Friday, May 24, 2013

Shao Lin san shi liu fang (36th Chamber of Shaolin) 1978

Are you tired of watching the Academy Award winning films on this list, wondering why they won anything? Are you tired of watching heavily themed dramas from Europe?  Did you just watch a 3 1/2 hour silent film? Well, this review is for you! This movie gets straight to the point, and that point is
Kung Fu Fighting!!!!

San Te joins the temple at Shaolin in order to learn kung fu. He lost his family and friends to the evil Manchus, who are taking over China. He wants to bring this knowledge to the common man, so they can defend themselves.

When San Te first enters the temple, he is very determined to learn kung fu. But he spends his first year there cleaning.  When asked which chamber he wants to start with, he chooses the top, the 35th.  Obviously he is out of his league when he cannot say any of the verses, and the leader uses the Force to knock him down. He understands that he has a lot to learn, so he agrees to start at the bottom. Each chamber focuses on a technique or using a part of the body. There's the eye chamber, where he learns to focus. There's a wrist chamber, leg chamber, head chamber, all of them. He does exceedingly well in each chamber due to his perseverance.

The head monk asks him if he would help take charge of any chamber, except the 35th, which deals with the Force. San Te asks if he could lead the 36th. What? But there is no 36th! He explains that he wants to create it so the people can defend themselves.

The head monk kicks him out of the temple, but this just lets San Te do what he wanted all along. He recruits people to help him take down the general, and gives them great pointers on defense. The monks agree to let him lead his 36th chamber, and the villagers learn kung fu skills that will help them. Everyone is happy, except the bad guys who lose. Very awesome feel-good film with epic fight scenes. I'll give this movie an 8/10.

Note: Today's film's original title is Shao Lin san shi liu fang. It is also known as the 36th Chamber of Shaolin, and Master Killer. This is the reason why I post the film's original title first, because it can be translated in many different ways in other languages.


  1. My taste in movies can be pretty pretentious (SHOCKING, I KNOW!!!) ;) but I reeeeeeeeeeeally liked this movie, much to my surprise. I love the nice symmetry to the film, and I LOOOOOVED the training sequences. It's definitely a very fun movie.

  2. I started this whole list to keep myself occupied in between my hospital visits. My favorites are kung fu movies and sci fi. If I wasn't sticking to the list, that's probably all I would watch!