Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin (Martial Arts) 1978 [Movie/Review]


Year: 1978
Genre: Martial Arts
Director: Chi-Wa Chen
Original Title: She He Ba Bu
Source: Blu-Ray (Nonstop Entertainment)

Jackie Chan stars as the young warrior Hsu Yin-Fung. Hsu has been entrusted with the book of the “Art of the Snake and Crane”, after the mysterious disappearance of the eight Shaolin Masters who had written it. He must fight off numerous clans who are all attempting to steal the book from him, to find out the true reason for the disappearance of the Shaolin Masters.

I love watching fighting scenes with Jackie Chan, unfortunately I don’t always like his movies when they have too much of the ”slipping-on-banana-peel” humor in them, that seems to be as common in Hong Kong kung-fu movies as dancing in Bollywood movies from India. But his more ”serious” movie like Rumble in the Bronx or Police Story are just awesome.

Snakes & Crane Arts of Shaolin has not much of a plot, but I don’t many of us came here for the plot. It’s more fighting scene after fighting scene and Jackie Chan as always, do them great, but most of his enemies is kind of garbage, or if it’s the director’s fault. My biggest complaint is that they are a little bit too slow, so you really see how they move after a choreograph and gives no illusion of being real fights. But all in all, pretty entertaining.

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The music used in the movie’s opening sequence is Ice Floe 9 by Pierre Arvay, from the De Wolfe Music library. The same piece was also used for the opening credits of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975).

Around 37m, when Hsu Yin-Fung fights Sing Chu, playing the “cartwheel” sequence in slow motion (or pausing the film at the right moment) will reveal that the hole in the ground supposedly created by Chu’s punch was there before his fist hit the ground.

I watched this on a Scandinavian Blu-Ray boxset called Jackie Chan’s Vintage Collection Volume 2. It’s seven of his movies in pretty good quality for only €20. It’s only the English dubbed version, but works fine for me.

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