Martial Monks of Shaolin Temple (1983)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2017-05-19
Summary: Dragon Lee vs Hwang Jang Lee, but nothing special
After the head of the Shaolin temple is killed by Kurt Wong (Hwang Jang Lee), a multitude of people set off to find the killer and bring him to justice. Dragon Lang (Dragon Lee) is a member of the temple and is bent on revenge too, packing his belongings and looking for Wong as well. He meets a monk (Martin Chui) who claims to be searching for the killer too, and they are joined by a beggar girl (Seo Jeong-Ah) on their journey. As with most of these films, people are not who they seem at first, and as a result there are fights to the death. Surprised?

Martial Monks is a relatively blasé kung fu film. There are lots of good kickers, but the choreography consists of a lot of jumping and twisting gymnastic-like moves with not much impact. Martin Chui is decent, but he is clearly over-matched by Dragon Lee and Hwang Jang. The final fight between Hwang Jang Lee and Dragon is exciting, with Dragon in full, exaggerated Bruce mode but it’s a bit too little too late. The English dubbed version I saw is about 85 min long, while the original Korean release was 98 min. From the promotional flyers and posters, there seems to be a fair amount of scenes missing, including ones that would expand and explain Pinky Poon’s (Seo Jeong-Ah) character a bit more. Maybe an uncut version will surface some day, but I’d be hard-pressed to sit through it again.

Reviewer Score: 5