Five Shaolin Masters

1974 [CHINESE]

Action / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 44%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 1059

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
August 27, 2021 at 02:20 AM



Chia-Hui Liu as Chang Yung
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1006.7 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 49 min
P/S 11 / 64
1.83 GB
chi 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 49 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Slaphammer1 9 / 10

Great movie!

Back in the mid-1980s, when was around 10-14 years old, there was a show on one of the basic cable channels called either Black Belt Theatre or Kung Fu Theatre...I can't remember which (whenever they came back from commercial, they would quote from Confucious before resuming the film). They played lots and lots of Shaw Brothers films from the 1970s, among other martial arts films. I remember trying to tune in every Sunday afternoon to get my fix of kung fu action.

Anyway, these days I barely remember anything about the movies I saw in those days...I remember a scene here and there, but nothing major. One movie, though, burned itself into my brain and I've never been able to forget it -- that film was Five Masters of Death (aka Five Shaolin Masters). About six months ago, after not having seen this movie for well over a decade, I decided to see if it was still as great as I remembered so I hopped on the internet and found a place where I could buy it on VHS.

This movie is still excellent. My VHS copy is of understandably poor quality, but the film is still a joy to watch. Each of the five protagonists specializes in a different style of fighting, as do the opposing five antagonists, so the film is chock full of great kung fu. I also find the story to be more engaging and epic in feel than most martial arts movies I've seen (however, I am far from being an authority on the genre). The theme music which plays repeatedly throughout is helps give the film its epic feel and is very catchy--I find myself singing it in my head for days after watching this movie.

At any rate, I love this movie. I wish there was still something like Black Belt Theatre (or Kung Fu Theatre) on cable so I could catch some more of the Shaw Brothers era of kung fu film. Martial arts films of today use undercranking and especially wirework far too much--I find myself more impressed by films like Five Masters of Death which rely on "natural" skills.

Reviewed by InjunNose 7 / 10

Chang Cheh arrives at a fork in the road

In 1974, Chang Cheh was roughly halfway through a career that already included such milestones as "The One-Armed Swordsman", "The Heroic Ones" and "Blood Brothers". While it can be argued that all martial arts movies are fantasies, Chang's films ("Blood Brothers", especially) were peopled by vividly wrought, three-dimensional characters that the viewer cared about. But, despite assembling a stellar cast for "Five Shaolin Masters", it is here that the veteran director begins to eschew character development. Of the titular masters, only Fu Sheng has any humanity; the remaining heroes (David Chiang, Ti Lung, Chi Kuan-chun, Meng Fei) and all of the villains (Wang Lung-wei, Chiang Tao, Fung Hark-on, Tsai Hung, Liang Chia-jen) are emotionless comic book figures, boldly but crudely drawn. From this point forward, Chang's characters and plots would become increasingly stylized until he was directing what were essentially live-action cartoons, like "Five Element Ninja". The films were still entertaining, but with rare exceptions (such as "The Chinatown Kid") were no longer engrossing. But hey, I won't get too stuffy in my analysis of what is undeniably an entertaining movie. There are lots of fights, both empty-handed and with weapons, and they're beautifully choreographed by Liu Chia-liang--soon to become a director in his own right--and Liu Chia-yung. (Look for brief cameos by the latter and by the Lius' adopted brother, "Master Killer" Gordon Liu.) Judged strictly on action, "Five Shaolin Masters" is a winner, and fans of the genre will want to see it more than once.

Reviewed by poe426 10 / 10

Kung Fu quintet...

As per prevailing wisdom, when it comes to movies, action IS character- and there's a lot of BOTH in FIVE SHAOLIN MASTERS. (Chang Cheh's movies, more than most, are excellent examples of action-as-character.) We see the blazing Shaolin Temple and the subsequent flight(s) therefrom as our five heroes are introduced. They meet in short order and make plans for revenge. Here, Alexander Fu Sheng is clearly suggested to be possibly the weakest link: he can't remember the secret hand signal(s) or the numerical codes the others use. Hand-to-hand battles between the five masters and the kung fu experts sent to kill them are outstanding throughout. When Ma (Fu Sheng) is captured by Ma Fu Yi (Wang Lung), he realizes that Ma Fu Yi is the traitor- but will the assault on the prison to free him come in time to warn the others...? FIVE SHAOLIN MASTERS is an amazing achievement, from the brilliantly choreographed fight scenes, which are beautifully shot on scenic locations, to the performances and the direction. This one is, indeed, a kung fu classic.

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