Shaolin Abbot (1979)

Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - Hong Kong   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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This action quickie from the Shaw Brothers studio is modest but engaging stuff. Shaolin Abbot could be fairly be looked upon as the b-movie version of the studio's past classic The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin because it offers a similar premise that shares many of the same plot elements. That said, the script for Shaolin Abbot is a stripped-down, action-driven affair that downplays character development in favor of fight sequences galore. The end result doesn't feel as substantial as The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin but it makes for a engaging bit of action-oriented fun. Ho Meng Hua directs with his typically high level of energy, keeping the story's colorful events rolling forward at a brisk clip while delivering plenty of colorful action. David Chiang plays the lead role with the proper mix of humility and fighting skills while Lo Lieh lends credible support in a villainous role and Norman Chu amuses as an arrogant young man who becomes the hero's humble disciple. In short, Shaolin Abbot is an enjoyable programmer for kung fu fans and worth a look to those who enjoy Shaw Brothers films.