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Fists of the White Lotus ("Clan of the White Lotus", "Hong Wending san po bai lian jiao")

  • Hong Kong
  • 1980
  • 98 mins
  • 35mm
  • Cantonese
  • English / Chinese (subtitles)

"The fighting is a furious display of peak talent, expertly directed… a classic piece of kung fu… tons of fun" — Bryan White, CINEMA SUICIDE

The wrath of White Lotus (Lo Lieh) has been unleashed! His kung fu brother, the merciless and invincible Pai Mei (the evil white-haired hermit in KILL BILL VOL. 2) is vanquished by two young cocky Shaolin disciples, Hung (Gordon Liu) and Wu, with their tiger- and crane-style thrusts. Hungry for a new order, he eliminates Wu and Hung’s girlfriend, forcing Hung and his pregnant kung fu sister (DRAGON’s Kara Hui) into hiding. White Lotus has acquired an improved pressure-point fighting method and mastered the 100 Step Soul Catching Fist and weightless kung fu, rendering the tiger and crane styles futile. The Ching Dynasty court has ordered peace but there shall be none as long as Hung and White Lotus are still breathing. Meanwhile, Hung must train hard to control his arrogance and face off against White Lotus. He begins to incorporate unorthodox techniques such as embroidery and acupuncture into his kung fu as he transforms his hands into tools of vengeance.

Hold onto your pressure points! Legendary action director and filmmaker Lau Kau Leung, aka Liu Chia Liang (DRUNKEN MASTER 2 and 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN), splatters the screen with an onslaught of spectacular martial arts packed with outrageousness and kinky undertones. Each new action scene is more absurd than the previous yet breathtaking in its virile creativity, using the most unusual onscreen techniques that only Master Lau can dream off — embroidery kung fu and acupuncture pins? Let’s not forget White Lotus being able to move his most vulnerable ogan to another part of his body, rendering him nearly invincible. No CGI used, just the occasional stunt double in this rarely seen classic Shaw Brothers film starring two kung fu juggernauts, Lo Lieh and Gordon Liu! Lo (FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH, POLICE STORY 3), the first international kung fu star before Bruce Lee, also directs himself in his signature role, and of course Fantasia guest of honor Gordon Liu (KILL BILL) demonstrates his extraordinary athletic strokes while maintaining his comic zest and sense of cool. Rarely seen in 30 years, this reboot follows up Fantasia favourite Lau Kar Leung’s EXECUTIONERS FROM SHAOLIN, and now the last surviving celluloid copy returns to Montreal in glorious 35mm Shaw Scope.

— King-Wei Chu