Eye For Film >> Movies >> The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin (1978) DVD Review
The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin
Reviewed by: Daniel HooperRead Daniel Hooper's film review of The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin
So, how come I've given such a high rating to DVD extras basically comprising a commentary, a few interviews, and trailers? Simply put, the commentary is one of the most entertaining, informative, and passionate I’ve heard. RZA, of Wu-Tang Clan fame and composer of the Ghost Dog soundtrack, and film journalist Andy Klein prove to be a good and knowledgeable mix, as both wax lyrical about 36th Chamber, Shaw Brothers, and kung fu. Demonstrating how much of a fan of 36th Chamber he is, RZA quotes lines in time with the film and explains how kung fu has influenced his day-to-day life, with an anecdote about trying to get his daughter to train her eyes. I really could go on about this commentary but, simply put, I recommend listening to it first-hand.
The subtitled 16-minute long interview with Gordon Liu is full of interesting information too – Liu, who doesn’t appear to have aged during the years since 36th Chamber’s release, explains the reasons he got into kung fu, his rise as an actor, and the production of the film. RZA reappears in his own 10-minute interview, talking about seeing kung fu in the 42nd Street cinemas, the links between kung fu and the black community, and how kung fu specifically influenced the Wu-Tang Clan – the interview is cut together with clips from a variety of kung-fu flicks. The interviews are rounded off with film critics David Chute and Andy Klein talking about the importance of 36th Chamber and its director Lau Kar-Laung.
The trailers include one designed for grindhouse cinemas and the picture gallery is mostly made up of stills from the production and poster art. Also, the excellent trailer for King Boxer is at the beginning of the DVD and there is a short biog of the commentary participants too. Technologically, there are three audio options (Mandarin, Cantonese, and English) and the transfer is excellent. This DVD is a great example of quality over quantity, a suitable package for an important genre film.Reviewed on: 26 Mar 2009