Posts tagged "Fang Fang"

The Eighteen Jade Arhats (Review)

The Eighteen Jade Arhats

aka Shi ba yu luo han

1979
Directed by Cheung Git

The Eighteen Jade Arhats goes by many many many titles besides its original Shi ba yu luo han. You might find in on video under titles such as Eighteen Claws of Shaolin, Eighteen Deadly Arhats, or The Eighteen Jade Pearls. We’re watching a widescreen print released somewhere that speaks Spanish, where the film was titled Bruce Le y El Secreto del Saolin. Someone overlayed the widescreen print with the English dubjub by that company that dubbed hundreds of Kung Fu films (so you’d recognize many of the voices.) Why would we watch such a weird hybrid? Because, at the time, it was the best way to see it. It might still be, I haven’t kept up with the latest DVD releases of 18 Jade Arhats, but I don’t know if there is a good widescreen print in English or Chinese.

My first experience with the film was still pictures from the book Deadly China Dolls that featured Polly Shang Kuan battling some sort of multi-armed statue. That was awesome so the film jumped way ahead in my search queue. Too bad for me the actual statue fighting happens for less than a few seconds, and is just a flashback and an immobile statue.

Director Cheung Git only directed two other films, and I haven’t seen them, so I can’t tell if this is a typical Cheung Git film. Maybe one day…

“What the hell is an “arhat”?” I hear you asking. Well, guy who can’t use Google, an arhat signifies a spiritual practitioner who has realized certain high stages of attainment. The Chinese word for arhat can be written as “Lo Han” which become Lohan when subtitle people are at work. And thus, the Lindsay Lohan jokes that will be in the film, because if I don’t do it some commentor will. But now I probably will prevent all potential comments! That’s what I get for shooting myself in the foot…

Polly Shang Kuan is awesome enough we’ll give her a better biography when reviews of some of her weirder films are completed. As the time of this reviews publication, there are four other films of hers in my review pipeline, showing how I just get reviews 90% done and then wander off to watch something else. She was a queen of action cinema during her day, and some of her films are too awesome for words and are just experiences you have to have.

Sing Pei Pei (Polly Shang Kuan Lingfeng) – Sing Pei Pei is in search of the 18 jade arhats/Lohans that we stolen from her family, and the thief murdered her entire family. She gets involved in the search for a killer because it will lead her to the man who killed her family.
Kung Chin Ya (Lee Jan-wa) – Kung Chin Ya is a guy who wanders around China getting into adventures or something. He really has no real motive except he wanders around. I guess he’s out to fight for justice or something, but it’s not like he says it. It is more like he’s just running around slicing up bad guys because it is more exciting than making noodles.
Hu Ying Pao (Lo Lieh) – The accused murderer of Wong Chun Wei, who is innocent and eventually proves his innocence when people try to kill him to silence him. Lo Lieh was previously seen here in Lady Iron Monkey
Wong Chun Wei (Chang Yi) – He’s dead, so most of the film is people trying to figure out who killed them. Boy are they wasting their time! Uh.., SPOILERS! Chang Yi was one of the baddies in The Thrilling Sword.


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - December 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,