Starring : Alexander Fu Sheng / Chen Kuan Tai
Directed By : Chang Cheh /1974
Copyright © Shaw Brothers 1974
It's very hard to describe the importance of some martial flicks in the history of fight films but here we have a classic from Shaw Brothers starring Chen Kuan Tai and Alexander Fu Sheng 'two top martial artists who perform brilliantly in this top film.Now Chen who was born in 1945 and came to fame in Wang Yu's 'The Chinese Boxer' and went on to star in over 100 films 'he starred in Donnie Yen's Dragon Tiger Gate in 2006'is a power house fighter who is a joy to watch and with so many films under his belt ,there's always something out there some one will like whether it be a Kung Fu flick /action or Thriller that he has starred in.
On the other hand Alexander Fu Sheng born in 1954 'the same year as Jackie Chan was discovered by Shaw and and thrust in to many roles for a young man 'many of which the films have become great classics .I will try and cover as many as i can But like Jackie Alexander sustained many injuries ,once landing on his head when a wire snapped that was holding him 'he fell 8 feet on to his head 'Another where he shattered most of the bones in his right leg and all before he was twenty five .Also he was originally to star in Ng se Yuen's Snake in eagles Shadow but Shaw would not release him for the role .
Jackie got the part and the rest is history but not because Fu Sheng was not brilliant 'he had done many films that were popular and was loved by Hong Kong in much the same way Bruce Lee was , he even lived in Bruce Lee's old house .Jackie may have got the big Break but it was his first real big film, Fu Sheng had many already under his belt and it looked like we had a big battle for first place on our hands ,but in a honrouble way 'How Great it would have been to see both stars in the same film .
But alas this did not happen because in July 1983 coming back from a night out the car he was in 'driven by his Brother crashed on the curves of Clearwater Bay Road and Alexander Fu Sheng Died in hospital,Uncanny though that Hong Kong Should loose two great Martial artists within ten years more or less to the day .
Bruce died in July 1973 Alexander in July 1983.Even though not that well known in the west at that time it's said that the funeral was equal to Bruce Lee's in the way that Hong Kongs Heart stopped beating for a minute.
So on with the Film 'Chen(Hung Su Kuan) and Alexander(Fong Sai Yuk) play Chinese patriots from different Shaolin Temples ,although they know of each other in there goal to save China from the Manchu .Fong Sai Yuk is fooled by the Manchu to help capture Hung Si Kuan ,and when this happens Fong becomes the out cast as everyone believes him to be a traitor .
So the only way to redeem himself is to save his Shaolin brother from the Manchu.
What follows is kung Fu film history as many battles ensue and in the end Fong Is forced to tunnel his way to Hung 'who is Chained to a wall in a dungeon and due to be killed .This is a must see for all Martial art fans as it showcases two great fighters in there prime and with great direction from Chang Cheh and Action from The Pops you can't go far wrong .If you only see a handful of Martial flicks in your life time make sure this is one of them as it's readily at hand .
The Snake .
Score out of Ten= 9
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Two alternative DVD covers for this classic film
|Directed by||Chang Cheh|
|Produced by||Sir Run Run Shaw|
|Starring||Alexander Fu Sheng |
Chen Kuan Tai
|Distributed by||Shaw Brothers Studio|