Still [Bad] After All These Years
Reuben M | Shek O, Hong Kong | 04/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Shaolin Mantis (bizarrely also titled Deadly Mantis in this 1983 print)is widely recognized as one of David Chiang Da Wei's best efforts at the Shaw studio, and deservedly so; it is one of the few not directed by perennial favourite Chang Cheh and therefore has far more character development, intricate sets and cinematography, and even numerous female characters; all features famously lacking from Cheh's beloved comic-book style. This is also one of the first and best movies to use the device of copying animals to create a fighting style and the painful training sequences that ensue. The synopsis can be found elsewhere, and I believe nearly any aficionado of these films would give it all five stars. The one issue is the print quality: this "Platinum Collector's Edition" literally opens with video jitter, showing plainly that it was transferred from video (probably someone's home copy), not from film, and it is entirely "pan and scan," which makes it difficult to follow the action, and not only in the action scenes. That said, it should not prevent you buying it... it is regrettable, though, that in the age of DVDs, collectors and lovers of these films are still forced to content themselves with mediocre, "Black Belt Theatre"-type copies. Don't miss this one, by all means! But don't expect any extra features, and don't expect the print to be better than the one you taped at midnight a couple of years ago. NOTE: A HONG KONG COMPANY CALLED CELESTIAL IS REMASTERING AND RERELEASING THE ENTIRE SHAW FILM LIBRARY ON DVD! BEAUTIFUL LUSH PRINTS IN ORIGINAL LANGUAGES WITH DECENT SUBTITLES! IF YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON THEM, GET THIS ONE! (note: you will need a region-free or all-region DVD player if you do not live in Asia!)"
BAD DVD, good movie!
Reuben M | 12/12/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This review if exclusivly on the DVD production and quality not the movie itself which I give a 3. First off, it's put out by Ground Zero Entertainment which is pretty much hit or miss as much of what they put out is duped from VHS and not film. This title, like most of their titles, are Pan & Scan which I really dislike. Half the action is cut out and the scans can get annoying. Although Ground Zero does put out a few titles like Shoulin Avengers which has great picture quality and is in widescreen format. Until Criterion gets a hold of these old school classics and gives them the treatment they deserve ( which is highly unlikely but who knows!?!!) look for titles put out by Crash Cinema and Celestial for good widscreen quality."
Aka Deadly Mantis
jumper5836 | Mississauga, Ontario Canada | 02/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Forced into being a Ching spy (David Chiang) is sent to infiltrate a family that is suspected of being revolutionaries. He falls in love with the daughter (Li Li-Li) and marries her. Soon after the spy finds out that the family members are revolutionaries, the family discovers the true identity of thier new son in-law and for their daughter's sake allow him to stay with them but will not let him leave thier home. Time is running out and the spy must get back to the Ching Emperior to report or his parents will be killed. The spy convinces his wife he needs to leave to visit his family. He and his wife fight side by side against her family and she is killed in the battle. He goes and creates a new style of kungfu while in hiding called mantis fist. He then returns to avenge his wife and manages to defeat the rest of the family. When he returns home with his job complete he has an interesting surprise waiting for him.The DVD quality is what is you can expect from from a dubbed VCR tape to DVD. This is quite normal for a movie of this type and any true kung fu movie collector wouldn't worry about this.I rate movies based upon the content, the actors, and costumes and humour. The quality of the DVD has little to do with how I rate these types of movies.
This type of movie is nothing like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Iron Monkey. If your looking for movies like that don't bother watching this."
Old "skool" Kung Fu!!
M. Beckford | Toronto Canada | 06/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Shaolin Mantis" remains one of my top 10 best kung fu flicks of all time. This was my first exposure to the mantis fist, and to me it's still very impressive even now. David Chiang performed stallerly, his overall demeanor in this movie was simply top notch!! I would recommend this flick to any old school kung fu lovers out there,,this is one which you'll not walk away dissapointed!! The only draw back is the picture quality,,,almost every copy I've come across is really poor// however, still did not take anything away from this amazing flick!!"