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Film Review: Five Shaolin Masters (少林五祖) (1974) - Hong Kong (Shawscope Volume 1) (Arrow Video)

Andrew Chan

Film Review: Five Shaolin Masters (少林五祖) (1974) - Hong Kong (Shawscope Volume 1) (Arrow Video)

Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)

“Five Shaolin Masters”, also known as “5 Masters of Death”, is a 1974 Shaw Brothers kung fu film directed by the legendary Chang Cheh. With remarkable action choreography by Lau Kar Leung and Lau Kar Wing, the film brings together a stellar cast, including David Chiang, Ti Lung, Alexander Fu Sheng, Chi Kuan Chun, Meng Fei, and Wang Lung Wei. “Five Shaolin Masters” is a true gem of the martial arts genre, showcasing the prowess and dedication of these extraordinary performers.

The plot of “Five Shaolin Masters” revolves around five skilled martial artists seeking revenge for the destruction of their Shaolin temple and the murder of their master. Chang Cheh's direction ensures a fast-paced narrative, allowing room for thrilling fight sequences and character development.

The exceptional action choreography by the Lau brothers is a standout feature of the film. The fight scenes are intense and visually stunning, showcasing a perfect blend of power, precision, and creativity. The ensemble cast delivers stellar performances, with each actor bringing charisma and martial arts prowess to their roles. Their chemistry on-screen and camaraderie add depth to the story.

The cinematography captures the action with precision, employing dynamic camera movements and angles that heighten the impact of the fight scenes. “Five Shaolin Masters” holds a special place in the history of martial arts cinema, within its themes of loyalty, honor, and perseverance resonate with audiences, making it a timeless classic in the genre of Shaolin related films.

I rated it 7.5/10


Reviewed as part of Shawscope Volume 1 Limited Edition Blu Ray Set (Digitally restored in 2K format)

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