8 Diagram Pole Fighter

Rating: 9/10

This is a gorgeous martial arts film which features an all-star cast of Hong Kong action heroes (most of which are killed off in the first five minutes). The lone survivor, Gordon Liu, escapes to become a monk and plot his revenge (isn’t that always the case with Mr. Liu). Unlike The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, training isn’t the focus here. It’s mostly about him overcoming his rage and so he can be centered while he bashes the teeth out of his foes. There’s an annoying, unresolved subplot of the 6th brother who goes insane and “8 diagrams” doesn’t seem to have anything to do with what is actually happening in the movie but other than that, this is one of the Shaw Bros. best.

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