Time Machine 1980s: The Clan of the White Lotus (1980) Film Review

The monk Hung Wen-Ting fights against the evil priest White Lotus. – From IMDB

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A sequel of sorts to ‘Executioners From Shaolin’ this film focusses on the Brother of the villain from the previous film, and Hung Wen-Ting’s repeated attempts to kill him, in revenge for him killing… pretty much everyone else.

The film starts when Priest White Lotus sends his men to kill any of the Shaolin monks left alive that he considers responsible for the death of his brother. From then on, we follow Hung Wen-Ting as he (of course) learns a new kind of Kung-Fu in order to beat this adversary. When described that way, the film doesn’t sound too bad, but when I tell you that is literally all the substance the film has, you can start to understand my problems with it.

We see Wen-Ting go up to fight White Lotus four or five times. Each time, he isn’t good enough, gets beat up and returns home to train some more. This happens repeatedly and is really the ONLY thing that happens throughout the film to drive the plot forward. Many of the minor characters have no purpose and their stories are forgotten about in place of this relentless revenge mission that gets repetitive really quickly.

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Some of the training session with his friend added some much needed humour into the mix though, and these scenes where my favourite by far. But it is a shame that Wen-Ting’s relationships were not developed further. Neither his sister-in-Law or his friend, or anyone else for that matter was given enough screen time to develop a character, or even much of a backstory. In fact, even Wen-Ting himself ended up flat and uninteresting due to the total lack of time given to the characters.

The fight choreography however was pretty spectacular to watch, and the best element of this film by far. Yes the repeated fight scenes did get a little tiresome after an hour or so, but that is from a narrative stand-point. From a technical angle, these scenes were fantastic, and an absolute joy to watch.

Not exactly the cheesy, fun time I was hoping for, but there is enough Kung-Fu action in here to keep the film at least entertaining if nothing else.

Final Rating: 3 Stars


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