Now, if you are one of those kung fu fans who feel like you've been waiting for that fresh, original kung fu flick then Fist Of The White Lotus is for you. Boasting brilliant traditional styles shown off by two of the hottest kung fu talents of the seventies this film packs good fight sequences aswell as a brilliant directorial debut by Lo lieh; however, what lets this film down is the corny humor. Gordon liu (36th chamber of shaolin, Kill Bill,) and Lo Lieh (Five fingers of death, executioners of shaolin) present to us the greatest face offs you might just ever see in a kung fu film. Lo Lieh does not only direct this film (a brilliant move by Shaw Brothers,) but he gives another hilarious performance as the evil villain Pai Mei. The story is quite simple; Hong Wei Ting (Gordon Liu) killed Pai Mei's fellow class mate after he burnt down the shaolin temple, and now Pai Mei seeks revenge on the Shaolin rebels. It ends up in Hong Wei Ting repeatedly going after Pai Mei and constantly getting a good, sound beating. We are left wondreing if Hong Wei Ting will ever get his revenge on The White Lotus clan. A classic by Shaw Brothers, and one not to be missed!!!
This film stars Gordon Lui as a shoalin temple outcast and Lo Lieh as the evil Pai (or Pak) Mei the leader of the White Lotus sect. The start is a bit confusing because it seems that Gordon Lui and another manage to Kill Pai Mei and this leaves Pak mei his brother as leader of the White Lotus. Anyway the film is great and is obviously what Tarantino drew from for the Pei Mei character in Kill Bill. Gordon Lui eventually beats Pei (or Pak)Mei but not until after at least 3 attempts of being beaten and going back to refine his training and skills. Why cant all martial arts films have the level of skills displayed in this classic kung fu film.
Man Ten and his close friend Biu are able to defeat the evil White Brows, using their Crane and Tiger styles together. However White Brows elder brother White Lotus, vows revenge and begins killing all the Shaolin disciples.
Hong Kong superstar Lo Leih who had made the classic King Boxer and other entertaining films such as Magnificent Trio, Brothers Five and the 36th Chamber of Shaolin. So he opted to go in the paths of his fellow Shaw Brothers actors, Ti Lung and David Chiang and start directing some of his own movies.
He opted to cast Gordon Liu (who starred along side him in 36th Chamber of Shaolin) as the hero Man Ten and himself as the lead villain White Lotus. The White Lotus role is very similar to one he had starred as in Executioners from Shaolin. Some people have called this a sort of sequel to that movie.
The action scenes are very impressive and feature some outstanding choreography. My favourite scenes have to be the two times Gordon Liu takes on the two sword wielding bodyguards who defend White Lotus. One part of the film reminded me of 36th Chamber of Shaolin were Liu tries over and over again to defeat Lo Leih, failing each time he returns to his training to learn from his mistakes. The part I didn't really like were the silly comical scenes added in. Where Gordon Liu has a silly buddy to spar with who knows no Kung Fu and spends most of the time making silly crying noises. Another silly scene has a naked Lo Leih jumping out his bath when Liu attacks and him attempting to get dressed while fighting him off.
The music is pretty good, intense and dramatic at times.
Overall with the exception of those few silly scenes its a good film with great fight sequences.
When two fighters from Shaolin face off against the renegade psycho monk Pai Mei, who just happens to be out killing Shaolin supporters for fun, their duel to the death is a close one, but by combining both Crane and Tiger styles the two friends manage to defeat him, leading to one of them being incarcerated. Eventually, like many other surviving Shaolin followers he is released, and teams up with his best friend once again, but their reunion is soon cut short by the appearance of one very angry, and very upset 'Priest of the White Lotus'; the twin brother of the renegade monk they defeated. Who just happens to be the deadliest man alive, when he's caught with or without his pants down...
Directed by and starring Lo Lieh, this is one of those lesser budgeted and maybe lesser seen Shaw Brothers releases that are just so much fun to watch, whilst ticking nearly every chop box going, that it is an almost guaranteed sure fire winner in the eyes of most 'old school' kung fu fans when concerning their collection.
Gordon Liu stars as the hero, up against director/baddy Lieh in countless fight scenes that will simply have your eyes fixed in a lose~lose staring competition with your television set (no matter how late it is when you watch it), as Liu attempts to master every Kung Fu strategy he can get his fists on (even, God forbid, 'women's work' kung fu!) in order to try and beat his rascally nemesis ~ the silver haired Pak Mei... The man with the hundred step poisoned palm technique! The film, as well as having some top drawer fights (action directed by Lau Kar Leung), also has its fair share of lunacy, offered up to the fans in the guise of Pak Mei and his secret techniques, which are once again bound to impress a late night audience, with his groin suction skills, Saturday night fever and all round sneering, beard stroking, villainy. The humour, as one would expect from this genre of movies made during the 70's era, is fairly unsubtle, by that I mean that it's crude, slapsticky and cruel, with the focal point of most gags being an idiot who is used as a punch~bag for Liu to practice on.. Simple but funny, needless to say I'm not that grand, and found myself laughing out loud quite a few times.. Of course, one could argue that Wang Lung Wei is almost criminally under used as the baddy nephew (I certainly think so!), or that this is merely a cheap remake of Executioners From Shaolin (on that I wouldn't agree despite obvious similarities), but one things for sure, if there's any of you martial arts fans out there who haven't seen this (I'm sure there's a few) and you fancy a fun little flick with plenty of really good fights, then it's a very good title to checkout!
The disc review is for The Master Killer Collection/Lion Video ~ orangey dvd cover with Gordon Liu shouting on the cover! This version of the film looks reasonably clear, although hardly up to the standard of say the Dragon Dynasty discs. The language/subtitles option is English dubbed only, there is not a single extra and it's not exactly. . . errr. . . full widescreen either but it is certainly watchable! 4.5/5 Fine entertainment, featuring one of the greatest villains in movie history. Highly recommended.
Did you see the Qinten Tarantino character in Kill Bill. Well this was the original. Interestingly Gordon Liu, the actor who played Pai Mei in Kill Bill played the hero who was trying to defeat Pai Mei in the original. The original Pei Mei was Lo lieh (King Boxer) This is a classic. You even get to see Lo Lieh's butt when Gordon Liu attacks him in the bath