One of Chor's best. The film is quite short and to the point, contains some nifty action sequences, some stand-out fantasy elements and it benefits tremendously from Chor's trademark colorful and atmospheric cinematography. It's everything a great Shaw Bros film should be, and it delivers in spades.
A very fine epic by Yuen Chor. There are some moments of genuine beauty here, making this one of Chor's best films. At the same time the film isn't entirely without fault, which keeps it from becoming and all-time Shaw Bros best. But Shaw Bros fans owe it to themselves to seek this one out.
Like many of Chor's best films, Heroes Shed No Tears has strong fantasy elements. Not so much in the plot or characters, it's the setting that feels very fantastical. Moody lighting, beautiful sets and plenty of smoke make for an extremely atmospheric film. The fitting score also adds to the film.
The action is solid, but nothing you haven't seen before. My main critique is that the film's a bit too long. Some scenes are extremely talkative and the plot/characters aren't that interesting to warrant so much dialogue. Some tighter editing would've helped, but in the end Chor's amazing direction prevails.
Not long ago I completely dismissed Yuen Chor's ability to do romance, now I have to retrace my steps. In a typical history/Shaw Bros setting, it appears Chor can work his magic. De mix of romance and action is solid, the film looks nice enough and the drama actually hits. An interesting experiment that is a lot classier than I expected it to be.
Moody and atmospheric martial arts film. One of Yuen Chor's later films, and it shows this came from a seasoned director who felt at ease making the kind of films he likes. Not the most original or surprising film in other words, but well executed and decent filler for people who can't get enough of the Shaw Bros library.
Another solid Yuen Chor film. Plotwise it doesn't differ too much from all the other Shaw Bros films, but Chor's trademark touch of fantasy is what makes his films stand out. Set design and some rudimentary but effective special effects create a fantastical atmosphere that is well ahead of its time. Good, but only for fans of the Shaw Bros films.
A fine Yuen Chor martial arts film. The sets look pretty cool, the camera work is on point and there's plenty of action. The plot is not quite as interesting, but because the production design is well above average Shaw Bros quality, that's not really an issue. This is the kind of film Chor built his reputation on.
Yuen Chor going the Jackie Chan route, but within the comfort of the all too familiar Shaw Bros context. Compared to his other films the comedy elements jump out immediately, the rest of the film is very much in line with the Chor's typical style. A fun diversion for fans of the Shaw Bros studio, but not as good as Chan's stand-out films from that era.
Shaw Bros, Yuen Chor style. That means classic martial arts action, but with pointed fantasy touches. Chor is definitely one of the better SB directors, not in the least because he also pays attention to more than just the action. His films look better than the average SB film, without taking anything away from the fighting. Good stuff.
If Cheh Chang is the SB grand master of traditional martial arts, Yuen Chor is his equal when it comes to fantasy/martial arts blends. The Web of Death is an amusing, yet cheesy and somewhat inconspicuous film in his oeuvre. There's a lot of fun to be had here, but apart from the fact that it's "something with spiders", it's not too memorable.
Like Cheh Chang, famous Shaw Bros director Yuen Chor also loved to branch out once in a while. Unlike Chang, he had a penchant for romance. That sounds like a recipe for disaster (and sometimes it was), but Sex, Love and Hate is actually a pretty decent film. No doubt a bit sappy at times, but overall I liked it quite a bit more than I expected.
Three women in contemporary Hong Kong are sharing a house together. They each have a very different idea of what love is supposed to be. Pai Mei wants to marry rich and live a comfortable life, Chu Tai just wants to get married at all cost and Yao Yao is saving herself for the right man. But love isn't that straightforward.
The soundtrack isn't great and the drama is a bit much, but the cinematography elevates the film above the usual Shaw Bros fare and the film is actually quite atmospheric. Performances are decent and even though the characters are a little too stereotypical, Sex, Love and Hate succeeds in what it sets out to do. Not bad, just don't expect a typical Chor martial arts epic.
Worthy but flawed
A somewhat run-of-the-mill Shaw Bros production. The trademark elements of Yuen Chor are present, but the execution felt a bit lazy. The action scenes are a little dull, the fantasy look isn't entirely on point and the romance can't quite carry the film either. It's not a bad production, rather basic Shaw Bros filler that should only appeal to core fans only.
Visually quite accomplished and a clear step above the usual Shaw Bros films, but the strong focus on an uninteresting plot keeps this film from becoming a true Shaw Bros classic. The somewhat mediocre fight scenes don't really help out either. Decent Chor production, but he should stick to pure fantasy and action cinema.
Yuen Chor takes another stab at romance. I'm actually surprised he made so many movies outside the martial arts genre, though I get why these films didn't travel well. The direction here is in fact quite nice, but the plot is pretty dull and the acting is well over-the-top. I'm sure there's an audience for these films, but I'm not part of it.
Not one of Chor's better films. It's a pretty straightforward martial arts flick, with some romantic squabbles in between. The action feels a little muddled and the romance is overdone. Luckily it's a short film and the pacing makes sure it never lags. Not an entire waste of one's time, but hardly a priority for Shaw Bros fans.
The idea of Yuen Chor and Chow Yun-Fat making a comedy may sound appealing, but the fact is that both just aren't made for the genre. It feels more like a cheap Jing Wong comedy, with some lame jokes, atrocious acting and a boring, repetitive plot. Best to just skip this one, unless you really like the people involved.
Regardless of all the big names involved, Fascinating Affairs is a pretty rushed and flat hotchpotch of genres that never really finds its footing. Loud, poorly acted, lazily directed and often aimless, it's a film that seemed confident that star power would be enough to attract people. Poor filler, only for true completists.
A horror anthology from the Shaw Bros studios. If you can call it that, as it's really just two middle-length films back to back. Hong Kong has a pretty meager track record when it comes to horror cinema, but with Chor Yuen involved as director of the first film, I was willing to give this one a shot.
Chor is pretty good with atmosphere, so on paper he should be a great fit for horror. Some of his martial arts work had promising horror elements too, but it seems straight up horror isn't really his thing. Performances are poor, effects look shabby and the ghost story isn't scary at all.
The second film comes from Tun Fei Mou, who fares even worse. The story has supernatural elements, and that's about it really. It isn't until the very last minute that we finally see some blood (read red paint), the rest is just cheep and disappointing. Not a very good Shaw Bros film, it's rare to see them do well outside the martial arts genre.
Attempts of the Shaw Bros studio to branch out have rarely been successful. Yuen Chor takes his usual martial arts crew and turns them into bank robbers, coming out the other side with a veritable heist film. Safe one or two decent action scenes, the result is a rather slow and overly sentimental misfire.
Five men with no prior history as criminals band together and plan a heist. The heist itself goes surprisingly well, but as is always the case with this type of film, the problems start afterwards. When they get the police on their tail and the members begin to distrust each other, a fated ending seems unavoidable.
Yuen Chor doesn't do much with this film. The plot isn't anything special, the cinematography is bland, the pacing is too slow as the tension is lacking and the drama is way overblown. It's understandable that the Shaw Bros wanted something to fall back on when martial arts would inevitably go out of style, but there's more to it than just jumping from one genre into the next with the same team of people. Not very good.
Cheh Chang doing contemporary action is a little awkward, but it has nothing on Yuen Chor doing romance. The film is incredibly cheesy, from the poor performances to the horrendous soundtrack and the tepid drama, nothing works. It's a disaster from start to finish, though somehow it's an oddly compelling disaster if you're familiar with Chor's work.