Shawscope Volume Three (Blu-ray Limited Edition) (Arrow Video) [USA]


Contributor Steels/Arrow
Premium Supporter
Sep 10, 2012
Release date: November 26, 2024
Purchase links: Arrow Video - DiabolikDVD - Grindhouse Video
Price: $150.00 (Arrow Video) - $139.99 (DiabolikDVD) - $149.99 (Grindhouse Video)

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Before Hong Kong's mightiest film studio mastered the art of the kung fu film, Shaw Brothers hit box office gold with a very different kind of martial arts cinema, one that channelled the blood-soaked widescreen violence of Japanese samurai epics and Italian spaghetti westerns into a uniquely Chinese form: the wuxia pian. With their enthralling tales drawn from historical myth and legend of sword-wielding (and often gravity-defying) noble heroes, the wuxia films housed in this next instalment of Arrow Video's best-selling Shawscope series demonstrate the sweeping stylistic evolution of the genre, from the righteous stoicism of the late-60s Mandarin period, right through to the wild-and-weird anarchism of the early-80s Cantonese explosion.

The iconic One-Armed Swordsman trilogy, directed between 1967 and 1971 by wuxia cinema godfather Chang Cheh, made household names of stars ""Jimmy"" Wang Yu and David Chiang and set the gory template for many of the films to come. Contrary to Chang's tales of loyal brotherhood, many wuxia films focused on female protagonists, three very different examples of which we see next: Ho Meng-hua's Lady Hermit, with the great Cheng Pei-pei (Come Drink with Me) as a virtuous swordswoman called upon to stop a vicious warlord; Chor Yuen's scandalous Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan in which the titular lady of the night masters every deadly skill she can to get revenge on those who enslaved her; and Cheng Kang's all-star epic The 14 Amazons, in which Shaws' finest starlets play the real-life women of the Yang dynasty, avenging their fallen menfolk in battle. Next, Chor Yuen adapted several beloved novels by consummate wuxia storyteller Gu Long to the big screen, four of which are collected here: The Magic Blade, Clans of Intrigue, Jade Tiger and The Sentimental Swordsman, all starring the redoubtable Ti Lung. As kung fu overtook wuxia at the box office, the genre evolved into unexpected new directions, with its chivalrous knights-errant replaced by conflicted antiheroes, as seen in Sun Chung's breathlessly exciting The Avenging Eagle and Boxer's Omen goremeister Kuei Chih-hung's fatalistic masterpiece Killer Constable. Finally, just when it seemed the wuxia film had nowhere left to turn, Eighties excess reigned supreme in the special-effects-soaked, fourth-wall-breaking fantastical delights of Taylor Wong's Buddha's Palm and Lu Chun-ku's Bastard Swordsman.

Back with all-new exclusive restorations and hours of insightful bonus material, if you thought the previous two Shawscope sets showed the Shaw Brothers studio at its strongest, you ain't seen nothing yet!
  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentations of all fourteen films, including thirteen new 2K restorations by Arrow Films from the original negatives, and a new 4K restoration of One-Armed Swordsman by Celestial Pictures
  • Original uncompressed Mandarin mono, plus Cantonese and/or English (where applicable) lossless mono options
  • Newly translated English subtitles for each film
  • Illustrated 60-page collectors' booklet featuring new writing by David West, Jonathan Clements and Dylan Cheung, plus cast and crew listings and notes on each film by Ian Jane
  • New artwork by Tony Stella, Ilan Sheady, Tom Ralston, Jolyon Yates, Kung Fu Bob and Chris Malbon
  • Hours of illuminating bonus features, including feature commentaries on each film, several cast-and-crew interviews from the Frédéric Ambroisine Video Archive, and the rare alternate Korean cut of Killer Constable
  • Exclusive CD of music from the De Wolfe Music Library, as heard in The Avenging Eagle and other Shaw Brothers classics
  • One-Armed Swordsman trilogy
  • Lady Hermit
  • Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan
  • The 14 Amazons
  • The Magic Blade
  • Clans of Intrigue
  • Jade Tiger
  • The Sentimental Swordsman
  • Killer Constable
  • The Avenging Eagle
  • Buddha’s Palm
  • Bastard Swordsman