» » Zhan shen tan (1973)

Short summary

The famous swordsman Hsia Feng gathers five other fighters and rallies the local fishermen to fight off a band of Japanese pirates.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Cordabor
    I found this movie in an old shop and bought it just for fun,not thinking it would be nothing other than an ordinary old Hong-Kong movie(badly dubbed and often lame fighting).Boy was i wrong!The main actors in this movie is the kind of people that you just can`t help finding cool whatever they do.Since this is a Golden Harvest production the sets,costumes and props are well made.The directing by Wang Yu is superb,his visual style of camera angles and the use of slow-motion is just like the movies are made today.The fight-choreographing is sharp,and visually stunning.Compared with other movies from Hong-Kong,usually filled with rain of blood,this movie is more clean.I`m quite used to large bodycounts in any hong-kong movie,but this movie takes killing to a new level.The final battle between the chinese and the japanese is nothing other that a long massacre with people filling your Tv-screen.The only bad about this movie is the dubbing,i only hope that this movie some day will be released on DVD with the original cantonese language.
  • comment
    • Author: Whilingudw
    In BEACH OF THE WAR GODS, an action-packed Hong Kong swordplay adventure from 1972, Jimmy Wang Yu rallies three fighters to help lead the men of a Chinese beach town in battle against the invading Japanese. One of the fighters is an expert knife thrower and comes with his own arsenal. It all leads quickly to a massive battle in the town streets. The swordfights are reminiscent of those found in Japanese samurai films, but with more action and vigor. (Interestingly, Wang Yu often made kung fu films with anti-Japanese themes, yet his films often reflected the influence of Japanese samurai films.)

    The problem here is the lack of a buildup to the main battle and lack of character development. After a simple setup, Wang Yu and company gather and prepare for battle. Then--boom!--the battle begins and lasts till the end of the film! Action fans will love it, but those seeking a little more depth and substance may feel unsatisfied. Wang Yu not only stars, but wrote and directed the film as well.
  • comment
    • Author: Ochach
    As Japanese pirates are raiding up and down the Chinese coast a general gathers together some men and turns the local fishermen into soldiers in order to have them fight back.

    Mix of Japanese samurai films and traditional Chinese Martial arts movies is pretty much a non stop action film. Supposedly based on a real incident this film plays like a spaghetti western version of the Seven Samurai relocated to China. (Yes I know how redundant that sounds but if you see the film you'll know what I mean).After a brief set up the film becomes a series of battles as the pirates make repeated attempts to attack the fishing village. The action is very well done blending a variety of styles into an almost seamless whole.

    The film is hard to discuss beyond that because the brief film (it runs only 95 minutes) is essentially one long set piece. There are no real characters other then the general, the the villagers all blending together and then men they hire more their "quirk', the guy with all the knives is just a guy with all these knives. One really wish they had taken a couple of more minutes to build some characters instead of just the action.

    If you don't mind just action and want a martial arts film that isn't run of the mill I'd definitely give this film a try.

    (Fellow reviewers here on IMDb mention poor dubbing I'm guessing on a video tape copy and hoped for a good subtitled release. I saw this on a DVD as part of Joy Sales Legendary Collection series where the stunning picture is matched with a poor Chinese Vocal track that seems to be separate from the film. I know that all Chinese films from the period were post dubbed and that there are often two vocal tracks -Mandarin and Cantonese, but which ever one they used here was a poor choice)
  • comment
    • Author: Qusserel
    The 70's kung fu craze that swept North American B movie theatres with the popularity of Bruce Lee reached its pinnacle with this movie. Following Lee's death there were many heirs presumptive that were supposed to take off as international kung fu stars, but never did. These include Bruce Li, Sonny Chiba, Jackie Chan (whose international popularity took hold many years later and in fact has surpassed Lee's in many ways), Chuck Norris, (who had inherent North American appeal, but lacked the mysticism surrounding Lee), and perhaps the most talented of them all, Jimmy Wang Yu.

    Wang Yu movies had elements of myth, magic, history and violence that has been touched on, but not equaled by Ang Lee's recent Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

    Old all the Wang Yu movies, Beach of the War Gods comes together in a way that truly raised the genre to new heights. A Chinese general arrives in a coastal town to fend off a Japanese invasion. While based on an historical incident, the movie employs all the trademark fantastical elements of great kung fu films. The various leaders of the Chinese and Japanese forces have special powers and skills and these are the 'hard men' of movies before the term existed.

