2 Champions of ShaolinThis is another action packed Shaw Brothers film from 1980 that tackles the old Shaolin vs Wu Tang clan rivalry.

A young and skilled man known as Tung Chien Chen, aka ‘Shaolin Hercules’ (played by Lo Mang), is sent on a mission of revenge against the Wu Tang clan.  After the Wu Tang clan bullied his family growing up, even pushing his mother toward death, Tung is instructed to focus on their mission and is told not to use his Kung Fu recklessly.

Tung gets into a fight with some Wu Tang men, including a man named Yu Tai.  Yu Tai has a deadly knife throwing technique which injuries Tung before he flees to recover.  After fleeing Tung ends up with a man named Sun Chien, who has trained to combat the knife throwing technique, thus Tung learns this style and eventually defeats Yu Tai in a rematch, killing him.

Things escalate as the Wu Tang decide to take revenge. But Tung decides to marry the sister of Sun Chien.  They arrange a wedding and celebrate their future, before the Wu Tang storms in and kills her and then capture Tung.  Before long Tung escapes with the help of Wei, a Wu Tang member who doesn’t agree with his clan’s directions.

From there the group of Shaolin men fight against the Wu Tang, building up until the usual Kung Fu showdown!

a fight between venoms

More Shaolin vs Wu Tang!

This is one of those movies which really does a great job of starting out small and slowly expands into something bigger.  What starts out as one Shaolin using his skills against Wu Tang slowly, in terrific Shaw Brothers style, brings more people into his group and increases the number of enemies very naturally.

Another way this movie is very ‘Shaw Brothers’ is their ability to be ruthless!  When things start to look good with Tung gettign married, having his bride killed really fuels that anger and gets you pumped to see his character take revenge.

I’ve always enjoyed the Venoms’ movies as they all work well together and the choice of Lo Mang as ‘Little Hercules’ was a perfect one.  He has a powerful appearance which is backed up well by his acting.

On top of all this many characters are not allied with who we originally believe them to be and a little deception gets thrown into the mix pretty nicely.   Ultimately though the movie is nothing new (Shaolin vs Wu Tang?) but it is a cool and entertaining revenge film with some cool martial arts.

lo mang catching knives

Martial Arts and Action

There’s more of that cool Shaw Brothers style action with the even paced fight fight scenes and incredible acrobatic ability.  But the martial arts credibility is there as we see style vs style, followed up by our main character’s style evolving to combat that of his enemies.  But of course the enemy has another style to combat his and so on.  Something very authentic and seen often in the fight game in MMA a lot these days.

The fights are sprinkled throughout the entire film and show off a bit of variety, but it’s all the usual stuff – which isn’t bad.  Ultimately this movie is one of the top in the Shaw Brothers and Venoms range, I think any martial arts fan can appreciate it!

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