Shaolin Martial Arts (1974)

Director Chang Cheh directs what is arguably his most star studded and jaw dropping spectacle of martial arts!  Although the plot seems to be very bog standard, Manchu vs. Shaolin, & Revenge, turns out to have a slight twist.  There are several styles of martial arts and it’s like a Martial Arts expose with a large dose of energy drink!  I do like Chang Cheh, but I have criticised some of his costumes, props, and and sets in the past as being over the top and ostentatious.  Shaolin Martial Arts is a bit more traditional with the styles of not only the Martial Arts but the costumes and sets as well.  This is Chang Cheh as his best!

Lau Kar-leung and Tong Gai do an absolutely amazing job on the action choreography!  Between the two of them they have choreographed over 325 movies!  I kept looking at the actor who was playing Ba Kang, it finally dawned on me that it was none other than Leung Kar-Yan! This is the first movie I’ve seen him without his beard (or at least facial hair of some kind)!

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SMA 4

Alexander Fu Sheng (Disciples of Shaolin, The Brave Archer series, Ten Tigers of Kwantung) as Li Yao one of the few surviving students of Master Lin Zan Tian’s school.

Chi Kuan-Chun (Five Shaolin Masters, The Iron Monkey, Seven Swords) as Pa Chung/Chen Bao Rong

Irene Chen Yi-Ling (The Jade Faced Assassin) as Lin Zhen Ziou, Master Lin Zan Tian’s daughter she likes Bao Rong

Yuan Man-Tzu (Boxer from Shantung, Bruce and the Iron Finger) as Ah Wai, she has a crush on Li Yao

Lo Dik (Five Shaolin Masters, The Shaolin Avengers, Shaolin Popey) as Master Lin Zan Tin, head of the Shaolin School

Chiang Tao (The Blind-Swordsman’s Revenge, A Fist Full of Talons, Ten Magnificent Killers) as Master Wu Chung-Ping, a mediocre martial artist and minor functionary of the Manchu

Fung Hak-On (The New One-Armed Swordsman, The 36 Crazy Fists, Zu: The Warriors from the Magic MountainKung Fu Hustle , 14 Blades) as He Lian, one of the few surviving students of Master Lin Zan Tian’s school.

Leung Kar-Yan (Five Shaolin Masters, Enter the Fat Dragon, Seven Swordsman TV seires, 7 Assassins) as Ba Kang, Manchu master

Johnny Wang Lung-Wei (Invincible Shaolin, Ten Tigers of Kwantung, Return to the 36th Chamber, The Twin Dragons) as Yu Pi

Lee Wan-Chung (Revenge of a Swordswoman, Lady General Hua Mulan, The Sword of Swords, The Water Margin, Immortal Warriors) as Manchu General

Chiang Nan (Smiling Swordsman, Wrath of the Sword, Shaolin Temple, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin) as King of Eagle Claw

Fung Ngai (Lady General Hua Mulan, Come Drink with Me, The Eagle’s Claw ) as Master Yan Dong Tian

Simon Yuen Siu-Tin (Twin Swords Parts 1 & 2, Sword of Vengeance, Seven Swordsman Leave Tianshan 1959, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin) as Master Liang Hong.  I’d just like to add a note that Simon Yuen Siu-Tin was a staple of the dozens of Wong Fei-Hung movies of the 1950’s throughout the 1970’s

Li Chen-Piao (Men from the Monastery, Five Shaolin Masters) as Disciple Cheng

Tino Wong Cheung (The Water Margin, The Master of Kung Fu, Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold) as Wang Jing-He

Gordon Liu Chia-Hui (Legendary Weapons of China, 36 Chambers 1-3, Shaolin and Wu Tang, The Peacock King, Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2) as He Zhen Gang

Bruce Tong Yim-Chaan (The Heroic Ones, All Men Are Brothers, The Brave Archer) as Mai Han

Lau Kar-Wing (One-Armed Swordsman, Golden Swallow, Duel of Fists ) as Brother Law, dies during the festival

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Fang Shih-yu fan site review

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Leung Kar-Yan as Ba Kang.  The Beard must have been staring in a different movie.

Leung Kar-Yan as Ba Kang. The Beard must have been staring in a different movie.

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7 thoughts on “Shaolin Martial Arts (1974)

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