this film Jackie portrays an orphan who lives in a Shaolin monastery,
and is trying to learn Kung-Fu so he can avenge the death of his father,
killed many years before by a masked stranger. He has taken a vow of
silence until his father’s death can be avenged. One day he discovers
a mysterious prisoner in the dungeons of the monastery, and promises to
perform a favor for the prisoner if he will teach him his powerful form
of Kung-Fu. In order to leave the monastery, the students must be able
fight their way through a room full of wooden robots chained to the wall
(thus the title), and with the prisoner’s training, Jackie is able to
defeat the robots and go into the outside world. In fulfilling his
promise to his teacher, he unwittingly enables him to escape and return
to his former life of crime. Now Jackie must help undo this mistake, and
in the process discovers his father’s killer, and gets his revenge.
In my opinion, this is the best movie Jackie made under the
direction of Lo Wei. Shaolin Wooden Men is interesting
for a few reasons. For one thing, Jackie’s opera school brother Yuen
Biao has a small role as a baddie (look for him in the restaurant scene,
harassing the inn-keeper’s daughter). For another, Jackie gets to play a
competent fighter instead of the bumbler he played in many of his early
films. This film also has a nice variety of fighting styles, as taught
to him by the Shaolin Monks, a Shaolin Nun (the Gliding Snake
technique), a drunken monk (Drunken technique…maybe this was the
inspiration for “Drunken Master”?) and the prisoner in the dungeon
(the Killer technique), so Jackie gets to display a variety of skills.
And finally, I liked the story, although it was the typical
avenge-the-death-of-my-father theme. The fact that Jackie’s character
was mute gave him a chance to act only with facial expressions and
gestures, and it has the curious effect of really drawing you into the
character. The fights are well staged and entertaining, particularly the
restaurant fight, where Jackie handily defeats 5 nasty thugs, and the
fight at the end against his mentor and teacher. The scenery is nice, too.
Review: The acting is quite bad at times, but Jackie's character
is developed quite well, and the scene with the wooden men is quite well
done and reasonbly well shot. The fights are okay,nothing ground-breaking,pretty
standard fare for the time (as is the plotline), but it's one of
Jackie's better early efforts,in my opinion.
Review: Hey I got this movie out because i read what people has to say
about it. so i went to the video shop and checked it out.Do you know
what i think? this movie is GREAT for Young 70's Jackie!But the title of
the movie "shaolin Wooden men is SO S*^T and the only scene i hated
was the stupid Shaolin Robot crap.but after all this movie shows some of
Jackie's skills that we can not see in his other movies.overall the
martial art and his athletic is great and i give this movie
Review: Jackie really shows off his fantastic acrobatic and balance skills, especially in the originally superb sequence that sees him combating a corridor of wooden robots. The storyline is more interesting than most of his films from this era and the martial arts choreography is imaginative and stylish, however in most of the film the implementation of the moves lack energy and 'punch' (excuse the pun). Probably one of his better Lo Wei movies, but far inferior to 'Drunken Master' or 'Snake & Crane'. JC backflips a 6.
Expert Fan Ian
Meadows' Review: Shaolin Wooden Men was the movie that got me hook.
This movie was great. Great fights and story. This was the
second best film Jackie did for Lo Wei next to Fearless Henya (a
classic). If you haven't seen this movie, don't call your self a
The Drunken Master's Review: As far as
I'm concerned, Shaolin Wooden Men is Jackie's best film with Lo Wei.
The story is the typical "avenge your family's death" thingy,
but overall, it was pretty entertaining. And, unlike quite a few
of Jackie's other films with Lo Wei, this one doesn't copy Bruce Lee.
Worth a rental (buy it only in it's original version).
A Review: I think that this film is Jackie Chan's best film from the
70s. It has excellent music and wonderful sights. The fights are also very good but very
Joe's Review: well, this is weird. my tape is
messed up, the beginning is in the back of the movie, the middle is in
the beginning, and I don't know where everything else is, confused? my
version is messed up, but I didn't like this movie much. Jackie is
really buff, and does this nasty flexing thing with his back. ending was
Jane Mason's Review: I liked this movie for several reasons.
Firstly, since he was unable to speak a word through most of this
movie, Jackie had to really put in a performance that could be believed
by the audience. He was
able to fully develop a character despite the lack of depth in the plot.
Secondly, I thought the water carrying training while wearing
lead shoes interesting! And
thirdly, watching a young Jackie Chan just at the beginning of his peak
physical prowess is incredible. The
grace, energy, and skill he brought to the genre seems so unappreciated
at the time.
Brendan's Review: Pretty standard 1970's kung-fu revenge flick. Some cool fights , although they take a while to really get going. Acting is pretty bad, but the scene with the wooden men is pretty cool. Worth a look, if you can put up with some bad acting at
fan's Review: I liked this movie a lot. It was interesting how Jackie was silent through out the movie, until the end. Many good fights. A good