Heroes of the East

1978 [CHINESE]

Action / Comedy

IMDb Rating 7.6 10 2171

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
January 07, 2022 at 11:39 PM



Chia-Hui Liu as Ho Tao
964.14 MB
chi 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca 6 / 10

A sensitive martial art film for once

A traditional kung fu film from the Shaw Brothers studio in that it depicts the similarities and differences between Chinese and Japanese styles of fighting - as well as weaponry - in a thoughtful and intelligent way. As well as this, the film offers up plenty of humour amid the chop-socky fighting bits, and the fights themselves are well choreographed and a delight to watch. It's little surprise given that the main stars are accomplished fighters in themselves, whether it be Chia Hui Liu (or "Gordon" as he is called in the West) as the provoked hero, Yuko Mizuno as his Japanese wife, or the various Japanese challengers up against him, chief of whom is the typically excellent Yasuaki Kurata.

The martial arts bouts are genuinely exciting, each different from the last as various areas - karate, judo, ninjitsu, even a "drunken god" tale - are explored. My only complaint is that the sets are a little boring, with only the finale - set in a field of straw men! - offering any interest in the backdrop. For a martial arts movie, the film is free of blood and violence for a change (not that I'm against that, but often it's just unnecessary) making it a wholesome tale for the whole family to enjoy. Little more is left to be said about SHAOLIN CHALLENGES NINJA, other than it's a fine example of the martial arts genre at its most professionally made and intelligent, and a lot different - and thus better - than most low-budget repetitive kickfests.

Having recently caught up with this film a second time after an interval of some twenty years, I see now that it's inferior to later Liu classics like EIGHT DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER or THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN. It's an exercise in technique but there's no heart to it at all, and the first half hour, in which much of the running time is saddled with the overbearing, arrogant wife character, is hard to take. It's a film that looks nice, for sure, but my real love is for Shaw's revenge classics.

Reviewed by gavin6942 6 / 10

Everybody Was...

A Chinese man (Liu) marries a Japanese woman through an arranged marriage and manages to insult all of her Japanese martial arts family by issuing a challenge to her that is misinterpreted by the others. He must then prove how good Chinese Kung Fu really is through a series of duels with the seven Japanese martial artists who come to meet the challenge.

In a departure from the norm for a Hong Kong film of that time, instead of stereotyping the Japanese characters as villains, the film portrays both the Japanese characters and their fighting skills with respect. Another unusual aspect of the film is that director Lau insisted that none of the fights ended in death. It is consistent with Lau's insistence on no characters being killed when in the film, Ho Tao criticizes the lethal technique of Ninjitsu as being dishonorable.

This really is a nice exposition of two different fighting styles, even if staged. There is another film that does this, but I cannot recall which (possibly "Ip Man"). I find it interesting to see that interaction between the Chinese and Japanese, as they seem to have always been rivals...

Reviewed by BandSAboutMovies 8 / 10

A great wedding lesson!

Ninja, this Lau Kar Leung-directed film has more Japanese martial arts on display than you usually see from a Hong Kong movie. The Japanese characters are also treated with respect, unlike many of these movies, and Lau insisted that none of the fights ended in death.

Ho Tao (Gordon Liu) has entered an arranged marriage with the daughter of one of his father's Japanese business associates. When he watches her do martial arts, Yumiko Koda's style is too rough and unladylike for Ho Tao, so he demands that she study the more feminine styles of Chinese kung fu. She's too modern of a woman for him as well, as she immediately leaves him behind and starts training with her childhood friend Takeno.

To get her back, Ho Tao creates a challenge to determine which country has the better kung fu. Of course, he also has poor manners and infuriates the Japanese martial artists so much that their battles become real and not just exhibitions. Plus, now that Takeno has Yumiko Koda again, he doesn't plan on giving her up and will use all of his ninjitsu skills to keep her in Japan.

There are a variety of styles on display here - samurai sword versus straight sword, Sino-Okinawan karate vs. Chinese Drunken Fist, Japanese crab-style vs. Chinese crane fist and many more - and those battles make this an incredibly interesting movie for those that love armed and unarmed combat.

It's also rare in that it's set in the 1930s and not the far-flung past. I had a blast with this film, a movie that mixes romance, comedy and battles into one overall great time.

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