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Film / Shatter

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Why not Mr. Breaker?

Shatter, also known as They Call Him... Mr. Shatter! (as seen in the poster above) is a 1974 spy-thriller martial arts movie joint-produced by England's Hammer Studios and Hong Kong's Shaw Brothers, their second and last collaboration after The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires.

An international assassin named Mr. Shatter (Stuart Whitman), after what was supposedly his last assignment in Africa, suddenly finds himself being hunted down by his former superiors. Escaping attempts on his life, Shatter made his way to Hong Kong, where he meets Tai Pah (Ti Lung), a local martial arts master and kung fu expert (yeah... did we mention that's friggin Ti Lung?). Shatter promises Tai Pah half of his fee from his most recent assassination, in exchange for Tai Pah's assistance to find out the truth behind his double-crossing, and soon enough both men ends up kicking ass all across Hong Kong while trying to stay a step ahead of various hired killers working for Shatter's villainous ex-boss Paul Rottwood (Peter Cushing).


Unfortunately for both Hammer Studios and Shaw Brothers, who had signed a 3-picture co-production deal, their third film never quite materialized due to Golden Vampires and Shatter both under-performing at the box office.

They Call Him Mr. Troper!

  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Tai Pah, a kung fu expert, becoming a bodyguard to Shatter, an elite assassin, after the latter finds himself targeted by his former bosses.
  • Contract on the Hitman: The very premise of the film; the plot is kicked off when Shatter, an expert assassin, was double-crossed after completing an assignment in Africa, where he had to flee to Hong Kong and find out the truth behind his mission.
  • Film Noir: Has elements inspired by this genre, while adding some trademark Shaw kung fu in-between.
  • Fish out of Water: Shatter being a British-based hitman operating solo in Hong Kong after a double-cross.
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  • Genre Mashup: A Bond-style spy / espisionage thriller with some bits of kung fu thrown in.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Tai Pah, being played by Ti Lung, enjoys nothing more than a fistfight, despite having access to guns.
  • Meaningful Name: Peter Cushing's villain is called Paul Rottwood...
  • One Last Job: Shatter's assassination assignment in Africa in the opening scene was supposed to be this, but his superiors had him double-crossed in the last minute and tried to have him executed.
  • One-Word Title
  • Professional Killer: Most of the main characters, but especially the titular hero.
  • Protagonist Title: The film refers to the protagonist, Mr. Shatter himself. Who is Only Known By His Nickname.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: A rival assassin tried to eliminate Mr. Shatter by sniping him... via rocket launcher! It doesn't work.
  • Villainous Widow's Peak: Sported by Paul Rattwood, as played by Peter Cushing in his usual style.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Tai Pah, who gets to kick ass without his shirt. Being played by Ti Lung...
  • Weaponized Camera: In his opening scene, Shatter assassinates an African dictator while posing as a reporter, using a gun hidden in a camera. The dictator is killed via bullet from the lens when his picture is "taken".


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