The anti-Ching patriots, under the guidance of Ho Kuang-han, have secretly set up their base in Canton, disguised as school masters. During a brutal Manchu attack, Lui manages to escape and devotes himself to learning the martial arts in order to seek revenge. In a short period of time he masters the deadly use of his fists, feet and palms, along with such weapons as swords, sticks, and lances. With his learning complete, he takes on the Manchus.
Liu Chia – liang born July 28, 1936 in Guangzhou, Guangdong) is a famous Hong Kong martial arts filmmaker, choreographer, and actor.
He is best known for his movies which he made during the 1970s and 1980s for the Shaw Brothers Studio. One of his most famous films is The 36th Chamber of Shaolin which starred his martial brother, Lau Kar-fai, as well as Drunken Master II which starred Jackie Chan
Before becoming famous, Liu worked as an extra and choreographer on the black & white Wong Fei Hung movies. He teamed up with fellow Wong Fei Hung choreographer Tong Gaai on the 1963 Hu Peng wuxia picture South Dragon, North Phoenix. Their collaboration would continue on until the mid-1970s.
In the 1960s he became one of Shaw Brothers’ main choreographers and had a strong working relationship with director Chang Cheh, working on many of Chang’s movies as a choreographer (often alongside Tong Gaai) including The One-Armed Swordsman, as well as other Shaw Bros. wuxia pictures… read more
The genre can often suffer from isolating its action sequences as the solo criterion for enjoyment, while retreading hackneyed stories with often burlesque-like acting, relying on camp. However The 36th Chamber of Shaolin is an unusual and exemplary exception offering a motivational plot, heroic yet nuanced acting by Gordon Liu, good cinematography, swift editing and extraordinary fight choreography--Balance & speed.
After much curiosity. I can say that this definitely warrants all the hype it receives. The beginning falls a little flat but it eventually serves as the perfect setup for an epic story of heroism, dignity, and inspiration. The film plays like one long training montage. It works. It's great. It is a journey in itself. It doesn't rely solely on hand-to-hand combat, but instead uses martial arts to tell its story.