The Shaolin Plot
(image courtesy of hkcinemagic.com)
Starring James Tien, Sammo Hung, Casanova Wong, Chen Sing, Kam Kong, Guan Shan, Yen Shi Kwan, Kwan Yung Moon, Huang Feng
Directed by Huang Feng
Manchu Prince Daglen (Chen Sing) wants to collect all Kung Fu manuals in the country to learn the secrets of all the martial arts. He becomes infuriated and obsessed when both Shaolin and Wu Tang refuse to give their secret manuals. At first, Prince Daglen tries force; his soldiers invade a Wu Tang school and kill the headmaster. His son, Little Tiger (James Tien) escapes and seeks refuge with Shaolin Monk Pu Hui (Kam Kong) in retreat. Daglen’s men reach where the Pu Hui and Little Tiger’s cave they are quickly dispatched by the Hui’s Kung fu. Daglen’s soldiers return with the ruthless Tibetan Renegade Monk (Sammo Hung). He is dispatched by Pu Hui’s martial skill but Renegade Monk manages to blind Pu Hui using a despicable trick. Frustrated by his soldiers’ inability to get the remaining Shaolin manual, Daglen hatches a plot to infiltrate the Shaolin Temple and steal the manual. Little Tiger, after receiving training from Pu Hui, travels to Shaolin Temple to warn them of Daglen’s ruthlessness but must pass the trials to get an audience with the Abbot. Little Tiger passes the trials while Daglen open the temple to his soldiers. The Shaolin monks use their great kung fu skill to defend the Temple and save their manuals. Can Daglen finally get the elusive Shaolin Kung fu manuals? Will the Shaolin Monks save their Temple, lifestyle, and precious knowledge? Tune into the Shaolin Plot to find out!
Kung Fu Content:
Co-star and fight director Sammo Hung shows his breadth of kung fu styles in this fight heavy masterpiece. During this time at Golden Harvest (1977) Sammo was really coming into his own as a fight director and we get to see the makings of the choreography that made Hung a household name. Hung’s character Renegade Monk uses the symbols as weapons to brutal effect (decapitations, for example) while Yen Shi Kwan’s character showcases excellent spear work. James Tien( Little Tiger) uses Crane style to amazing effect and showcases his excellent Chinese Opera skill set. Once again, Hung’s choreography uses great kickers to spice up the hand to hand duels. Korean super-kickers Casanova Wong and Kwan Yung Moon (warrior Monks) both bring the boots in the final fight scene. The Shaolin Plot is without a doubt one of the best choreographed kung fu movies in history!!!
The Shaolin Plot is an excellent example of all that is great about kung fu movies: Shaolin Monks, Evil Manchu royalty, Wu Tang fighters, Super Kickers, and great fight scenes. If you are a fan of Sammo Hung choreographed movies, Shaolin-themed movies, and The Manchu Court versus Shaolin Temple this is the movie for you! If you are not, this still is a great movie that showcases the talents of many incredible kung fu movie stars ( Elton Chong, Austin Wai, Chung Faat), future stars ( see if you can spot Yuen Biao), and stunt men ( Mars, Mang Hoi,Fung Hak On, Yuen Wah, Lam Ching Ying) who set Hong Kong cinema on fire!
( images courtesy of stylevars.com and reeleast.com)