House Of Traps (HK 1981)

Rating: **
Review Date: 7/24/16
Director: Chang Cheh
Cast: Chin Siu Ho, Phillip Kwok

More outrageous kung fu and bloodletting from the prolific Chang Cheh. This time, a corrupt prince is stealing imperial treasures and recruiting kung fu masters in order to stage a revolt against the emperor. He protects his stolen goods in a devious "house of traps," which is nearly impregnable. The emperor sends a scholar to investigate the prince, and both Chin Siu Ho and Phillip Kwok end up saving him from would-be assassins. After obtaining enough evidence, the good guys mount an attack against the house of traps, which results in a bloody kung fu showdown and lots of dead bodies.

The film utilizes the popular "five venoms" formula and features many of Cheh's favorite actors. The deadly traps are actually pretty lame, but the action scenes are quite exciting and the climax includes some impressive kung fu. The film features some outlandish weapons and lots of laughably absurd bare chested costumes, so if you have a fetish for male nipples, look no further. There's also some unpleasant animal cruelty thrown in, as was common at the time. The convoluted plot is often difficult to follow, but like many kung fu movies, it's ultimately not that important. A fun outing for genre fans that satisfies an old-school kung fu itch.