The 18 Bronzemen (1976)

Reviewed by Leslee Smith-Kelly
May 30, 2014


18 Bronzemen
Joseph Kuo
Cliff Lok • Chan Siu-Pang • Wong Fei-Lung
Carter Wong • O Yau-Man • Polly Kuan • Tien Peng • Chang Yi • Yee Yuen
Version reviewed was in full screen format. English dubbed.
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During the Manchurian invasion, the son of a Ming Dynasty General, Siu-Lung (Tien Peng) seeks refuge as a child at the Shaolin Temple after his father’s death. During his stay, Siu-Lung learns Shaolin Kung Fu but struggles during his intense training. Siu-Lung learns of his father’s murder and seeks vengeance; however, he realizes that in order to leave the temple, he must face the 18 Bronzemen. Siu-Lung and fellow student Brother Wan (Carter Wong), make repeated attempts to defeat the 18 Bronzemen before leaving the temple to seek vengeance.

After repeated attempts, Siu-Lung and Brother Wan leave the temple successfully and bear the mark of Shaolin graduates. Siu-Lung learns of the details surrounding his father’s death from a distant relative and embarks on a journey with Brother Wan for revenge. During their journey, Siu-Lung faces several attacks by unknown ninja hired by the Manchurian Army. During one attack, an unknown man defends Siu-Lung, declaring that he now owes him his life. Siu-Lung later learns that the unknown man is in fact his future wife in disguise. Along with Brother Wan and his future wife, Siu-Lung locates the man responsible for his father’s death.

thoughts on the movie

This movie follows the plot of an orphaned child, seeking refuge at the temple, he later learns of his parents’ murder. Although this is a repeated theme in classic kung fu movies, this movie was released in 1976, serving as the model plot to several movies that were later released.

was it funny?

Circa 1976, this movie has a couple of comical, although unintentional moments.

How was the Action?

Given the year this movie was released, the movie itself contains plenty of action. Within 1 minute and the credits still rolling. The action begins with displaying Shaolin training drills and instruction. The movie moves along to the two main characters challenging the 18 Bronzemen in which they are forced to incorporate different elements of training in order to defeat the Bronzemen. There is no undercranking but the sound effects are classic kung fu cinema. Finally, the action scenes even include pressure point attack (internal kung fu) and weaponry.

Standout performance(s)

Fans of kung fu cinema will instantly recognize Carter Wong (Brother Wan). Wong’s resume in cinema speaks for itself and his performance leaves you wondering why his roles have been limited in later movies, such as Big Trouble in Little China.

Watch or Pass
6 Reasons Why You Should WATCH or PASS On This Movie
1. WATCH because this is classic kung fu cinema
2. WATCH for the familiar face such as Carter Wong
3. WATCH due to the classic plot of good vs evil
4. WATCH for the amount of action scenes vs. acting
5. PASS if you are looking for comedy
6. WATCH if you are an AVID fan of classic cinema

This classic is better than most of the films in this genre. It contains most of the traditional elements of classic kung fu cinema such as plot, training sequence, sound effect etc.