(aka 'Saam chong Siu Lam')
Hong Kong 19
After a series of ruthless and mysterious murders delivered by the rare Shaolin Palm Technique, three innocents - a stout-hearted monk, a beautiful maiden skilled in martial arts, and a rowdy gambler - are fingered for the crimes. As they journey to clear their names and question the temple behind the killings, they find their wits and fighting skills put to the ultimate test before discovering the startling truth. Boasting some of the most eye-popping stunts in the classic Shaw Brothers canon, this delightful blend of breathless action and brain-teasing mystery was directed by master fight choreographer Tang Chia.
Theatrical Release: October 6th, 1983
DVD Review: Image Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Image Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 6.1 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||Stated as 'Chinese (Dolby Digital 5.1) and original Chinese mono'|
After all this time in DVD production - Image Entertainment (and Kino for that matter) don't seem to get 'it'. Here they are charging $18 for a mediocre, interlaced transfer with no viable supplements. It is dual-layered and anamorphic but the image is a bit hazy - really nothing special. I am a bit disappointed as I had high hopes for their 'Eastern Masters' series. In my opinion this just doesn't cut the mustard. The visible 'combing' gives the film a rather weak representation - tack onto that dullish colors. I've requested my wife's help about the audio track. IMdb says it is in Cantonese and Mandarin. Image Entertainment don't seem to be able to differentiate - calling it 'Chinese' (a 5.1 and original mono). My wife says both tracks are Mandarin. It seems like a DUB to me. Anyway, I won't belabor this as a negative as I am so unsure. It does have removable English subtitles. NOTE: Ian says 'This film should be in Cantonese, not Mandarin. Shaws, like many HK filmmakers, shoot without sound but the film is designed for a particular dialect. The HK DVD has Cantonese audio but its badly remixed'. (thanks Ian!)
The film, in my limited opinion, is in the lower tier of Shaw Bros. films (from what I have seen). It still has some great action moments but it just doesn't have that intangible appeal that seem to come with most other of this genre - especially from Run Run Shaw. There is a 'Production Stills Gallery' (15 images), 16 Shaw trailers (maybe the best thing about the disc) and 13 other martial arts trailers. There are at least two other editions of this film on DVD (a previous 2002 US - very poor - and an HK), possibly more, and I feel confident that this doesn't represent the best transfer available.