Loosely based upon the legendary Yang dynasty chronicled in Chinese folklore, the film starts as the family patriarch and all but two of his sons are brutally wiped out in a bloody battle. One surviving son (Fu Sheng) returns to his mother and two sisters, deeply traumatized; 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.
Made during the legendary Shaw Brothers studio's twilight years as a filmmaking powerhouse, The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter is often regarded as director 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
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
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