Return to the 36th Chamber (1980)

The workers of a dye factory have their pay cut by 20% when the factory owner brings in some Manchu thugs to try and increase production. Desperate to reclaim their full wages, the workers hire an actor to impersonate a priest and kung-fu expert from the temple of Shaolin. The factory owner proves the actor a fraud, and punishes all those involved. The young actor feels he has let the workers down, and promises to atone. He sets out for Shaolin, determined to be accepted as a kung-fu pupil at the elite temple.

Gordon Liu as Chu Jen-chieh

Gordon Liu as Chu Jen-chieh

Gordon Liu returns for this sequel to The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978) except he is not playing Monk San Te and the over all feel of the Return to the 36th Chamber has more comedic elements. This film is extremely enjoyable and shows that Gordon Liu isn’t just as standard action star that he can branch out into other elements of acting as well.  They repeat the same elements that made the original movie so enjoyable which is the long and arduous training the main character has to go through to learn his skills but the added comedy keeps it a bit fresh and different from the original film.

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Gordon Liu (Shaolin Martial Arts, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Shaolin vs. WuTang, The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter) as Chu Jen-chieh a good-hearted small-time con man and the foreman’s younger brother

Wa Lun (The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, The Mad Monk Strikes Again) as Chou Sheng the Forman at the dye factory and Chu Jen-chieh’s eldest brother.

Kara Hui (The Brave Archer Part II, Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre, Part II, Wu Xia) as Hsiao Hung

Hsiao Ho (The Iron Fisted Monk, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter, Iron Monkey) as Ah Chao the foreman’s assistant and Chu Jen-chieh’s friend

Wong Ching-ho (Return of the One-Armed Swordsman, The New One-Armed Swordsman, Disciples of the 36th Chamber) as Uncle Li

Lee King-chue (Enter the Dragon, Dirty Ho, Disciples of the 36th Chamber ) as Abbot San Te

Directed by Lau Kar-Leung

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Far East Film Review

Love HK Films Review

Trivia: There is a scene in the beginning of the movie where Chu Jen-chieh sings a song.  Stephen Chow sings this exact song to Wei Zhao in Shaolin Soccer

Trivia: Hsiao Ho, who plays the bucktoothed character Ah Chao would go on to star as Fong Sai-Yuk in the third film in the series, Disciples of the 36th Chamber.

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8 thoughts on “Return to the 36th Chamber (1980)

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