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Shaolin Hand Lock review

posted Feb 20, 2011, 10:20 PM by Vu Nguyen
From Vu

Shaolin Hand Lock (1981) (23 Mar 2010)
Since I switched over to Blockbuster from Netflix, I can finally rent some Funmation DVDs.

Starting with their first release: Shaolin Hand Lock.

The story is a typical revenge movie, David Chiang's teacher is murdered by a hired assassin from Lo Lieh. Chiang travels to Thailand to seek revenge, and ends in a very long throw-down between Chiang and Lieh.

What I couldn't work out was why Lieh would want to assassinate Chiang's master, and why send a hired hand to do the job, especially because the hired assassin wasn't a very good fighter.  I was surprised that the hired man was able to pull off the deed.  What's even more perplexing is that the so-called Shaolin Hand Lock isn't even such a great skill (it's vulnerable to elbow and feet attack!)

Then again, who really watches these movies for the logic?

The story is a little too long for what it is, there's this whole back story of Chiang's siblings and a back-and-forth rivalry with Lieh's bodyguard, Chan Wei Man.  You start to wonder why the focus is between them, and it does eventually pay off when Man's secret is revealed.

The DVD is pretty vanilla, no special features, but the video quality is great.  Can't really recommend it to buy, unless you get it cheap (or  maybe you can buy in the 3-pack: Shaw Brother's Triple Threat (14 Amazons, Shaolin Hand Lock, Opium and the Kung-Fu Master) (12 Oct 2010) if you can find a copy). I'm going to wait for the Bluray version to buy.  Oh also, soundtrack included is both Chinese and English.