Shaolin Invincible Sticks


Men and their sticks. Long ones, short ones – men playing with their sticks – men beating their sticks. In this 1978 film men take great pride in their sticks and their ability to keep them up in the most adverse situations. Without your stick, a man is nothing. A girl tries to master the stick, but this is really a manly skill and she does much better with her hands and feet – she needs to be older and more experienced to master the stick.
This struck me as a remarkably dull film with a lot of really annoying characters – the bad guys are annoying  - the good guys are annoying – and just about everyone else is annoying. Except of course for Hsia Kwan Lee – but this being her first film she doesn’t really get to do much. I suppose the choreography is competent, but it’s fairly repetitive and holds no surprises or has any outstanding scenes. It is all about sticks.
White-haired Chang Yi wants to prove that he is the best stickman around and so he and his two henchmen (Jimmy Lee is one) charge into one stick school after another to challenge and beat their best. Now Wong Tao is heir to the best stick school in the neighborhood – but he prefers gambling and not paying his bills to taking care of his stick and practicing with it. He gets kicked out of the family and wanders about with Kam Kong before realizing just how important his stick is. He then begins arduous workouts with it – banging away at his loyal servant boy with it till he feels he is ready to take on Chang Yi. Along the way he has also met up with Hsia – and she travels with him - but he prefers the company of his stick.
Admittedly, I checked out this film primarily for more of Hsia who so impresses in Leg Fighters and Fatal Claws, Deadly Kicks, but here she is really given no opportunity to show her stuff beyond a few scuffles and is nowhere to be seen in the climax when the two men go into the forest and unsheathe their mighty sticks for battle.

My rating for this film: 4.0