Shaw Brothers Classics Vol. 4 released from Shout! Factory on December 19, 2023.
The fourth volume of Shaw Brothers Classics from Shout! Factory comes with an astounding twelve feature-films totally nearly twenty-hours of content. The Rebel Intruders, Two Champions of Shaolin, Legend of the Fox, Black Lizard, House of Traps, Masked Avengers, The Sword Stained With Royal Blood, Five Element Ninjas, Shaolin Prince, Shaolin Intruders, Holy Flame of the Martial World and Opium and the Kung-Fu Master are all collected in a beautifully crafted boxset with gorgeous artwork.
Shaw Brothers Classics Vol. 4 Critique
Also Read: Shout! Studios Weird Review
My love for martial arts films was born primarily through the iconic depictions of Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee and Donnie Yen. Watching masterpieces like Police Story, Enter the Dragon and Iron Monkey at a young-age instilled an unbreakable love for the genre within me. Of course, my admiration for martial arts cinema could realistically be traced to the less-impressive films that I watched at an even younger age. Movies like 3 Ninjas, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze and — perhaps worst of all — Surf Ninjas, may be cinematic abominations, but they helped to introduce me to the dazzling world of on-screen, acrobatic-combat.
As much as I love finding a random kung-fu release in the dollar-bin of a dollar store, or on the over-crowded movie rack at a Big Lots, the quality of these finds vary wildly, and that’s why I’m most thankful for Shout! Factory’s Shaw Brothers Classics collections. With each of the twelve unique films available in their original language, and most of them available with English subtitles, it’s easily accessible for devoted fans and newcomers alike. It’s easy to forget just how many films the Shaw Brothers produced, with a library of roughly one-thousand releases.
Shaw Brothers Classics Vol. 4 compiles the best elements of the kung-fu genre. Mixed into the breathtaking action are elements of comedy and drama. There are tales of revenge, feuding clans and — as one might expect — the “Venom Mob.” Christmas is right around the corner, and I can say with a degree of certainty that any kung-fu fan would be ecstatic to find this Blu-ray set under their tree on Christmas day. Young or old, naughty or nice, this is a film set that belongs on the shelf of any self-respecting physical media collector.
The Special Features
Nearly every single disc in this twelve-disc set contains at least one new special feature, and that’s an impressive and important element of this release, especially considering the age of these films.
There are audio commentaries from renowned film historians and Hong Kong film critics. There are interviews with actors, critics and authors. Of course, there’s also original trailers