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Masked Avengers (DVD) (Taiwan Version) DVD Region 3

Chiang Sheng (Actor) | Zhu Ke (Actor) | Chin Siu Ho (Actor) | Lu Feng (Actor)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10 (1)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Chang Cheh (1923-2002) has made more than 100 films in his filming career of over 40 years. Establishing a unique aesthetics of violence and masculinity in Hong Kong action cinema, Chang has also groomed a generation of action stars like Ti Lung, Jimmy Wang, and Alexander Fu in the 1970s. His 1981 film Masked Avengers teams up some newer martial arts actors, including Chin Siu Ho who later appeared in many action films alongside famous icons like Jet Li and Donnie Yen. The film starts with a mysterious group called "Masked Avengers" who, in a manner no different from modern terrorists, assassinates swordsmen in the most brutal ways. Three swordsmen decide to exterminate the "Masked Avengers", but will they succeed? Director Chang Cheh applies his unique aesthetics of violence to the utmost, showcasing many stunning action scenes.
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Technical Information

Product Title: Masked Avengers (DVD) (Taiwan Version) 叉手 (DVD) (台灣版) 叉手 (DVD) (台湾版) Twin Blades Of Doom Masked Avengers (DVD) (Taiwan Version)
Artist Name(s): Chiang Sheng (Actor) | Zhu Ke (Actor) | Chin Siu Ho (Actor) | Lu Feng (Actor) | Philip Kwok (Actor) 江生 (Actor) | 朱客 (Actor) | 錢小豪 (Actor) | 鹿峰 (Actor) | 郭追 (Actor) 江生 (Actor) | 朱客 (Actor) | 钱小豪 (Actor) | 鹿峰 (Actor) | 郭追 (Actor) Chiang Sheng (Actor) | Zhu Ke (Actor) | 錢小豪(チン・シウホウ) (Actor) | Lu Feng (Actor) | Philip Kwok (Actor) Chiang Sheng (Actor) | Zhu Ke (Actor) | Chin Siu Ho (Actor) | Lu Feng (Actor) | Philip Kwok (Actor)
Director: Chang Cheh 張徹 张彻 張徹(チャン・ツェー) Chang Cheh
Release Date: 2011-03-24
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Duration: 88 (mins)
Package Weight: 150 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1024214921

Product Information

Director: Chang Cheh

The "godfather of the kung-fu film," Chang Cheh, started a winning streak by making the internationally renowned The Five Venoms. He followed that hit with many more high-flying "bloody good" entertainments featuring the same cast in new roles. But of all the "Venom" movies, this one stands out as perhaps the most chilling. Masked killers are wreaking havoc and instilling terror with their vicious weapons of choice: razor-sharp, gut-shattering tridents. Only three fearless fighters dare investigate, leading to mass murder and magnificent martial arts.
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Masked Avengers (DVD) (Taiwan Version)"

June 20, 2007

This professional review refers to Masked Avengers (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Something very nasty is afoot when a gang of mask wearing, blood drinking murderers are rampaging through the region of Jingyang. They kidnap newly weds of two wealthy families and gang rape the bride whilst using the groom for spear throwing practice - these are bad men. The government sends an investigator, Zheng, out to spy on the monsters but he is ambushed and ripped to pieces by their patented golden tridents. His sworn brothers and fellow investigators decide to visit Jingyang and to pay special attention to local bigwig Ling. Once in town, they turn down Ling's offers of hospitality and are attacked by the avengers in their tavern whilst Ling is with them, thus putting him in the clear. Ling suggests they look up fellow "legitimate businessman" Fang. Acting on his suggestion they find themselves ambushed again whilst Fang has tea at a local eatery. With bodies piling up, suspicion falls on the tavern's cook who has a habit for eavesdropping and playing with a golden trident. Investigator Liang is convinced he is the leader of the gang but Zeng Yun is certain that the cook is out to get the gang too. When the cook flees and Zeng Yun is found dead, it looks like Liang has a point. The forces of law must fight the masked avengers in their hideout to a bloody climax.

