Seven Blows of the Dragon/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Seven Blows of the Dragon

Based on the ancient Chinese legend of the 108 Mountain rebels of Liang Shan who repeatedly defeated the main Tsung armies, Seven Blows of the Dragon follows Chapters 64-68 of the epic tale. The opening of the film brings us up to date and explains that the fighting 108 are now in the midst of seeking revenge for the murder of their leader Chow Pai aka The Heavenly King.

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The 108 have been doing well against the Sung armies, but they need to search for a new leader with the death of Chow Pai. They look to a respected figure named Lu Chun (Tetsuro Tanra) aka The Jade Dragon. At his home, one of the 108's toughest men known as Black Whirlwind goes undercover as a servant. It isnt long before Jade Dragon's main bodyguard Young Dragon (David Chiang) figures out who the big guy really is. This makes Black Whirlwind very angry (he rules in this film!), but when the 108 ask Jade Dragon for help, he is at once flattered but refuses since he is an honored man in the city. The Tsung Army show up suddenly and find Lu Chun conversing with the rebels. They flee, leaving Jade Dragon to be arrested for knowingly talking with the bandits.

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The film has hundreds of characters moving in and out of the story but the film really belongs to David Chiang who plays the cocky martial arts hero Young Dragon. During the film, he displays his amazing acrobatic skills with local wrestlers and the Sung Army who are guarding The Jade Dragon. Young Dragon spends most of his time trying to free The Jade Dragon but usually it isn't long before his boss is in trouble again. One of the great aspects in this classic Chang Cheh film is that whenever Young Dragon shows up in a scene we hear a sound that goes "Chigga Chigga Chaa!".

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The climax of the film has Jade Dragon and the 108 battling the Sung Army all together, it's a great battle sequence. Most of the fighting sequences in this film aren't necesarily outstanding, Chang Cheh uses slow motion in some scenes. The majority of the fights are in classic wuxia style (swordplay). Theres some bloodshed here and there but nothing like the gore in Chang Cheh's other Shaw Brothers classics. Still, this film remains one of my favorites of the 70s Shaw Brothers films. The follow-up to this film is Seven Soldiers of Kung Fu (1975).


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Peter Roberts is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb) and contributor to the GCDb's sister site Furious Cinema. A Massachusetts native, he is an avid film fan that has been immersed in the world of entertainment and pop culture his entire life. He is currently majoring in Communications and Interactive Media Design.

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