This installment of Quick Schlock covers the middle third of Shawscope Vol. 1, an amazing 10 blu-ray/2 CD set released by Arrow Video at the end of 2021 (the first installment can be read here). If you’re a fan of Eastern genre fare, particularly the martial arts variety, this set is a godsend that gives the best-ever home video presentations to several titles long beloved to fans of the Shaw Brothers filmography. Whether you’re a veteran fan or a newbie, this set is a must-get.
The four film covered here are all noteworthy in the Shaw Brothers filmography. The first is Shaw’s answer to the 1976 Dino De Laurentiis remake of King Kong and a favorite of Quentin Tarantino’s, the latter having previously revived the film via his Rolling Thunder distribution shingle. The middle two titles are a pair of classics from Lau Kar-Leung, both displaying his visual and thematic prowess as a filmmaker as well as his knack for stunning martial arts choreography. The last is Schlockmania’s favorite in the Chang Cheh filmography, a film that plays like a ’70s Hong Kong version of a ’30s Warner Brothers gangster flick and provides a cool early showcase for his proteges, the Venom Mob.
THE MIGHTY PEKING MAN: “…transcends its cash-in origins because it’s so damned weird.” https://boxd.it/2B424h
CHALLENGE OF THE MASTERS: “Satisfying stuff for genre buffs, particularly if you appreciate the genre’s more philosophical side.” https://boxd.it/2yuugF
EXECUTIONERS FROM SHAOLIN: “An intricate Lau film that operates in the same narrative universe as the ‘end of Shaolin’ films that Chang Cheh was making…” https://boxd.it/2yuvoP
CHINATOWN KID: “Cheh’s direction has energy and color, shifting back and forth between humor, melodrama and guy’s movie elements with purpose.” https://boxd.it/2B4cFR
Be sure to read the first installment of Quick Schlock on Shawscope, Vol. 1 by clicking here.