Clan of the White Lotus (1980)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2006-08-09
Summary: Classic characters and story...
Clan of the White Lotus is a direct sequel to "Executioners from Shaolin," with Lo Lieh in the director chair and Gordon Liu taking over the role of Hung Wei Ting from Wong Yu. After he and his friend Piao (Lee King-Chue) kill the White Brow priest Pai Mei (a slightly different "ending" than the finale of Executioners from Shaolin), they are released from prison by the order of the emperor. However, Governor Kao Ting Chun (Johnny Wang) has different ideas, and goes to the White Lotus Clan Chief (Lo Lieh in his legendary role) for advice and help. They succeed in killing Piao, but Hung and Piao's wife Mei Ha (Kara Hui) escape to a relative's business in a village. There, Hung learns to combine the tiger and crane styles, as well as incorporate "Ladies' Kung Fu" and the power of acupuncture. His final objective is to take revenge on the White Lotus Chief for the killing of his friend.

When you have a role as juicy as White Brows Pai Mei, why not reprise a version of it in a sequel? Certainly that is what Lo Lieh must have had as motivation to make Clan of the White Lotus 3 years after Executioners from Shaolin. He allowed Liu Chia-Liang to remain as martial arts choreographer, but took the directing reins and made one hell of a movie. Tapping Gordon Liu to take the lead role certainly didn't hurt anything either as he puts forth a fantastic performance. His fights and training rival those of any of his other movies. Although Lam Fai-Wong's character gets a bit tiresome, he does add some comedic elements and he serves as a training dummy for Liu's developing techniques. In the end though, you relish the moments that Lo Lieh is on screen. He completely owns the role of the white haired priest and you can tell he has fun with it. The furled eyebrows, the stroking of his long beard, the devastating kung fu style and deadly mystical attacks all lead to one of the best characters ever introduced in martial arts movies. In fact, as I was watching Gordon Liu and Lieh fight, I realized that one of my first memories of Kung Fu theater on Saturday morning was the priest's twisting palm attack (classically named the "Hundred Steps Soul Catching Fist") on Liu. It stuck with me to this day.

A highly recommended martial arts extravaganza that will not disappoint. You even get to see a naked Lo Lieh fly superman-style out of his bath into his robes! How's that for a selling point?!
9/10
Reviewer Score: 9