Issue #282         HOME          E-mail:        BACK ISSUES     September 26th, 2005

The Treasure Hunters
(1981; Shaw Brothers)

Cantonese: Lung fu siu ye
Mandarin: Long hu shao ye
English: Dragon Tiger Young Masters
U.S. Title: Master of Disaster

  RATING: 7/10


A Shaw Brothers period effort with a decidedly comic accent, this is the first film Alexander Fu Sheng did following an accident that broke both of his legs, but you would never know it from the graceful moves he utilizes throughout. Charming rogues Zhi Daobao (Fu) and Zhao Jiuji (Fu’s real-life brother Chang Chan-peng) decide to find the much sought-after treasure of infamous pirate Zhang Baozai. The first step is to get their hands on Zhang's letters, which are in the possession of a wily old antiques dealer (played by the film’s director, Lau Kar-wing), who is no slouch when it comes to kung fu. The letters reveal the involvement of Fahua High Priest Wuxiang (Gordon Lau Kar-fai), who has been blamed for a number of murders. The real culprit is actually the evil Lord Mo Cong (Johnny Wang Lung-wei), who is systematically eliminating anyone out to claim Chang's fortune, which is concealed somewhere inside Fahua Temple.

Alexander Fu Sheng Chang Chan-peng (left), Gordon Lau Kar-fai

The kung fu is wonderful (particularly the "Five Monk Array" and "Flying Swallow" techniques), but the humor is a bit too broad (particularly a scene set in a library, which goes on much too long); there are even a few examples of the sexual innuendo that would be prevalent in writer Wong Jing's later work. Regardless, this is enjoyable fare and one of the best showcases ever enjoyed by superb female fighter Yeung Ching-ching (who plays Lord Mo’s loyal student). Too often relegated to minor supporting roles, she has ample screentime here and more than holds her own with the likes of Fu, Lau, and Wang. Lau Kar-wing participates in what has become a kung fu genre standard: the "fighting-amongst-valuable-antiques-while-desperately-trying-not-to-break-anything" scene. The soundtrack includes music lifted from Brian May’s score for MAD MAX. Wilson Tong Wai-shing and Lam Wai also appear.

Yeung Ching-ching Johnny Wang Lung-wei


The video is faultless, but alas, Celestial’s audio engineers (or the outside hacks the company employs to ruin the soundtracks of their movies) are at it again, adding and changing music (though they left in the MAD MAX cue!) and "enhancing" the sound FX. The results are not as annoying as some of these re-mixes, but still irritatingly pointless. In addition to the standard Celestial extras are the previously seen "Elegant Trails" featurettes devoted to Alexander Fu and Gordon Lau/Liu.

Wilson Tong Wai-shing Alexander Fu Sheng (left), Johnny Wang Lung-wei

This DVD is available at:

Images in this review courtesy of Intercontinental Video Ltd. To read captions, hover mouse over image.

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Copyright © John Charles 2000 - 2005. All Rights Reserved.


- Hong Kong Release

NTSC – Region 3 Only

Intercontinental Video Ltd. #105159

Dolby Digital 5.1

Post-synced Cantonese and Dubbed Mandarin Language

Subtitles (Optional): English, Traditional Chinese

12 Chapters

16:9 Enhanced (2.35:1)

105 Minutes (at 25 frames-per-second)


- Australia: PG

Great Britain: 15

Ontario: PG

Singapore: PG

United States: R

Contains moderate violence, coarse language, and some mildly crude content

10 A Masterpiece
9 Excellent
8 Highly Recommended
7 Very Good
6 Recommended
5 Marginal Recommendation
4 Not Recommended
3 Poor
2 Definitely Not Recommended
1 Dreadful