Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Shaw Brother's Triple Threat (Invincible Shaolin/Life Gamble/Shaolin Prince) Review
The Shaw Brothers were the pioneers of Hong Kong cinema and were the Hollywood of South East Asia for most part of the twentieth century. The two brothers, Sir Run Shaw and Runme Shaw, together produced hundreds of martial arts films that showcased the work of such world-class directors like Chang Cheh, King Hu and Lau Kar-leung. This Triple Threat pack from the house of Shaw Brothers studio contains three DVDs – Invincible Shaolin, Life Gamble and the Shaolin Prince. Funimation studios released this 3-pack DVD set with a run time of 298 minutes of action-packed martial arts techniques.
Invincible Shaolin was premiered in the year 1978 and was directed by Chang Cheh. With a plot that deals with the rivalries of the Qing Dynasty, this movie is packed with martial arts techniques personified by the North and South Shaolin schools. General Pu, the evil warlord of the film, decides to eliminate all the Shaolin masters from the Qing Empire. In a deathly conspiracy that unfolds, two camps fight to overthrow the other with their unique and powerful Kung fu styles. The Northern trio have the upper hand at first, but the Southern trio rigorously train to prove themselves worthy opponents. Not knowing that the Shaolin masters are being framed, the plot takes a detour for the better as evil is finally vanquished!
Life Gamble, also directed by Chang Cheh was produced by the Shaw Brothers in the year 1978. The plot revolves around the lives of assassins who have possessed a precious stone illegally and are now vying for individual glory and power. Starring Sheng Fu and Philip Kwok as the good guys, they hope to return the piece of jade back to the police. With a powerful and bloodthirsty ring leader, each of the assassins try to get the precious stone, but they are all thwarted with the help of Kuo Chui’s (Philip Kwok) weapons of destruction that are rigged and flawed. Embroiled in treachery and deceit, the assassins gamble away their lives for the jade stone.
Shaolin Prince released in the year 1982 and was a direction of Chia Tang. Starring Lung Ti , Tung-Shing Yee,and Feng Ku this movie shows a power hungry Prince who commits grave atrocities against the Emperor and succeeds as the unlawful heir. Assuming to have killed the Emperor’s sons as well, the 9th Prince basks and rejoices in his new found glory and power. The two sons are rescued by the well-meaning bodyguard, Li Chin, but are eventually separated. In what seems to be a stroke of luck, the brothers chance to meet and realize that they are related. What ensues is a battle with Iron Fingers and the pursuit of the mysterious e-ching manual.