For Schlockmania’s money, THE home video event of the final quarter of 2021 arrived when Arrow Video released the Shawscope Vol. 1 blu-ray box set. The films of the legendary Shaw Brothers studios were staples of theaters and television from the ’70s into the ’80s but have often had a spotty distribution on home video: cropped tapes in the ’80s, mostly vanishing during the ’90s and then getting intermittent releases in the ’00s and ’10s, with transfers of variable quality and frequently missing the big ticket titles that fans yearned for.

Thankfully, Arrow is playing a big role in improving things and Shawscope Vol. 1 is a damned impressive flagship for their reissue campaign, capturing 12 key title in one box, serving up the best possible transfers and kitting them out with an array of extras. The set even includes a lavish full-color booklet and 2 CD’s worth of the music library material used to score the film in this set. Here’s a capsule review-sized look at the first four films in the set – each is a martial arts classic and three of the four were directed by the legendary Chang Cheh.

KING BOXER: “…remains a vital viewing experience for (genre buffs) thanks to its disciplined, classical approach to the form.” https://boxd.it/2vMyf1

BOXER FROM SHANTUNG: “After seeing this, you’ll understand why Chang Cheh was such a huge influence on John Woo…” https://boxd.it/2vMITv

FIVE SHAOLIN MASTERS: “A deluxe indulgence for anyone who grew up watching Kung Fu Theater on Saturday afternoon t.v.” https://boxd.it/2xbMCd

SHAOLIN TEMPLE: “…the Shaw Brothers version of a Hollywood star-studded epic.” https://boxd.it/2xbRu9

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