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Shaolin Hand Lock and The 14 Amazons DVD Reviews

 

“Shaolin Hand Lock” is a fun martial arts flick.

Despite some impressive battle scenes, “The 14 Amazons” isn’t very captivating.

Grades:

Content: B

Picture: A-

Audio: B+

Extras: D-

Funimation, a company known for releasing anime series, are now in the business of putting out classic Shaw Brothers martial arts films as well and I couldn’t be happier as I am an admirer of the kung-fu genre. The first two releases in the “Hong Kong Connection” series are “Shaolin Hand Lock” and “The 14 Amazons.” ‘Shaolin’ is a standard revenge story of a son seeking revenge against his father’s mysterious murderer (Lieh Lo). ‘Amazons’ find the women of the fallen Yang family seeking revenge against the Western Xia army.

“Shaolin Hand Lock” is definitely the stronger of the two films here simply because it’s a cracking good time. Everything one loves about kung-fu films is present here such as loads of fight scenes, plenty of death, bad dubbing, funny dialogue, crazy sound FX, and an intense climactic fight scene. Sure the plot is simple, but the action begins straight away in the first 10 minutes and never lets up. What more can you ask of a kung-fu film?

While more epic in scope, “The 14 Amazons” is a little slow and drawn out for my taste. Granted, the film contains some eye-catching sequences involving sword fights, arrows, catapults, blood, spears, a human bridge (you have to see it to believe it), a flood, and stabbings but the movie becomes repetitive with all of the retreating and various battle stratetgies. Had the movie been edited more or focused on characters more, it would have been a better film.

Summary: Shaw Brothers fans should check out “Shaolin Hand Lock” and ”The 14 Amazons.”

The widescreen prints for both films are, quite frankly, stunning. I was amazed at how crisp and clean they were. They look virtually brand new.  

The discs contain English Stereo and Mandarin Mono audio tracks. You really can’t go wrong with either one cheesy. The English dub is hilarious for ‘Shaolin’ and makes the film even more entertaining. Likewise, the Mandarin track is solid too. Both of the tracks for ‘Amazons’ are fine although I did feel the music and crowd scenes were a bit too loud in places.

The extras on both discs are identical. The only extras include trailers for “Ichi,” “Shinobi,” “Hana,” “Love And Honor,” “Daytime Drinking,” “Genghis Khan,” “Mushi-Shi,” “Ghost Train,” and the “Hong Kong Connection” series.

April 4, 2010 - Posted by | 1 | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I wish much more men and women would write blogs like this that are actually valuable to read. With all of the crap floating around on the internet, it is rare to read a blog like yours instead.

    Comment by Elidia Dalmau | November 12, 2011 | Reply


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