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Film / The Casino

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Gamble to the Death!

The Casino is a 1972 Shaw Brothers action film starring Yueh Hua, Lily Ho Li-li, Fan Mei Sheng, and Shih Kien.

In 1930s Shanghai, the mob rules the city with a local casino as their base of operations. A wandering drifter and gambler, Luo Tien-guang (Yueh Hua) enters the city and decides to try his luck with the dice, only to discover the games in the casino are rigged. In his attempt to expose the casino's tricks, Luo ends up knee-deep in a mob war, and have to kill his way out of the mess he got himself into.

And he does. With everything he get his hands on. The movie is as bloody a Shaw Brothers film about gambling can get, and sure enough it's glorious.

Not to be confused with Casino.

The Casino contains examples of:

  • Armies Are Evil: The corrupt local military is in cahoots with the titular casino, being under their payroll the whole time.
  • Bayonet Ya: The corrupt military's soldiers use bayonets in their attempt to capture Luo alive in the finale.
  • Blood Is the New Black: Luo in the final battle, after killing plenty of mooks.
  • The Casino: That's where the film is set and where the bloody final battle takes place.
  • Catch and Return: Occurs in the climatic duel. After Luo killed most of the casino's mooks, four of them fling their knives at Luo from a distance. Luo catches all their knives with one hand, and flings those back killing all four throwers.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: Plenty of stools and chairs gets used as weapons, and end up being smashed and destroyed throughout the film's many fight scenes. Also, after being wounded by a flung knife, Madam Chui is finished off by a stool to her head.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Luo Tian-guang, after he was arrested by the corrupted military, suffers A Taste of the Lash while tied to a rack before he escapes.
  • Destination Defenestration: The corrupt police chief, Ma, was flung out of his bedroom window by Luo, although in this case the windows are already opened. At least one mook in the final battle get flung through a window by Luo as well.
  • Disposable Woman: Madam Chui, despite being built up as an important supporting character and a Love Interest for Luo, dies rather unceremoniously right before the third act.
  • Extreme Close-Up: When Luo Tian-guang is observing the dice being thrown in the casino. He's making an observation that the game is rigged.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: Luo, when fighting the henchman who killed Madam Chui by stabbing her in the back, executes him by repeatedly smashing said henchman's head against a casino table, pulping his brain and leaving quite a huge red mark on the table's surface. He then smash the same guy through a wooden countertop, onto the floor, before giving a Finishing Stomp on his face.
  • Eye Scream: Taken to ridiculous extremes, when the final battle has a mook being killed by having loaded dice embedded into his eyes. With plenty of blood for good measure.
  • Facial Horror: More than one mook in the finale ends up having their faces embedded with coins, domino tiles, shards of pottery, and even dice (two which ends up in somebody's eyes). It's as gory as it sounds.
    • The henchman who gets his face stomped into a red pulp by Luo. There is a close-up on his bloodied face, and it's NOT pretty. See for yourself. (WARNING: GRAPHIC GORE ALERT)
  • Fixing the Game: The titular casino use loaded dice containing weights to fix the outcomes of rolls.
  • The Gambler: Luo Tian-guang.
  • Gorn: The final battle is crammed with these, and also quite a bit of High-Pressure Blood.
  • Head Crushing: Luo kills mooks with everything he can get his hands upon, including a few whose heads he stomps repeatedly until their skulls cave in, complete with graphic Gorntastic effects.
  • In the Back: This is how Madam Chui dies in her final scene, while outnumbered against mooks, until a flung knife hits her in the back.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Luo's very last onscreen kill, via an uprooted bamboo plant.
  • Improvised Weapon: For the climax, Luo literally uses everything he can get his hands on as weapons. Silver coins? Chairs? Dice? Domino tiles? Everything else is a deadly killing weapon in his hands!
  • Money Mauling: In the final battle, Luo kills multiple mooks by flinging silver coins (in place of darts or knives usually used in martial arts films) into their faces. It works.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Captain Fan Shan-hu, who leads the corrupt military when attempting to arrest Luo in the final battle before ending up as one of Luo's many kills.
  • One-Man Army: Luo in the final action scene, when he slaughters everyone, from henchmen to corrupt military police, in the titular casino.
  • The Place: The titular Casino.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Surprisingly played straight, given how the rest of the movie contains a ludicrous amount of gore and blood. When struggling with Ma, Luo Tian-guang forces Ma to shoot his bodyguard in the head, and all it results is a small puff of smoke with no blood at all.
  • Put Their Heads Together: Two random mooks in the final battle dies in this manner when Luo smash their foreheads into each other's.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Luo gets to wear a white scarf while kicking plenty of ass throughout the film. It's worth noting that no other character in the film are shown wearing scarves at any point.
  • White Shirt of Death: Luo wears white in the final battle. After killing everyone including the casino's leaders and every member of the corrupted military, he succumbs to his injuries.