on Amazon.com
Shaolin Rescuers is not the best Shaw Brothers production with the Venoms, but it is still extremely entertaining and filled with high-energy fight scenes.
It is always a pleasure to see the familiar faces of the Venoms and see how each character and choreography plays to their strengths. This one includes more comedic bits between the charismatic Lo Meng and Phillip Kwok as two food service industry workers (tofu maker and waiter, respectively) who use their environment to practice and learn kung-fu; it is a sheer thrill just to see Phillip Kwok use rice bowls and chopsticks as weapons. Lu Feng here plays the dapper villain -- no surprise; Sun Chien shows off his amazing leg work, and the always likable Chiang Sheng displays his acrobatic prowess, especially when using two edged weapons.
The plot revolves around Lo Meng and Phillip Kwok slowly grinding out a living while harboring ambitions of making a name for themselves somehow; until that moment they practice their kung-fu in secret. When Pai Mei and his Wu-Tang clan start killing off the followers of Shaolin, and a fleeing survivor crosses paths with Lo Meng and Phillip Kwok, their chance to fulfill their destinies comes into focus. With the aid of Sun Chien, a student of kung-fu adept at fighting on raised wooden poles, and Chiang Sheng, the two use their abilities to aid the fleeing survivor.
At times ridiculous and goofy -- Phillip Kwok often mugs it up with his finger up his nose -- and at other times exciting and thoughtful, this movie is certainly a must for fans of these actors, martial arts enthusiasts and Shaw Brothers completists.
DO NOT buy this DVD, this movie should be remastered soonMarch 26 2007
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This is your typical Venoms flick starring all of the 5 main players and is by far the most comical of all their movies, but the action is just as good as the rest. It could be considered the best Venoms movie. The fight scenes never stop. There is a lot of joke around type of fights, and they are brilliantly choreographed. Lu Feng makes his usual appearence as the bad guy and does some of the best spearwork ever. Only his performance in 'Magnificent Ruffians' can top this.
The story struggles at times, and the use of the red screen filters in the final fight just don't work this time around for Chang Cheh. There is really no need for it, but it's just kind of thrown in. What works even less is Jason Pai Paio's role. He is supposed to be a teacher figure I have to guess. The story starts out with him on the run from Pai Mei, and his chararacter is by far the weakest in the movie. His wig is also really bad. Luckily, all of the fights are outstanding, and only Sun Chien gets a bit shorted. No surprise there of course.
Be sure to look out for Wang Li's use of the twin swords. Definitely one of the best weapns fights I have ever seen. I think this is his second big role in a Venoms movie , and he proves to be on just as high of a level as the others. You may remember Wang Li from 'Ten Tigers of Kwangtung' in a scene where he looks to be the predecessor to Scorpion of Mortal Kombat. The cast also includes plenty of other Venom regulars. Brasshead, Ping Yu Tai (guy with slingshot in 'Cripped Avengers'), and the kicker who plays Fong Sai Yuk in '2 Champions of Shaolin', and all 3 play Lu Feng's henchmen. The leg specialist also has a great fight with Lo Meng in 'Crippled Avengers', and his kicks are on full display in this Venoms classic.
As Beckybwoy has said, you always know how a Venoms movie is going to end. They get injured, they fight on, and give a big smile before dying. The question is, how many of them will die? All? Maybe 1 will live? Maybe only 1 will die?
This is one of the last on the list of movies that Celestial still needs to remaster. It will be out in the next year for sure. The Groundzero version is full screened very badly, and the picture quality is also horrible. 1/5 for the Groundzero DVD's picture quality. I can't wait to see this remastered.
This film as well as Magnificent Ruffians, aka The Destroyers are the two Venom's films with the most human element to the storyline. Lo meng and Kuo Chui are two laborers who want to have a more meaningful life than just working day and night for just enough to survive. A wounded hero (Pai Piao) enters the town seeking assistance from Chen Shan, a local martial arts school intsructor. Sun Chien is a student being unfairly chastised by a head student here as well as the instructor, Chen Shan. Sun Chien runs into Lo Mang and Kuo Chui trying to help this wounded hero recover. Lu Feng is hunting the hero, Pai Piao, goes to Chen Shan's school seeking assistance, and discovers Sun Chien is purchasing medicine for someone other than himself. This is when the real fighting is about to begin. Lo Meng and Kuo Chui do an excellent job as two friends fed up with their meaningless daily grind. An excellent scene is where Lo Meng (who can't read) asks Kuo Chui to read this parchment found on Pai Piao. Lo all embarrassed with asking Kuo to read to him, but finds Kuo can't read either, this is really good acting. There is a great deal of high quality sparring through the first half of this film, then upon Sun Chien being discovered the real fighting is about to take off. The film could be better, but the intention of the storyline, is very well conveyed. Chen Shan's unawaredness of his student mistreating Sun Chien is a mistake in the storyline and understandably unbelievable, yet this dosen't take up much of the story, and you do feel a bit resentful of the injustice. This film has a very well done english dub translation and the voices fit the faces decently. The sparring between Lo meng, Sun Chien, and Kuo Chui (who does a flip off these chairs piled up to about 15 ft. effortlessy. A very well shot scene right there. A definite must have for any Venom's fan and collector of real martial arts portrayed on film. The Venom's are the real deal doing all of their own stunts and were taught weapons in chinese opera schools. It is a bit fantastical, but that's part of the allure to Shaw Brothers entertainment. I hope funimation does a great job remastering the english dub, and hopefully it will be released on time, for sure.
Shaolin Rescuers 1979 from the Shaw Brothers studioJan. 14 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
Ajin Chen and Yang Dabao are friendly acquaintences in the beginning, and the pair share a dream of becoming martial arts heroes. Occasionally sparring each other, they share their own personal experiences that had led them to practice kung fu. Their paths cross with Ming patriot Hung Xiguan from the Shaolin temple, who was spurned by the Lama clan after asking for their help, and they hide him from officials and nurse Hung's internal injuries sustained in a major confrontation with the WuTang clan. Chen and Dabao befriend a member of the Lama clan also, and together, these 3 guys fight alongside Hung Xiguan and Han Qi against WuTang members, then help Hung Xiguan & Han Qi escape again from the Qing officials.
Another film directed by Chang Cheh has a signature feature during fight scenes, a red screen, when someone is about to lose their battle, usually that is very violent and bloody. The cast has been in numerous films together and their fight sequences are breathtaking at times. The final encounter at the dye mill is astonishing as Lu Feng as Gao Jinzhong and Chiang Sheng as Han Qi always take it up a notch during the final battle. Kuo Chu showcases his acrobatic skills, Sun Chien and Lo Meng round out the cast.
Dvd is distributed by Funimation. Very simple menu to watch in Mandarin with English subtitles or dubbed into English. And if you like the mono sound over the surround sound, that is also available.
I rated this movie 4 stars. Some of the silliness between Lo Meng and Kuo Chu was just filler and could have been left on the cutting room floor in my opinion. It got a little tedious. But all in all, I would recommend it.
Another wonderful venoms filmAug. 8 2011
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This is another in a long line of collaborations between the venoms and Chang Cheh. It is not there best (I think that would be Crippled Avengers), but it is highly entertaining. It has a storyline that has been used countless times in Shaw Brothers movies :the destruction of Shaolin Temple by the Ching and Wutang and the escape of Hung Si Quan.( I apologize for the incorrect spelling.) Even the actors give performances that they have used before in other films. So everything in it is familiar but it is not stale. The fight scenes are frequent and captivating. A film that should be in any kung fu film fan's library.