As they did with their Wuxia box set, Siren Visual have put together a set of five films from the Shaw Brothers with similar themes, packaging them up in rather a nice-looking box set with new artwork and menus on all the discs. This one’s rather less high-minded than the tales of chivalry and heroism in the last one, though — it’s a box of Shaws’ less salubrious fare from the late 70s and early 80s, when they moved … (read more)
The 14 Amazons is one of those films in which Shaw Brothers pulled out all the stops: it’s got a huge cast, quite a bit of location shooting, an epic story and some huge melee battle scenes. Though many would assume from the title that it’s got either a strong feminist or exploitative slant, it’s got neither: instead, it’s a straight tale of heroism and determination that just happens to be centered around a family of women.
Their menfolk are … (read more)
Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan is one of Shaw Brothers’ more infamous and influential films, one that shocked audiences when it was released in 1972. It’s since been remade by the same director (as 1984’s Lust for Love of a Chinese Courtesan) and was apparently the inspiration for Clarence Fok’s Naked Killer. It’s garnered its reputation for its marriage of the kung-fu genre with eroticism, usually a recipe for thoroughly B-grade cinema. Intimate Confessions’ acting, production … (read more)
The Water Margin is big. Really, really big. Even for a Shaw Brothers production directed by Chang Cheh at the height of his popularity, it’s huge. Involving just about all of the action stars on the Shaws payroll at the time, enormous sets, lots of outdoor shots and four action choreographers, it really does show off the ‘house style’ that Shaw Brothers are famous for.
The film is an adaptation of a small part of the Chinese classic of the … (read more)