Fist of the White Lotus (1981)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Martial Arts, Period Film  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - Hong Kong  |  
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This revenge tale from Shaw Brothers is an awesome blast of kung fu fun. Fist of the White Lotus takes the familiar "training for revenge" scenario common to chopsocky films and pumps it up to its limits, creating a story packed with arcane fighting techniques, bizarre methods of training, and several duels to the death. Lo Lieh and Gordon Liu do a fine job of anchoring the material with solid performances that lend the tale charisma that is balanced with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. This balancing act fits the film's sometimes serious, sometimes kidding feel perfectly. Lo Lieh also directed the film and does an excellent job in that role; he paces the film at the appropriate breakneck speed, gives it a stylish look, and films the well-choreographed fight sequences with loving care. The final battle alone makes it worth seeing for genre fans because that bout is as eccentric as it is hard-hitting. All in all, Clan of the White Lotus is fun, fast-paced martial arts fare that will definitely enjoy.