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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 February 2009
I've just purchased the region 1 edition which appears identical to this. The film dates from 1978, but you would never guess that. It looks as though it was made yesterday. The picture and sound quality are superb. In its original widescreen this looks stunning.

The story is simple but effective. Chia Hui/Gordon Liu (better known as the actor who played Pei Mei in Kill Bill) plays San Te a rebellious student who decides to learn martial arts at the Shaolin temple so that he can exact revenge on the Manchu.

The heart of this film is San Te's training at the Shaolin temple. Here he must master the 35 chambers, each representing a different skill or technique that is required for him to become a master. The 36th Chamber is his own. It was during one of these training sequences that I realised I had seen a small part of the film before. So it does get shown on TV occasionally.

The region 1 edition has a number of good extras including an interview with Gordon Lui, commentaries and further interviews. Sometimes this film is also known as Shaolin Master Killer.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2000
I remember seeing this over a decade ago. I loved the martial arts choreography! Both my two brothers enjoyed this when they rented it out. The story of a renegade young student fleeing the Manchu authorities sets into motion the long path to revenge. But life within the monastery is far from easy. Son-Tare must first complete his training in thirty five phazes (and the last is something of a shock) before he can call himself a true Shaolin Buddhist monk. Fetes of speed, reflex, dexterity, strength, and weaponskill, are required to overcome all the obstacles to his destiny. As the determined Son-Tare attains rank with age, he puts his newly-gained experience to the ultimate test. The finale is truly satisfying. I recently bought 36th Chamber...from Amazon, and haven't regretted my purchase. I've seen it three more times since, it's that gripping, and amazingly fast. It must have taken ages to get the dazzling fighting moves just right. Brilliant! One of the best martial arts films out of the late 70's-early 80's.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2006
To start off with , this movie was done by one of the greatest driectors in martial arts history , lau kar leung . It was 1978 the same year when warriors two , drunken master and other classics were being released .The golden period of hong kong was from 1975 to 1985 , some of the greates flicks ever came out in this period.

Lau kai fai [gordon liu] takes the main role , whcih would basically make him one of the greates martial art stars in history. With him you have the likes of lo leigh , le hoi san , lau kar wing [short role]

the movie was a massive hit at the time , and still now is regareded as one of the best kung fu films ever.

The story is about a student whos been caught as a ching rebel , during the manchu invasion of china . As chaos hits the streets of canton , as executions and torture takes place. Gordon liu who plays the legendary monk san te esapes with his freind to shaolin temple to learn kung fu .

San te only jus manages to get inn .

Now he wishes to learn kung fu , and we see many taining situations and a lot of action .

In the last part of the film san te goes back to his town to gather students to teach kung fu , at the same time to destroy the evil ching generals.

i have the crash cinema version , whcih has got a decent picture but low sound .

The upps and downs are ....

the upps =

great cinimatic sound , picture and film lol]

Great action cheorgraphy

brilliant story

very entertaining

great cast

the downs=

I expected more of a fight in the end , which is a bit short.

And there should of been more fist fights than weapons .

so there arent many downs , some might find the film boring half way through , thats if your looking for real serious fight scenes .

the weapons however were good action scenes ..But i had seen sammo hungs THE ODD COUPLE and the weapons fight scenes in their are terrificaly good . Which made this look tiny bit inferior

Its based on a true story and the plot is done well.

After this movie a sequel and then a third were released , which are noted to be much inferior to this . But its worth it , it should go straight into your top 5 at least.
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on 19 January 2011
If your familiar with martial films and are a Fan then order this film, one of the old time greats. Gordon Liu's great performance as he always gives 100% effort. The Film of course it about the Chambers of Shoalin in which a rookie learns them all starting from the lowest and progressing to each stage in which every one gets much harder. Every part of this film is interesting and enjoyable. I also recommended you also order Shoaling Challenges Ninja if you haven't seen it. 36th Chambers also includes bonus material including the interviews of today's Gordan Liu. amazing interviews with him as you learn more about the film and how dangerous it was filming using live weapons for the shots.Excellent film a must have DVD to add to your collection.I've seen the the Third installment of the Series The Disciples of the 36Th Chamber, and personally think the First one is the Best. Great remasted DVD and Quality excellent.
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on 15 August 2014
Blurb reads "the greatest kung fu" film ever and who am I to argue. While this is pretty slim on kung fu its a great story - San Te escapes a crackdown on student dissidents and decides to quit medicine to learn kung fu so that he can teach the people to fight back against the injustice of the Manchu rulers. At the Shaolin temple he has to pass through the 35 chambers where each time he has to learn a tedious task. However, in the fight sequence at the finale we see that each of the tedious lessons actually taught him something important to use in his fighting.

Unlike most of the kung fu movies out there, this one is beautifully transferred and presented which does justice to such a great movie.
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on 25 November 2014
... Ignore the cover, and the brief summary by amazon above is wrong, and is another film completely, maybe drunken master? or a similar title.

The other reviews bigging this up put it better but, quite simply this is a classic of the genre and needs to be watched if you're into kung fu movies. Its late 70's, its Gordon Lui and there 36 chambers of Shaolin techniques which he perfects to get revenge. Its not without its flaws, especially the dubbing and the story is slightly thin, but the concept and general execution is spot on. Music and cinematography are good too. Oh yeah, the fight scenes are as good as they get too, get on it.
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on 2 April 2010
This martial arts classic is a must for any fan of this genre and is surely one of the best films of its day . Manchu invaders attack a
defenceless village and show no mercy to anyone who stands up to them . A wounded villager seeks refuge in a secretive Shaolin Temple
and fueled with anger he undergoes a grueling martial arts programme that hones his agility , strength and endurance which will enable
him to defeat his enemies . Great film from the legendary Shaw Brothers and starring cult martial arts superstar Gordon Liu .
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on 15 April 2010
This is the Godfather of Kung Fu films, simple story, great action, no over the top stunts or gravity defying acrobatics to land a simple punch. A classic!!
Nothing better to beat a hard day at work to get a bag of popcorn, a beer and watch this film - can cure any level of stress.
If you haven't watched, you have missed something so don't delay!
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on 27 September 2014
Great blu ray of one of the all-time great Shaw Bros kung fu flicks. Good blu ray transfer. In its original theatrical aspect ratio.
Bags of extras. IMPORTANT NOTE TO UK BUYERS - BUY THE CHEAPER US IMPORT. IT IS REGION-FREE AND WILL PLAY ON ALL PLAYERS. This cost me just over £6 incl. postage. What a bargain
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 7 May 2010
I nearly bought this because it's so cheap..until I saw its only 89 minutes long!Is this the U.S.cut or something?I've got the celestial region 3 release from a few years back-and that clocks in at 111 minutes!The old warner video had loads of stuff missing too..perhaps this is the same truncated version as that.The one star is nothing to do with the film(its worth five stars easily)but be aware you're missing 22 minutes of stuff with this version.
EDIT.Looking at others comments-this IS the full version and therefore one of the best old school Kung-fu films EVER...has my Shaolin wisdom been reinstated?
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