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Return To The 36th Chamber (1982)

Return To The 36th Chamber (1982)

So it's back to the 36th chamber once again! For those of you who don't know about the 36th chamber, it's part of the Shaolin temple, the final part of many challenges all disciples must face in their strife to... well what is their strife exactly? What do they keep training to become? Whatever it is, the 36th chamber is the final test. Anyway...

The story itself is centered around a village. In the village lives a con man pretending to be a monk, collecting money for his own good. His brother works at a cloth industry, and one day a set of menacing Mandarins appear and in their presence the workers wages are suddenly reduced by 2%. That might not sound like much, but it's enough to cause an uproar, though the Mandarin quickly beat the workers into submission.

The con artist agrees to help by pretending to be a powerful Shaolin monk, the abbot San Ten, and with creative assistance from the workers he manages to almost scare the Mandarin enough to start paying full wages once more, but then... one of them offers to fight him. Both he and the workers are beat down, and on suggestion of the one who first convinced him to pretend to be a monk (though probably even more so for his bother), he enrolls at the Shaolin temple for real, to learn to fight for real. He doesn't actually learn to fight, but he does get to see plenty of training while he scaffolds the entire building, and do some of his own at every spare moment. He is eventually kicked out, yet comes back with a more powerful set of moves than he himself knows.

If you like martial arts you'll appreciate this!

At the end of the movie the credits roll quickly, and the Another Shaw Brothers Production text flickers by... but these Shaw Brothers are not to be mocked, they made a lot of movies, and amongst them some of greatest martial art flicks ever made. Through the fifties all the way to the late eighties they produced at least 20-30 movies each year, and kept going with one or two yearly titles all the way till 2011. Through the years their legacy has amounted to more than a thousand movies, and I truly wish I could get my hands on more of them. Been reading up on the history after watching this movie, and it turns out Run Run Shaw, the founder of this awesome enterprise, died just recently, aged 107 years old! That's quite the feat.

His movies are a mixture of Asian culture and combat at it's finest: comical, passionate; energetic. At least the ones I've seen, and no doubt the legacy this man left after a lifetime of hard work and ambition will be treasured for centuries to come. At least this one was well worth the watch!

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle


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