The Shaolin Plot (1977)

In which fight choreographer (and soon-to-be director) Sammo Hung, making his last film with his mentor, director Huang Feng (Lady Whirlwind, Hapkido), gets a headlining part as a mad monk who wields two golden cymbals as flying guillotines.  How deliciously evil!!!

The Shaolin Plot, while 15 minutes too long, is one hell of a martial arts epic as Hong Kong heavy Chan Sing (New Fist of Fury) goes about completing his collection of Chinese martial arts manuals in the most vile of manners.  He is obsessed with mastering all forms of fighting in order to defeat his opponents and isn’t afraid to kill in order to obtain them.

"one hell of a martial arts epic"

At the start of The Shaolin Plot, he has only two more manuals to find.  But getting the final manuscripts is not for the weak, so he sends a fabulous-looking renegade monk (Hung) to infiltrate the Shaolin temple and deliver the goods. 

What follows is a mad dash to the finale as Daglen, his death-causing cronies and a surviving Wu-Tang student, named Little Tiger (James Tien, The Big Boss), who is suddenly aided by a lethal duo of Shaolin warrior monks (Casanova Wong, Warriors Two and Kwan Yung Moon, My Young Auntie), clash in an engaging tale to preserve the Shaolin Way.

Hung, who looks absolutely incredible in his bright yellow garb, bald head, and mutton chops plays a most vile and threatening henchman.  He might look all sorts of colorful and bizarre but,  when the cymbals come out, you better run.  Heads will roll!  Hung, who would be directing The Iron-Fisted Monk soon enough, appears to be having a whole lot of fun in this role and it shows through the sheer menace his character is causing as he and his cronies scour the countryside in support of Prince Daglen.The Shaolin Plot (1977)

Developed by Fortune Star, one of the Shaw Brothers biggest competitors, The Shaolin Plot is filled with some great action pieces that are filmed both on sound stages and out in the woods.  There’s plenty of bone-crunching moments; however, the biggest problem is that it’s probably too long and needs some edits to get to its full potential.  But, seeing as how this film was long and drawn out in getting an audience in America, chop socky fans like myself probably just need to be happy that Arrow Video is making it available with a fine 2K transfer.

The Shaolin Plot is now available in a limited edition release from Arrow Video, which includes a double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ilan Sheady, a reversible sleeve featuring that newly commissioned artwork, and an illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing by Peter Glagowski.  Scoop it up now!

4/5 Fists


The Shaolin Plot (1977)

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Arrow Films
Available on Blu-ray
- February 13, 2024
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
: English
Mandarin: LPCM Mono; English: LPCM Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Based on a story by legendary storyteller Ni Kuang (The 36th Chamber of Shaolin), The Shaolin Plot is a classic tale of martial arts intrigue and deception, combining the incoming new wave of action with the old, resulting in one of the most overlooked and underrated kung fu classics from one of the most prolific Hong Kong film studios of all time!


Presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, The Shaolin Plot is beautifully presented on 1080p from Arrow.  Interiors are strong.  Colors pop throughout, but it is the blood effects - burning bright in the transfer - which seal the deal on this one.  It’s full of great atmosphere thanks to the quick-footed script and looks visually eye-popping due to the 1080- upgrade.  Black levels are strong throughout, bringing out nice details in both the loud and quiet moments of this epic adventure.  The tracking shots are glorious to behold in 1080p. Blacks are solid and shadows maintain their lines.  Even the costumes are noted stitch by stitch.


Fans of the genre get uncompressed Mandarin and English original mono tracks, plus Cantonese mono for the film.


Get ready to duel to the death with these supplemental items!


  • See Special Features for the breakdown.

Special Features:

  • 2K restoration from the original film elements by Fortune Star

  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation

  • Original lossless Mandarin and English mono options

  • Optional English subtitles

  • Commentary by martial arts film experts Frank Djeng & Michael Worth

  • Commentary by action cinema experts Mike Leeder & Arne Venema

  • Alternate English credits

  • Original theatrical trailers

  • Double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ilan Sheady

  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ilan Sheady

  • Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing by Peter Glagowski

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4.5/5 stars

 Film Details

The Shaolin Plot

MPAA Rating: Not rated.
110 mins
: Feng Huang
Writers: Feng Huang; Kuang Ni
Cast: Sing Chen; Ho Wang; James Tien
: Action | Drama

Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
Golden Harvest Company
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 7, 1977
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 13, 2024
Synopsis: A brutal Manchurian prince is determined to collect every Chinese martial arts manual. After obtaining all but two, the prince devises a daring scheme to get his hands on the heavily guarded manuals located at the Shaolin temple.


The Shaolin Plot