The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2006-11-26
Summary: The movie that has defined the genre...
What more can be said about this film that has not already been stated? It's an absolute classic from director Liu Chia-Liang with Gordon Liu in his signature role that will live forever as one of the most well-known and loved in Hong Kong movie history. Liu Yu-de's (Gordon Liu) persecution by the Chings and subsequent training at the Shaolin temple lead to the formation of a new man in Monk San Ta. Although his first inclination to learn kung fu for the sake of revenge is eventually quelled, he does manage to influence the politics of China with his creation of a 36th Chamber. This chamber achieves what he desperately wanted to do by teaching Shaolin kung fu to the masses, who are not beholden to the tenants of a Buddhist monk. By teaching his students to fight back against the oppressive regime, San Ta indirectly exacts the revenge he promised his father before entering the ranks of Shaolin.
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin has everything you could ask for in a kung fu movie. A great plot with the best training sequences ever put to celluloid, as well as exceptionally choreographed fights by Liu Chia-Liang. Throw in the explanation of the origin of one of the most famous Shaolin weapons, the 3-sectioned staff, and you have a film that has influenced pop culture and movie making to this day. Not to be missed!

Reviewer Score: 10