- An MVD Exclusive
- SKU: AV339
- Format: Blu-ray
- UPC: 760137100775
- Street Date: 04/05/22
- PreBook Date: 03/01/22
- Label: Arrow Video »
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run Time: 98 mins
- Number of Discs: 1
- Audio: STEREO
- Year of Production: 1984
- Region Code: 0
- Box Lot:
- Territory: US
Cast & Crew
- Actor: Alexander Fu Sheng
- Actor: Sheng Fu
- Actor: Gordon Liu
- Actor: Lily Li
- Actor: Ching-Ching Yeung
- Actor: Hsiao Hou
- Actor: Chan-Peng Chang
- Actor: Lung-Wei Wang
- Actor: Kara Wai
- Actor: Kara Hui
- Director: Lau Kar-leung
- Director: Chia-Liang Liu
- Director: Lau Kar-leung, Chia-Liang Liu
The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter
- List Price: $39.95
- Your Price: $39.95
- In Stock: 323
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After one of its lead actors (cherub-faced action icon Alexander Fu Sheng) unexpectedly died midway through production, fight-choreographer-turned-master-director Lau Kar-leung (The 36th Chamber of Shaolin) retooled his latest film, The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter, as the ultimate action spectacular in tribute to his young star. Loosely based upon the legendary Yang dynasty chronicled in Chinese folklore, the film starts as a family patriarch and all but two of his sons are brutally wiped out in a bloody battle with a rival family. One surviving son (Fu Sheng) returns to his mother and two sisters, driven mad with grief; the other (Gordon Liu) escapes and joins a nearby monastery while in hiding. Once he learns his sister (Kara Hui) has been captured by their enemies, however, the warrior-turned-monk realizes he must renounce his peaceful ideals in order to mount a rescue mission and avenge his family. One of Shaw Brothers' final all-star martial arts epics before they ceased filmmaking altogether, The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter is often regarded as Lau's masterpiece, as elegiac and suffused with anguish as it is thrillingly violent (not least in its bone-crunching, teeth-smashing climax).
- Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative by Arrow Films
- High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
- Original lossless Cantonese, Mandarin and English mono audio
- Optional English subtitles, plus hard-of-hearing subtitles for the English dub
- Brand new commentary by Jonathan Clements, author of A Brief History of China
- Newly filmed appreciation by film critic and historian Tony Rayns
- Interviews with stars Gordon Liu, Lily Li and Yeung Ching-ching, filmed by Frédéric Ambroisine in 2004
- A Tribute to Fu Sheng, a short film commemorating the late actor that played before early screenings of The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter, presented via a German-dubbed telecine (the best available copy) with English subtitles
- Alternate opening credits, as The Invincible Pole Fighters
- Theatrical trailer
- Image gallery
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Aspinall
- FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors' booklet featuring new writing on the film by Terrence J. Brady
- Kung fu superstar Alexander Fu Sheng (the heir to Bruce Lee's legacy) died in a tragic accident during filming
- Widely considered one of the greatest martial arts films of all-time
- Star Gordon Liu led the Crazy 88 and choreographed stunts in both of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill films
- For fans of Kill Bill and Bruce Lee
One of the darkest and most exhilarating Shaw Brothers movies has been given the remastering treatment that the film deserves. There is so little to find fault in this film, including what many consider to be Gordon Liu's finest dramatic performance. This is overshadowed by the breath-taking martial arts that once again puts Gordon Liu and Liu Chia-Liang at the top of their profession.
—Hong Kong Cinema
Coming late on in the Shaw Brothers extensive catalogue of martial arts movies that started in the 1960's, this is perhaps the pinnacle of their cinematic output. This is surely the finest this film has ever looked.
—Kung Fu Kingdom
The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter is top-shelf martial arts cinema. It has an all-star cast, relatively realistic, and brutal, fighting sequences: what many consider one of the greatest pole fighting sequences ever filmed
Serves as a properly elegiac swan song not just for Alexander Fu Sheng [killed in car accident during production], but for the whole filmmaking monolith that the Shaw Brothers built over the course of so many years.
—Jeffrey Kauffman, Blu-ray.com
The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter gets an excellent release from Arrow Video that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and a wealth of extra content, highly recommended.
—Michael Den Boer, 10K Bullets
One of the greatest martial arts movies - ever!
—Jack Cormack, Cinema Sentries
The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter elevates Alexander Fu Sheng’s legacy.
—Joe Corey, Inside Pulse
The opening is a doozy… and there's a good payoff at the end. This film is really solid.
The ultimate action spectacular
—Tom Stockman, We Are Movie Geeks
Blinding color looks ridiculously awesome, giving Eight Diagram Pole Fighter a visual intensity that’s borderline comic-like. Elaborate yellow, blue, and red costumes bloom to life. The outrageously red blood is richer than any natural red on the planet. While arguably oversaturated, there’s immediate appeal in this master.
—Matt Paprocki, Doblu
Arrow’s new Blu-ray is their typically fantastic production pairing a strong picture with some terrific extras including an informative commentary and more.
—Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects
Arrow’s Blu-ray special edition is just as gorgeous as their previous Shaw Brothers releases, sporting a new 2K restoration that looks as bright and colorful as an Ultra HD upgrade.
—Movie Line Online
The 8 Diagram Polefighter is a must have for any martial arts fan and this title gets my highest recommendation.
—Anne Carlini, Exclusive Magazine
...the ultimate action spectacular...The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter is often regarded as Lau’s masterpiece, as elegiac and suffused with anguish as it is thrillingly violent (not least in its bone-crunching, teeth-smashing climax).
—Laurence, Disc Dish
Arrow’s winning streak of Shaw discs continues unabated.
—Jason Bailey, The Playlist