    The costumes and sets in Beach of the War Gods are something to marvel at. The fight scenes are seamless and bloody, and the pacing is enticing from beginning to end. While the characterizations are a bit thin, well..get with it..this is a kung fu movie, not Pride and Prejudice. All in all, a must-see for fans of the genre.
  • comment
    • Author: INwhite
    BEACH OF THE WAR GODS starts off with a belligerent Japanese warlord pushing around the Chinese villagers he's overseeing: he informs them that he'll be raising their taxes- soon- and they'll pay or suffer the consequences. Enter Hsiao (Wang Yu), traveling swordsman. He promptly puts the Japanese in their place. Knowing they'll retaliate, he begins recruiting local swordsmen for the upcoming festivities. By the time the Japanese arrive en masse to set things right, Yu and his friends have booby-trapped the beach in every way conceivable (and in some ways inconceivable; this being a Wang Yu movie and all). The first assault comes at night. The Japanese retreat to lick their wounds until daylight, when the second wave attacks. They fare no better in the light of day. In quintessential Wang Yu fashion, he throws in everything but the kitchen sink when it comes to his larger than life free-for-alls. One of the things that make Wang Yu movies worth watching is that they're no-holds-barred fun, especially when Wang Yu goes all Wang Yu on their a**es (watch for him dangling from a windmill, a la the end of AMBUSH). Can't beat that.
  • comment
    • Author: GYBYXOH
    Another martial arts classic from Jimmy Wang Yu, the difference here being that the film focuses on swordplay (as did Wang Yu's earlier movies, before the fists craze) over the more usual kung-fu activities. But what swordplay it is, with hundreds of extras engaging in all kinds of frenetic battles which are a delight to watch and take up most of the running time of the movie. Wang Yu takes Akira Kurosawa's SEVEN SAMURAI as his inspiration for the simple plot, in which he plays a swordsman who gathers together some of the locality's best men to fight an invading Japanese army. The irony being, of course, that the baddies are the Japanese, and he's ripping off a Japanese film for the story.

    This is very much a man's film, in fact there is not one single female characte in it as far as I can remember. After the initial set-up, which takes about an hour, the film becomes one big long battle-cum-massacre which really is classic stuff. The action is excellently filmed and large scale, with swords clashing together in blurs and the top fighters using all manner of exotic skills and weaponry to defeat the enemy. Of course, it wouldn't be a Wang Yu movie without violence, and there's a fair share of that here, especially in the superb blood-spurting windmill duel at the film's conclusion.

    BEACH OF THE WAR GODS definitely won't appeal to a mainstream audience, mainly because there is NO characterisation in the film whatsoever. Now I know Hong Kung kung-fu films usually have little characterisation in them anyway, but there's absolutely none here - it's just about men getting ready to fight, and actually fighting. Action lovers will be in movie heaven with the no holds barred fights to the death, and the film - being a fairly expensive Golden Harvest production - has a professional sheen to make it look good with it. A highlight of the genre.
  • comment
    • Author: Nettale
    One of my friends said that the only movie that he disagreed with Des Mangan of SBS was this movie. Obviously my friend did not like this movie, so unfortunately my approach to this movie was slightly tainted. I was also quite tired and slept through the last part of it, but I caught enough of it to know what it was about and to talk about it.

    Beach of the War Gods is set in medieval china when Japanese pirates were attacking and capturing cities and moving south along the coast. They sent envoys to a small village and told them to give up 1000 gold or die. The villagers could not pay so attacked and the pirates inflicted a large number of casualties. At that time, a lone wanderer was in the village and challenged and killed the envoys. As such the village was set on a course to go to war with the pirates. The wanderer then goes and recruits a small army and returns to set up a defence of the village. The second half of the movie is one long battle scene where the villagers fight off the pirates.

    There is nothing that deep about the movie, other than the old idea that if you force somebody to do something that is impossible for them to do, then they will do what is least expected. Here the villagers had no hope in fighting off the pirates, but as they could not meet the pirates demands, they had to fight or die. It was fortunate that they had a helper, but even then the pirates learnt that they could not force their demands onto people because they can and will fight back. This is a story of an underdog turning on his or her oppressors.

    This movie also had a feel of a 1960's swashbuckling movie. I remember seeing a few of them some years ago and one in particular had a huge battle raging for at least half of the movie. This movie was quite reminiscent of them, and it was that feeling that I liked in the movie. Also the ending was quite well done.
  • Credited cast:
    Jimmy Wang Yu Jimmy Wang Yu - Hsia Feng (as Yu Wang)
    Fei Lung Fei Lung - Hashimoto
    Yeh Tien Yeh Tien
    Han Hsieh Han Hsieh
    Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Yi Kuei Chang Yi Kuei Chang
    Wei-Hsiung Ho Wei-Hsiung Ho
    Hsing Hsieh Hsing Hsieh
    Blackie Shou Liang Ko Blackie Shou Liang Ko
    You Min Ko You Min Ko
    Hung Kuan Hung Kuan
    Chun Lei Chun Lei
    Chiang Li Chiang Li
    Jack Long Jack Long
    Chin Ku Ma Chin Ku Ma
    Ming Min Ming Min
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