DVD Review: King Boxer and 36th Chamber of Shaolin

1 Mar

King Boxer

Two of the best known kung-fu movies ever made, both by the legendary Shaw Brothers, King Boxer (aka Five Fingers of Death) and 36th Chamber of Shaolin arrive on DVD on Region 2 from new (Quentin Tarantino inspired) label Dragon Dynasty.

Seeing how popular martial arts movie were at Asian box offices in the early 1970s, Warner Bros decided to launch King Boxer on an unsuspecting US audience in 1972. They couldn’t have known that the film would become a smash hit in both America and the UK.

King Boxer tells of young hero Chao Chi Hao (Lo Lieh) who comes to the aid of his master, Teacher Wu, before being sent to train in the ways of martial arts while various bad guys try to defeat him and his school.

36th Chamber of Shaolin,  called the “greatest kung fu movie of all time” by the New York Times, focuses on a young man who, in a similar fashion to King Boxer, undertakes a series of teachings with the aim of defeating Manchu invaders who have arrived in his village.

With fresh new prints and the replacement of dodgy dubbing with subtitles, the films both look amazing. Quentin Tarantino’s presence on the King Boxer commentary is a sign of the film’s status, the director admitting that he borrowed various ideas for his Kill Bill films.

Morals and mayhem combine to provide action packed scenes that are finally done justice to with these releases. As historical documents of films that defined a genre, these are important as well as entertaining and are a strong start to this new DVD label’s releases.

King Boxer Special Features

  • Audio commentary by filmmaker Quentin Tarantino and film scholars David Chute and Elvis Mitchell
  • Interview with director Chang-Hwa Jeong; interview with film scholars David Chute and Andy Klein
  • Stills gallery
  • Trailer gallery
  • Commentator biographies

The 36th Chamber of Shaolin Special Features

  • Audio commentary by Wu-Tang Clan’s The RZA and film critic/scholar Andy Klein
  • Interview with star Gordon Liu
  • “Shaolin: A Hero Birthplace”
  • Interviews with The RZA and film scholars David Chute and Andy Klein
  • Concert video for Wu-Tang Clan’s “Gravel Pit”
  • Stills gallery
  • Trailer gallery
  • Commentator biographies

DVD Specifications

King Boxer and The 36th Chamber of the Shaolin were both released on 23 February.

Read more about King Boxer over at Far Eastern Films.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: