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Film / Two Champions of Shaolin

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The titular heroes are the two in the center, fyi.

Two Champions of Shaolin is a 1980 Martial Arts Movie directed by Chang Cheh, produced and released by Shaw Brothers as part of their series of kung-fu films starring the Venoms Mob.

The Shaolin sect have formed an underground rebellion against the tyranny of the Manchu government, but they're being hunted by traitors of the martial world - the Wu Tang clan, backed by the Manchus. When a Shaolin pupil, Tong Qian-jin (Lo Meng), seeks his fellow compatriot Hu Hui-gan in order to establish an alliance, assassins from the Wu Tang are more than eager to prevent their meeting. After their rendezvous, Tong and Hu ends up facing opposition from killers at every corner, including the boomerang-chucking mercenary Li De-zong and the notorious Manchu fighter Gao Jin-zhong (Lu Feng). Along the way, Tong ends up falling for the daughter of a fellow resistance leader...


It's worth noting that this is one of the few Venoms Mob film that doesn't feature their biggest star, Philip Kwok, although Philip did lend a hand in choreographing the numerous action scenes.

Two Tropers of Shaolin:

  • Animated Credits Opening: The film opens with an animated montage featuring the cast fighting each other. With Limited Animation achieved mostly by still frames, however.
  • Battle Boomerang: Li De-zong, who have dozens of bladed boomerangs strapped to his thighs used for sneak attacks. Tong Qian-jin's first phases of training involves him figuring a way to deflect those boomerangs to defeat De-zong.
  • Blade on a Stick: Gao Jin-zhong in the final battle wields a three-bladed trident to rough up the heroes. Fittingly enough, he's played by Lu Feng, the same actor who played the trident-swinging primary antagonist from Masked Avengers.
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  • Blood from the Mouth: Many characters ends up coughing blood after getting hit one time too many, as a way for the film to indicate they're badly wounded (given how majority of the film's action sequences are hand-to-hand fights). The heroes have plenty of blood trickling from their lips in the finale, and Gao Jin-zhong, the main villain, visibly leaks plenty of red at the point of his death, given how his demise involves his innards getting crushed alongside his folded spine.
  • Catch and Return: When Tong Qian-jin duels Li De-zong in their final encounter, Li De-zong as usual tries to ambush the hero with his boomerang blades. Tong however had trained himself to catch those blades in mid-air, and hurls it back.
  • Crusading Widow: Tong Qian-jin in the third and last act of the film, swearing to tear the Wu Tang clan a new hole because in their attempts to eliminate him over defeating the Wu Tang clan, their assassin Li Er-huan ends up killing his bride, Bi-erh instead. All these which leads to the lengthy Roaring Rampage of Revenge climatic finale...
  • Dark Action Girl: Li Er-huan, the daughter of Li De-zong and sole female antagonist of the picture.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Li De-zong, the assassin who wields bladed boomerangs, puts up a far better fight than any of the regular mooks, but he's defeated halfway into the film. The rest of the movie then deals with the true main villain, Gao Jin-zhong.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: Befitting the film being a Shaw-produced martial arts movie...
  • Fold-Spindle Mutilation: The fate of Gao Jin-zhong, the main villain, in the hands of Tong Qian-jin and Hu Hui-gan. Complete with popping sound effects (that sounds more like bamboo sticks being crunched instead of a human body).
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Tong Qian-jin and Hu Hui-gan prefers fighting with their bare hands in most of their action sequences, even in brawls where their enemies have weapons. And they turn out to be far better than any armed opponents.
  • Impairment Shot: In the final battle, Tong Qian-jin have his vision blurred after getting hit in the back of his head by Gao Jin-zhong's trident, a hit which he barely survives. As he tries to regain his stance, he starts seeing triple images and ahve to fight in this state or die.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: A band of elite Wudang thugs attempts to ambush Tong Qian-jin while wearing monkey masks.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Gao Jin-zhong, besides his trident, also have three poisoned needles which he use to ambush and kill a few minor heroes. By the final battle however he had run out of those needles.
  • Revenge Myopia: Li Er-huan, the daughter of the slain villain Li De-zong, works for the villains and kills Bi-erh, the bride of Tong Qian-jin, in order to avenge father. Never mind her father is an enemy who tried to wipe out the heroes, and he was killed in a fair fight. Nevertheless Er-huan gets eliminated shortly afterwards.
  • Stock Wushu Weapons: The villains prefers using the dao and qiang, the gun (staff) is used by the heroes during sparring scenes, while the main villain, Gao Jin-zhong, uses the cha (trident) in his final battle.
  • Training Montage: Being a kung-fu movie made by the Shaws, there's multiple training scenes in between all the action.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Tong Qian-jin and Hu Hui-gan both fight bare-chested, as does many trainees and practitioners.
  • Widowed at the Wedding: The male version of this trope occurs at the end of the second act; having defeated the Wu Tang clan, Tong Qian-jin had fallen in love with Jin Bi-erh, the rebel girl who trained him. She had feelings for him too, so both of them gets married... only for Bi-erh to be assassinated on her wedding night by assassins sent by the Wu Tang.