The standard tried and tested theme of Ching versus Shaolin is the backdrop for '10 Brothers of Shaolin', but whereas the story doesn't cover any new ground the fights and cast are exceptional.
King Chu and 10 other brothers are ready to leave Shaolin but once news of this reaches Ching Commander Kun (Chang Yi) it's safe to say that Chu's homeward journey will not be made easy. Plus, as always, there is a spy in Shaolin leaking information to the Chings!
A top cast and shapes abound from here onwards. Wong Tao plays Chi Yung who accompanies King Chu for the best part of the running time, he gets to really strut his stuff in the final third of the film. Philip Kao Fei unfortunately has a fairly muted role as one of the brothers and spends most of his time in disguise. He too gets a chance to shine briefly in the final fight.
Beardy gets a bad guy role of Brigadier Tsao and proves to be a formidable opponent as always, taking out quite a few Shaolin Brothers along the way.
Judy Lee doesn't get much action in this one until towards the end when all of a sudden the poor girl has to face Stephen Tung Wai, Beardy and Chang Yi all in a row!! She does get a chance to show off some nice pole work before exiting the film rather abruptly!
It's Chang Yi who steals the show in his fox role as Commander Kun. The guy clearly hasn't heard the phrase "Never beat up on women" as he lays into Judy Lee like there was no tomorrow in what is easily my highlight of the film.
His face off bewteen Wong Tao, Philip Kao Fei and the surviving brothers at the end of the film is sure to please all Shapes fans as Chang Yi takes on all five fighters single handedly.
Direction was a little uninspired and the story a little confusing in places (proabably due to my badly cropped full screen VHS) but one thing was crystal clear and that was the stunning amount of quality martial arts on display from some of the genres finest players. Thoroughly recommended viewing!!