Review: KILLER CLANS (1976)

This is what happens when two diabolical clans go to war, Shaw Brothers style!


starring: Chung Wa, Chen Ping, Ku Feng, Yueh Hua, Lo Lieh, Wong Chung, Cheng Li
directed by: Chor Yuen
choreography: Tang Chia, Yuen Cheung-Yan

KILLER CLANS is another wuxia classic from Shaw Brothers.  Based on an adaption of Meteor, Butterfly, Sword by Gu Long, it’s the tale of two rival gangs battling each other for supremacy over the martial world.  Uncle (Ku Feng) is the leader of the Lung Men Society, and is as clever as he is deadly.  That doesn’t seem to stop the Roc Society from trying everything in the book to assassinate him.  Intrigue and betrayal are the only constants in this subversive world.

Without spoiling too much, the movie is full of backstabs and betrayal — you won’t ever know who to trust for even a second!


I wasn’t able to follow the plot until enough characters died off, but that really doesn’t matter.  As mentioned above the movie is based after another epic Chinese classic, and when that’s the case it usually means they try to cram way too much story into a 1 1/2 hour movie.  For the most part, this seems to be the case, however the fast pacing only seems to make it better.

This movie is full of campy fun, cram-packed with secret traps, ulterior motives and double crosses — you won’t know who to trust.  Though the fighting directors are two of the best of their era, the fights in this movie aren’t all that exceptional.  I think it’s partly because most of the fights are carried out by actors who weren’t primarily martial artists.  However, it’s still action packed all the way through.  Ku Feng’s performance is classic, right in line with his epic role in AVENGING EAGLES, and you’ll be cheering for Uncle, whether we should be or not.

KILLER CLANS is a blast to watch.  Another hit by Shaw Brothers.

Story Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) Kung Fu Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

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Posted on September 4, 2018 in Kung Fu Movie Reviews

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About the Author

Aaron Andersen is the creative director of Legendary Weapons of LA. He's a designer, animator and avid fan of kung fu cinema.

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