P. Burdick | Oneonta, NY United States | 11/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The more I watch Gordon Liu, the more I like him, not only for his excellent martial arts abilities, but also for his expressive acting abilities (even though constrained--or enhanced(?)--by the dubbing), which this film showcases.
Liu plays a winsome, selfish con-man who in the course of the story unwittingly masters a very unique kung-fu style and overcomes his selfishness, but who does not lose the vitality of the character he portrays (with a sort of easy-going brashness) in the process. This film genuinely made me laugh! And that is not a frequent event for me while watching movies--even intentional comedies. Liu vents a natural, unforced humor, that carries the story along and even cheerfully colors his fights; he's funny without, apparently, trying to be. This is one of my all-time favorite kung-fu films for hero portrayal and development. Top shelf, for sure!"
Classic Gordon Liu Shaws Brothers Movie!!
greg_rodgers | Boston, MA | 07/10/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is classic Liu Brothers! The story has nothing to do with 36 chambers of Shaolin aka Master Killer, however, Gordon Liu does visit the Shaolin Temple once again only this time he is a vagabond type that scams people for money. In an attempt to help his friends who work company that makes material for clothing, he assumes the role of the Shaolin Temples Monk San Te. In reality Liu's character knows no Kung Fu and he uses tricks to make the companies slave drivers think thatHe is a master. When Liu confronts the owner of the company played by Wang Lung Wei, Wang quickly defeats Liu and then makes life 20 times Worse for his friends. Liu, feeling like he has let his friends down vows to Learn kung fu and defeat Wang in attempts to make things better for his Suffering brothers. Liu goes to Shaolin and tries to bluff his way into the Temple but is caught by the Shaolin priests every time. Eventually the Real San Te see's what Liu is trying and allows him to stay at the Temple, However, Liu is only allowed to fix the scaffolding around the 36 chambers And is not taught kung fu...so it seems. Liu, while fixing up the temple watches And learns kung fu by imitating the movements of the Shaolin Monks. After many years, San Te kicks Liu out of the temple knowing Liu has learned Kung fu, but Liu thinks he has not learned a thing until he returns to his friends. Exciting kung fu follows as Liu and Wang Lung Wei get it on!! Very good transfer of the fullscreen version of the Shaw Classic, however the movie Is plagued by overblown comedy, and comedic training sequences that actually Bog down this movie until the climatic fighting in the last 30 min, but that fighting Is so off the hook!! I'd get this movie if you are a classic Shaw collector as Gordon Liu makes every movie he is in shine, but if you aren't a avid lover Of classic martial arts movies you may not enjoy it that much."
Return to a classic
M J Burnham | Staines, Middlesex United Kingdom | 02/19/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was one of first kung fu movies i saw on the old VHS system and what a movie - titled over here as " Return to the 36th Chamber" its a sort of sequel to the Classic movie "The 36th chamber of shaolin" - aka Shaolin Master Killer .
Again it stars Gordon Liu this time not replaying his role from the original movie(San te) but playing a new role as con man who comes to the aid of his oppressed dye workers who are being bullied by manchu henchman , originally hired to fool the henchman into believing he is San Te from the shaolin temple , when his bluff is called , he is severely beaten and thus vows to learn kung fu at the shaolin temple to avenge his friends . Great martial arts feature throughout this movie (as you would expect from a shaw brothers film) with a all star cast as well as the lovely Hui Ying Hung (in a non fighting role)this is a must and with the low price how can you go wrong....."
Under-rated at best... a must have for Kung Fu junkies!
Andrew R. Schwint | Boston, MA | 04/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is difficult to get ahold of a good copy of this film - my version is a pirated copy that I got in college years ago. Why did I go out and hunt down a pirated copy? When I was about 9 years old I would fake sick to stay home from Sunday School and watch Kung Fu Theatre on Sunday mornings. I have seen countless movies, but this one stood out in my memory. So 20 years later I decided I had to have it. I bought a couple of versions, mis-named movies, movies that had the right description on the back of the case, but a different movie in the box, you name it... it was painstaking. I have seen it called Master Killer (obviously that is not this film), I have seen it called Return to the 36th Chamber, The 36th Chamber, etc.
Be careful - there is a Gordon Liu film in which he plays an abbott in the Shaolin temple, that movie sucks. Its "Return of Master Killer" that you want.
Here is a little background on this film. Liu starred in the awesome film Master Killer, where he plays San Te. Its a serious film, and a classic in its own right. The Return of Master Killer really has nothing to do with it. Its how the production company's rename these films that gets this all confused. In this film, a comedy, that Gordon Liu plays a con-man who tells everyone he is San Te. When he is exposed as a fraud, guilt drives him to the Shaolin Temple to learn real Kung Fu. Again, he has to con his way in.
Once in the temple he is punished, and put to work. He is not "taught" Kung Fu, however as the movie unfolds he learns it anyway by observing as he works... where the motions he makes while working become Kung Fu motions. NOBODY ever says it, but this movie has to be a direct source of inspiration for the Karate Kid. There are so many similarities. There are tons of other films that have come and gone that draw upon this great film for inspiration, another that comes to mind is the Jet Li movie Romeo Must Die. During this film there is a fight scene that takes place on some scaffolding where Jet Li uses zip-ties to tie up his opponents... yeah, you can see the original version of that very fight scene on the bamboo scaffolding in Return of Master Killer.
No Kung Fu afficianado should be without it."
Classic scaffolding kung fu at its best
Ryan Wilson | Beaumont, TX USA | 03/13/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just received this film yesterday and i have to say that this film is incredible. From the director of the 36th chamber of shaolin now returns with the sequal. The story however does not follow up from the original 36th chamber, but it has a unique twist to it that changes the whole tone from the original film. It is more of a comedic role that director Liu Chia Liang put forth into this film, but keeps it fundamental to the heart of the film and that's staying true to the martial arts direction.
The film opens up with workers receiving less compensation for there hard work, Gordon Lui; the star of the film, plays a con man trying to convince the corruptors that he will threaten them with his so called kung fu if they dont pay the workers higher wages. when the vilians came to the conclusion that it was obvious that he did'nt have any skills in martial arts, they move in on him and contineud with giving workers less pay. The workers try to pressure Gordon Lui's character to learn kung fu at the shaolin temple. But the problem was he had to manage to get in, and it was'nt easy and it was quite funny. When he finally made it in, San Te the orignial shaolin priest gave him a chance to learn kung fu, but it came with a price. He must build a scaffold for the temple. After three years, he finally build the scaffold, but San Te told him to leave, leaving Gordon Lui's character in confusion. He later learn that scaffolding was his new kung fu, and he was set to save the workers and help them to receive more compensation.
I can tell in conclusion that the director wanted to go into a different tone with this sequal, and i belived that it mixed pretty well. The fight scenes were unique, in which Gordon Lui had to perform some incredible tricks with bamboo's and twine, which left me speachless. I have to also give the picture quality an A+. Celestial/Dragon Dynasty holds the rights of the original shaw brothers titles giving the consumer a top of the line print from the original master. I feel that it is very important for the consumer to undertand the difference between bootleg and legitmate realeases. I have to say that this realease is legit. The only fault i have with this release is that it does'nt have any special features leaving it with a gap, but overall it is a great film. I highly reconmend you purchase this copy."