NEW WORLD PICTURES MONTH: All Men Are Brothers (1975)

New World had already brought The Water Margin to the U.S. as Seven Blows of the Dragon, so they also played the sequel here as Seven Soldiers of Kung Fu, which is I guess thematically a decent sequel title.

Co-directed by Chang Cheh and Wu Ma, this follows up the 108 Bandits having freed second-in-command Lu Jun Yi and being called by their former enemies to stop a rebellious new faction, led by Fang La, and promised a pardon upon the success of that mission.

Where the first film takes time to introduce the viewer to so many characters, All Men Are Brothers is all about action, with gigantic battles taking place on the sprawling Shaw Brothers backlot sets.

If you’ve watched enough Chang Cheh movies, you may have been a bit weirded out when The Water Margin ended and all of the heroes were alive. Don’t worry — he comes back to form on this, which ends with the kind of sacrificial bloody battle that he’s better known for. In fact, this just might be the bloodiest of all Shaw Brothers films. The American cut goes to black and white in some of these moments, one of those tricks that get you an R rating instead of an X.

The early to mid 70s were a magical time for martial arts films, as just about anything could come to America and play drive-ins, grindhouses and even occasionally mainstream movie theaters.

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