Executioners from Shaolin turns 40!

   Star Wars isn’t the only film [that I care about] that turns 40 this year. The Shaw Brother’s classic, Executioners from Shaolin, was also released in 1977. It was a great year, I was 7 and having a great time with great shows, and toys… it also was the year my lovely wife was born.

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Paraphrasing Wikipedia: This movie, directed by the late & Great Lau Kar-leung, is a multi-generational story of revenge pitting the disciples of Shaolin temple against the Daoist priest, Pai Mei. [Wudan never mentioned in this film]

Cult Movie Essentials: The Kung Fu Classic, Invincible Shaolin (1978)

61vsgjqompL._SY606_   This one has to be in my top 5 of all time Kung Fu Flicks! It is also known as “Unbeatable Dragon”. The word Dragon had to be in just about every American release of a Martial Arts movie to have any traction or gravitas. When I moved to Reno, NV, in 1987 I found a teacher that was teaching Wing Chun Kuen (Ip Man > Leung Sheung > Kenneth Chung system) Kung Fu. After my first lesson I thought that it seemed very familiar as I sat in my car. I raced home and popped this movie into my VCR and I was right! The son of the Southern Shaolin school’s teacher (Sifu) was taught the exact style that I was learning. By this time I was already familiar with the movie for about 6 years. It gave my real life a connection with a fun, stylised, fantasy. It has been almost 30 years since that first lesson, not my first or last art to be learned, I now teach and I still watch this cult classic!

CULT FACTION

Invincible Shaolin is the second proper Venoms movie, following on from Five Venoms.  Legendary director Chang Cheh returns to explore how the Ching Governments attempts to stamp out the influence of the Shaolin – a theme he also explored in Heroes Two.

The plot involves an evil Qing general (Wong Lung Wei) who comes up with a brilliant plan to rid the Qing Empire once and for all of the Shaolin masters. He invites three Northern Shaolin experts to his mansion and has them fight the in a contest against three novice Southern Shaolin men already present at his mansion. By royal decree, Shaolin was required to supply experts to teach the Qing troops martial arts.

The Northern Shaolin experts easily and decisively win against the South Shaolin men. After the contest, the general visits the South Shaolin men in their quarters later that night and secretly kills…

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