Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow – Blu Ray Review. 88 Films

Jackie Chan was trying hard in the mid 1970’s to get out of the shadow of Bruce Lee and build his own career. But after many failed movies for director Lo Wei he was loaned out to Seasonal Films to make 2 films, both of which would make him into a superstar in Hong Kong.

Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow was made in 1978 and is set at the end of the Qing Dynasty, where a 200-year-old deadly clan known as the Eagle Claw Society has eliminated all styles of martial arts except for the revered Snake Fist style. The Grand Master of Eagle Claw is obsessed with finding – and killing – the remaining members of the Snake Fist school. Meanwhile, the wise, elderly Snake Fist Grand Master is busy in hiding, teaching a young, overworked servant (Jackie Chan) his awesome, super-fast fighting moves. An action-packed showdown is inevitable,  but is the newest member of the Snake Fist school any match for an evil, legendary fighter with years of experience?

Along with director Yuen Woo Ping, Jackie Chan decided to do something different and add a much more comical approach to the story. The action when it comes is brilliantly choreographed and Jackie gets to show what a great acrobat and comedian he really was as he was allowed a lot more freedom than he was getting from Lo Wei.

Hwang Jang Lee makes for a great villain and Simon Yuen is excellent as the old master and the relationship between master and student is what really gives the film heart.

88 Films have released the film onto Blu ray with a stunning new transfer, colours are bold image very stable and it looks the best it ever has. Sound gives you Cantonese / Mandarin with English subs or classic English dubbed version. The sound although a little distorted on the Cantonese track is clear and fine. Subtitles are now redone to accurately follow the Cantonese track.

Some great extras including two audio commentaries from  Mike Leeder with Arne Venema and John Kreng and R.P. “Kung Fu Bob” O’Brien (who did the fabuolous new cover artwork). We also get “Horan in the Eagles Shadow” an interview with Roy Horan, “Out of the Shadows” with HK film expert and film director George Clarke, US Opening Credits, Reconstructed Chinese Opening Credits, Original Hong Kong Trailer with English subtitles, UK and USA trailers

Slipcase with brand-new artwork from R.P. “Kung Fu Bob” O’Brien [Limited Edition – first print run only]

  • Limited Edition Foldout poster and 4 collectable art cards [Limited Edition – first print run only]
  • This set is only available up until the end of 2021 so grab it while you can, a five star classic.

FILM- 10 PICTURE – 9 AUDIO – 7.5 EXTRAS – 8

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