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  • Two men meet as old friends and part as new enemies. The fighting starts before the door slams shut and Shih Szu is left as the title character. The rest is the long road to revenge. Once again the road to revenge passes through Shaolin Temple.

    There is an old movie cliché, the storm. Whenever there is a storm you know things are about to get very bad. There is always a storm before a big battle. Asian audiences are used to a similar cliché. The female character pricks her finger and there is a drop of blood. This portends there will soon be much bloodshed. This movie uses both.

    Shih Szu alone makes the movie worth watching. She has the looks and the moves. The story line strongly supports her motivation. The male actors Chung Wai and Wong Chung also show good martial arts skills and carry the acting part too. Lung Fei is also worth mentioning for the same reasons.

    Most important in these films are the action directors and here we have Corey Yuen Kwai and Yuen Cheung Yan. This is an early top notch achievement for the Yuen clan. The movie has a brisk eighty three minute run time that does not let up or drag for a single frame of film. The only negative is a common problem with these films - the copy itself. I appreciated the true wide screen though it was scratchy and had many dropped frames. It was subtitled which is always better than dubbed but it had the solid white typeface that can be impossible to read. Regardless, I urge all fans of the genre to acquire it and enjoy it. It would also make a good introductory movie for folks just trying out this genre.
  • Opening (after a title sequence training session) on a storm raged night, with the heaviest of rain pouring down, we meet Shih Szu and her family who are about to have their lives changed forever when her father's old friend, and legendary bad guy, Lung Fei (from countless Jimmy Wang Yu movies) arrives. After a few harsh words, Fei storms off - the old friends now new enemies!

    It's very unfortunate that the only version on YouTube of this late 70's classic, is a washed, jumpy, highly scratched version (that also thankfully comes in wide-screen with subtitles), as it is very nicely directed with great kung-fu action, beautiful sets, and nice costumes. I've said it a hundred times I know, but a restored version of this rare film would be very welcome...

    It only takes minutes for the action to start as the wonderful Shih Szu's family is attacked and killed, leaving her a massacre survivor. Of course, its the men behind these action scenes that helps make this a better than average kung-fu drama. That is of course, the fantastic Yuen Cheung Yan and Corey Yuen Kwai who also guest star, along with Cheung Yan's (and Yuen Woo Ping's) youngest brother, Yuen Yat Chor. The fights are fast and fun, and much cleaner than many Hong Kong and Taiwanese flicks coming out around this period.

    The performances from all the main cast involved is just brilliant and aided by the direction of (Richard) Tung Chin Hu, who brought us some classics such as The Snuffbottle Connection, Buddha Assassinator and Instant Kung Fu Man which also involved fight choreography from the Yuen Clan. A trio of Shaw Brothers stars lead the way in the shape of Chung Wa (Killer Clans, The Killer), Wong Chung (The Chinese Boxer, Police Force) and of course, Shih Szu who is fantastic as the heartbroken daughter with a vengeance.

    She makes her way to Shaolin to go through some rigorous training, with a highlight being a couple of sessions with a very young, Yuen Cheung Yan. Shih Szu handles the action incredibly well in this, surprising with some intricate moves the Yuen Clan have provided in their choreography. Once through her training, she really gets to show what she can do, and steals the show.

    Although a regular revenge tale, like 90% of the old school kung-fu flicks, A Massacre Survivor stays the top of its game due to some great acting, and non-stop entertainment thanks to its director and action directors, leading to a bloody and brilliant climax between the Shaw Brothers stars and great Lung Fei - and that's before the big finale which is well worth seeing!

    Overall: Fight filled and action packed, A Massacre Survivor is a well-acted and directed lost classic that deserves a good clean up and bigger audience. Loved it!