Legendary Weapons of China (1982)

Blog: The 37th Chamber of Kung Fu

A true masterpiece, and one of the best weapons-fu movies ever made. I'd call this a great deep cut... it's slightly less accessible than some other films, but it really stands out as one of the very best the Shaw Brothers ever made, with some of the most impressive fighting ever committed to film. Seriously, this is the good stuff. 

The story is fun, the characters all do a good job, and the final fight is an incredibly intricate and fast-paced display of weapon after weapon, the advantage shifting back and forth as two real-life kung fu masters get the fuck after it.  

Plus, Gordon Liu is in it, as a bad guy (sort of)... which gives you another big fight between a couple of dudes who really know what the hell they are doing. Love that guy. 

The fighting skill on display is mind-blowing. The speed and choreography is so crisp, you can tell these guys were really feeling it... and the way the advantage shifts from weapon to weapon is so fluidly done, it feels like you're learning something (it's also good to see my boy the 3-section staff comes through like a boss, as usual.)

The whole magic element has that Chinese Wacky all over it, but the bits with the voodoo dolls are actually pretty funny... and I love the "take over their mind to make them stab their own eyes out" trick. Pretty sneaky, sis. 

This movie manages to take a lot of elements I'm usually not crazy about... shiny weapons, wire-fu, Chinese magic... but somehow makes them all work. It's just the right amount of every goofy thing it is... elevated by some amazingly proficient fighting across an incredibly broad variety of traditional weapons.