Heroes of Shaolin
Ever since I read the small paragraph that the
book – Deadly China Dolls – has on Dorris Lung Jun Er, I have wanted to
watch something with her in it. Now that I finally have, I would like to
see much more.
What the book has to say is that this Taiwanese
actress began her film career in 1976 appearing in Shaolin Wooden Men (starring
Jackie Chan) and made nearly sixty films over the next few years. Another
film that she was in was with Jackie was Half a Loaf of Kung Fu. Apparently,
her emotional makeup was quite unstable and a parade of bad love affairs
caused her to try and commit suicide three times. Directors began to shy
away from using her and her career dwindled down after only a few years.
It’s a shame because though she looks to be quite
young here and her fighting abilities are difficult to judge, she has quite
a presence and beauty about her that is unmistakable. Dark piercing eyes,
a lithe quick body and a great smile gave her the potential to be a star.
Not to mention that she looks great in headgear which is always a big plus
In this film she is a secondary character and
doesn’t appear in it until after the half way mark and then is involved
in three fights. The focus of the film is on Cheng Sheng who challenges
a man to a kung-fu match and defeats him. The defeated man then kills himself,
but before he dies makes Cheng promise to track down and kill a traitor.
The man’s teenage son has witnessed all of this and tries to kill Cheng,
but he is easily fended off. Cheng then tells the boy to come with him
– that Cheng will train him well enough to exact his revenge against Cheng
– and that the boy should feel free to attack Cheng whenever he wants.
So the boy continuously attacks Cheng even when Cheng is going to the bathroom!
Cheng is a tough trainer though – when the boy picks up a stray puppy Cheng
grabs it and kills it – and says, “you should only have room for hate”.
Hwang Jang Lee plays the traitor and to get to
him Cheng first has to fight Lo Lieh and then Hwang’s three grandchildren
– of which Jun-Er is one. The fighting is decent but nothing outstanding
– Hwang is famous for his wonderful kicking style that is well displayed
here – but it is the themes of honor and family that drives the film.
My rating for this film: 6.0