With the greater popularity of relatively bloodless Hong Kong action comedies from Jackie Chan, I always find myself admiring the technique but wanting a bit more reality. Like anyone I enjoy good triumphing over evil but common sense and experience tells me it's a little harder than JC finds it, and with a lot less humour along the way. The antidote to anodyne action lies with Chang Cheh. His martial arts films usually end in a victory for righteousness but with a lot of pain and loss along the way. His chivalrous heroes lose loved ones, limbs and some face in their quest for justice, but the worst thing they ever face is disloyalty and treachery. The greatest sin in a Chang Cheh film is doing your brother down and even bandits, murderers, and rapists are not so low as the treacherous. In Masked Avengers, there is the central fight between the forces of crime and the law, but more importantly there is the threat of dishonest men who call you brother. When the cook's secret is revealed in the film, he is redeemed as a "brother" to Zeng Yun but revealed as a criminal; in the film's eyes the former is much more important leaving the latter matter redeemed.

Masked Avengers is a hoot. Gloriously bloody with some amazing moments of evil from the gangsters that equates them with Satanists and occultists. We see the gang taking good men on and outnumbering them, skewering decent men in the back, perpetrating sneaky ambushes and generally running rings around the decent law men after them. My favourite moment involves the gang placing their prey tied up on a revolving Buddha whilst they throw spears at them. The gang desecrate, fornicate and party and are charmingly unrepentant. Their pursuers are earnest good men fooled by vice and lies, and impatient to put the world to rights. One by one, the virtuous are tricked and killed until the remaining law men are outnumbered and lured into an impossible trap. In this final reckoning, the honourable and the treacherous face off and torrents of blood drown the frame.

Of the later Chang Cheh films, Masked Avengers is one of the best choreographed with excellent duels between sword and trident, and terrific wire work and tumbling from the cast. The story itself hinges on a secret that once revealed may not completely absolve its subject, and the dimness of the virtuous seems to be endless as they fall for ambush after ambush. This all is rendered irrelevant because the action is so frenetic and the identification with the heroes so strong because of the malevolence of the villains. Great sequence gives way to great sequence and the quality of the martial arts is superb with Philip Kwok being particularly graceful and lithe in both fights and demonstrations of his ability with the trident. Most importantly the film works because the excellent choreography climaxes with terrific gore and physicality; the masked avengers kill with brutality and are served bloody justice too. Masked Avengers is one hell of a ride and will appeal to fans of Chang Cheh's bloodier efforts. Definitely a high point in his eighties filmography and a great popcorn movie.

Another standards conversion I am afraid and by lord does it show. The transfer has clearly come from a good print but the overall look is very soft, with the foreground of the image looking particularly poor. Colour balance and contrast are both relatively strong but these can't make up for the conversion issues and the softness. One of the poorer IVL transfers. The Mandarin audio track is not exactly dynamic but is generally sound bar a few moments of distortion at the high end of the treble. The English subs do lack spelling errors although the grammar is occasionally clunky.

The special features on the disc are all available in English options. The biographies are each a couple of pages long and cover Chang Cheh and his main cast members, the majority of whom were recruited from Taiwan. The bios are written as basic introductions and plugs for other IVL discs. There are two trailers for the film carrying English subs, one the original theatrical trailer along with a re-edited one for the DVD release; there are also trailers for four other IVL releases. As is usual with IVL discs, the extras are completed with stills, original poster art and some bilingual production notes.Overall
A terrific movie with great villains gets a poor transfer beset by conversion issues. There are few decent and legit alternatives to owning this poor presentation but I am confident that any future DVD releases of this film will have little to beat.

by John White - DVD Times

This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

Customer Review of "Masked Avengers (DVD) (Taiwan Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10 (1)

al lipesky
See all my reviews

November 6, 2008

This customer review refers to Masked Avengers (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
MASKED AVENGERS Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
This film is yet another indication of the magic that the "Venoms" portray on screen. The story flows nicely here and character development is very evenly paced. Masked Avengers was filmed in 1981, a point in the "Venoms" career where their choreography was at its peak of being so intricate and precise. Kuo Choi plays the lead role as usual here, but this film is yet another Chang Cheh film where almost all of the characters get a chance to shine.Chu Ker, Wang Li and of course Lu Feng get to play members of the evil gang. Do not miss Chiang Shengs weaponry skills in this one! Chiang gets a chance to use a couple of different weapons in this film and his fighting scenes with Lu Feng are worth seeing the film for if nothing else.The finale of the film is really the shining moment, the sets are brilliant and the choreography is something everyone who sees this will have to go back and watch again and again.
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