Old school kung-fu cult classics are a definite must-see to the passionate martial artist. If you’re already familiar with the Shaw Brothers, then you might remember Return To The 36th Chamber. New to Wuxia Films and Celestial Pictures? It’s only courteous to let you know there are some spoilers ahead.
Already Entered The 36th Chamber of Shaolin?
After laughing through the banter, righteous plot, and awesome fight scenes of The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, it’s only natural you spread your wings and watch the next installment, The Return To The 36th Chamber.
Although it’s considered a loose sequel to the first film, popular culture tends to include the cinematic story of the good ol’ character, Jen-Chieh. He’s a comedic poser who wins your heart and makes you smile.
The Return Of Gordon Liu
Jen-Chieh is played by one of the most famous kung-fu cult film actors we all know and love, Gordon Liu. In the first film, he plays the monk known as San Te. In this second movie, our talented Mr. Gordon Liu plays a fraud who only pretends to be the Shaolin monk, a legendary kung-fu master.
However, you should expect nothing less than altruistic, honorable intentions. Jen-Chieh gets himself into serious trouble by attempting to defend the workers of a fabric dyeing mill after their wages were stolen. Unfortunately, his fighting skills are noticeably absent. He fails and makes a fool of himself…but, he doesn’t give up. There lies the appeal. He’s willing to sacrifice his future, live up to his act, and dedicate years of his life to kung-fu training in order to help them.
Knuckle, forearm, and shin conditioning are often referred to as toughening and conditioning. The process of strengthening bone for hand-to-hand combat can be brutal. Jen-Chieh, colorful character that he is, always finds a way to lighten the mood when it comes to a disciplined art.
After sneaking into the temple and getting exposed, he’s given the chance to stay at the Shaolin Temple and eventually become a student…if he can build a decent scaffolding around the entire complex.
Hidden Heart & Natural Talents
Jen-Chieh kept it together. His determination and natural talents earned him a fighters’ heart.
Grateful that he’s permitted to stay, he faithfully builds the scaffolding. The bamboo gives him the tools necessary to strengthen his body. His high perch allows him full view of all the kung-fu techniques.
Once the scaffolding is completed, much to his disappointment, he’s ordered to take it all down and leave the temple. Not a chill way to get kicked out, but don’t stress. You’ll know what’s up once you watch the movie.
He returns to the struggling workers, feeling temporarily defeated only to discover their worsening state. Enter, the kung-fu avenger. You guessed it, he finally takes on the oppressive, thieving owners.
Bamboo Fighting – Scaffolding Kung Fu
Jen-Chieh bravely steps-up and shows that bamboo stick fighters are not to be messed with. The tactics he implements clearly showcase his increased agility, strength, and bamboo fiber work skills.
Want the finer details? You’re going to have to add this movie to your to-watch-list.
Don’t Forget The Dirty Version
Kung-fu cult classics had lasting impressions on hardcore hip hop and rap artists like the Wu-Tang Clan. In fact, many of their songs typically end up on excellent fight training playlists. Well, at least the ones I listen to. The two albums with obvious references to the aforementioned movies are:
The Wu-Tang Clan – Enter The 36th Chamber
Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version
Who would have thought the cool martial arts comedy cult films of the 1970s & ’80s could lead to some of the fiercest hip hop and rap songs around.
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