Shaolin Wooden Men (1976)

Directed by
Pretty Good
Reviewed by Simon on 2003-02-24

I quite enjoyed this one... not brilliant, but a cut above average for the pre-DRUNKEN MASTER Jackie Chan. The story is somewhat interesting and unusual, with Chan playing a mute who goes to learn kung fu at Shaolin some years after witnessing his father's murder. Of course, he wants to take revenge. However, his progress at Shaolin is not good and he's treated with little regard by his peers... that is until he begins learning from a renegade monk who is kept in shackles in a forbidden area of the temple. With his new skills, he is able to pass through the hall of wooden men and leave the temple to go out into the world once more.

Things get more interesting from there - though if you've read the synopsis that comes on the Columbia Tristar disc you've already had the ending spoiled (at least on the Netflix envelope, which I assume to be taken from the case).

I can only really recommend SHAOLIN WOODEN MEN to the fairly dedicated Jackie Chan fan. It is nice to see an unusual performance for him (his only mute role?), and there are some well choreographed fights, but it's not amongst his very best work.