I haven’t done one of these Shaw Brothers movie reviews in a while and decided to write about my favorite Shaw Brothers movie of all time: The Five Shaolin Masters. While I had seen other Shaw Brothers pictures prior to this one, of them all, this movie made the most impact on me. I probably have seen this movie at least a hundred times and as a child I would re-enact certain scenes, believing I was one of the shaolin masters seeking revenge. Later as an adult, I could appreciate a lot more what this movie was about.
This movie pretty much is the power trio of David Chiang, Chen Kuan-Tai and Ti Lung in their prime with Chang Cheh really coming into his own. It’s a historical/period piece focused on the rise and fall of Ma Hsin I, played by Ti Lung. It’s done as a retrospective where Chang Wen Hsiang, David Chiang goes to court on his own to confess his crime of slaying Ma Hsin I.
As a young child, I often watched the old Black Belt theater on channel 11 out here. At the time, I didn’t know them by name, but I would watch Shaw Brothers martial arts movies on Saturday afternoons and later switch to Kung Fu theater on channel 9 later in the evening. However, the Shaw Brothers movies always felt crisper and better produced. Before that though, I remember seeing a very old movie that I did not know the name at the time in which my parents rented. It was very memorable as a child for a single scene that was embedded into my memory for years. Only the other day, I was able to re-discover the exact movie we rented: Vengeance.