Issue #293        HOME          E-mail:        BACK ISSUES       December 12th, 2005

Shaolin Intruders
(1983; Shaw Brothers)

Cantonese: Saam chong siu lam
Mandarin: San chuang shao lin
English: Intrude Into Shaolin Three Times
Alternate English Title: Battle for Shaolin

  RATING: 7/10


In the wake of some mysterious, brutal murders, stoic hero Lei Xun (Derek Yee Tung-sing), jovial gambler Qiao Yiduo (Jason Pai Piao, splendid in the sort of role regularly undertaken by Alexander Fu Sheng), and martial maiden Ye Qinghua (Taiwanese actress Liu Yu-po) find themselves wrongly accused. The death blow administered corresponds to a time-honored Shaolin kung fu technique, so the trio journey to Shaolin Temple in the hope of identifying the killers (whose faces were seen by a hidden Qinghua). However, before their inquiries will be addressed, The Abbott (Chan Shen) insists that the men participate in two elaborate tests of their fighting skills.

L to R: Derek Yee Tung-sing, Liu Yu-po, Jason Pai Piao Elvis Tsui Kam-kong

Veteran choreographer Tong Gai/Tang Chia was at the helm of this Shaw Brothers production, which enjoys an excellent reputation with fans. Initially, one is hard pressed to understand why, as the opening reel offers little out of the ordinary. However, once the combat begins in earnest, SHAOLIN INTRUDERS boasts enough gravity defying martial excitement, credible intrigue, and larger-than-life heroics to sway even the most jaded old school completist. The show-stopping battle finds Derek Yee and Jason Pai battling Chan Shen (in a rare turn as an honorable character) on a rickety stack of benches, but the monks’ amazing 12 Jingangs pole-fighting formation (with a young Elvis Tsui Kam-kong leading the attack) is also a marvel of choreography and editing. Phillip Ko Fei, Lee Hoi-sang (playing to the back row as the hot-tempered master of Shaolin Temple’s Hall of Discipline), Ku Feng, Ngai Fei, and Kwan Fung co-star; the soundtrack includes a cue lifted from Brian May’s score for MAD MAX.

Derek Yee Tung-sing 


SHAOLIN INTRUDERS (which will eventually be getting a Region 1 release through Image Entertainment) looks terrific here, but the presentation is marred once again by a re-mix filled with old and new music layered one on top of the other. The credits appear to have been recreated with video burn and the standard Celestial extras are present and accounted for.

Jason Pai Piao Phillip Ko Fei

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. #105906

Dolby Digital 5.1

Post-synced Cantonese and Mandarin Language

Subtitles (Optional): English, Traditional Chinese

12 Chapters

16:9 Enhanced (2.35:1)

86 Minutes (at 25 frames-per-second)


- Australia: PG

Great Britain: 18 (cut)

Ontario: AA

Quebec: 13+

Singapore: NC16

Contains brutal violence and some coarse language

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