Review: Men from the Monastery (HK 1974)

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Oh my god, dude got stabbed in the TAINT!

Seriously though, this has a reputation for being one of Chang Cheh’s better films, but I did not find it terribly engaging, especially compared to an epic like Shaolin Temple or his later, more outre material. It’s an interestingly structured film about three famous heroes coming together to fight the Qing in the wake of the burning of Shaolin. Alexander Fu Sheng has the best segment as Fong Sai Yuk, in which he gets to fight on a “pile formation” – log tips surrounded by sharpened bamboo stakes.

I usually can’t stand Fu Sheng, but he’s playing straight here. Chen Kuan-Tai’s role as Hung Hei-Gun, a progenitor of Hung Ga kung fu is fine, but suffers, like all the segments, from Chang speeding through the story in favor of straight fight scenes.

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