18 Fatal Strikes (1978)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2006-03-28
Summary: Typical and uninspiring...
Unfortunately, 18 Fatal Strikes falls into the typical "humiliation, training and revenge" storyline that is a dime-a-dozen in the kung fu movie realm. Hsiao Tung (Stephen Tung) and his brother (Dean Shek) rescue a Shaolin abbot (Man Kong-Lung) and get involved in his rebellion against the Manchus. After the requisite beating from a Manchu thug, the monk teaches the brothers the Lo Han fist style and they go to exact revenge on the evil warlord. Not exactly breaking the mold...

Stephen Tung is decent as the headstrong brother, but Dean Shek is shouldered with the incredibly annoying (and also typical) role of the whiny, wimpy brother. There is hardly a tear shed for him no matter what circumstances are dealt to him. However, special mention should go to Dean Shek's stunt double, who pulls off some impressive gymnastics and acrobatic stunts. The kung fu starts off very slowly (save for a surprising melee involving the talented Shum Hoi Yung), but the final clash between Tung and the warlord Wong Wu Ti (Sze Ma Lung) is fun and well executed. Wong Wu Ti's Shaking Eagle style is a blast and the combatants battle for a good 10-15 minutes with speed and flair. Unfortunately, the people that massacred the dubbing on this movie found the need to use Bruce Lee's signature howls over the entire fight, and it becomes incredibly tiresome. It got so bad that I had to mute the volume to enjoy any of the choreography. Not a horrible movie all together, but probably not one that will break any pre-conceived notions that you have before viewing it.


Reviewer Score: 4