That’s probably because I hated it. I mean, can you imagine picking up a DVD and seeing these quotes?
“Extremely disappointing third entry in the 36th Chamber of Shaolin trilogy”
“Hsiao Hou […] plays quite possibly the most annoying Fong Sai-Yuk in the history of Hong Kong cinema”
“Disciples of the 36th Chamber is a lackluster sequel, and that’s putting it mildly.”
I don’t think that would help sell more copies.
As a side note, I remember contemplating buying a copy of Ong Bak in Singapore, and the one I picked up — purportedly a Mainland Chinese DVD, I think — had pull quotes from a BAD review of Iron Man on the back cover! It said something disparaging about Jon Favreau. Poor guy.
Day 3 of Ronin on Empty’s unplanned retrospective on The 36th Chamber of Shaolin franchise comes to an end with Disciples of the 36th Chamber, the third and final installment in the series. In comparison to the previous two films, Disciples turned out to be an extremely disappointing way to close the trilogy, as star Gordon Liu was relegated to a mere supporting role as the monk San Te in favor of Shaw regular Hsiao Hou, who plays quite possibly the most annoying Fong Sai-Yuk in the history of Hong Kong cinema. Looking back, I was probably a little too hard on the film and perhaps somewhat misguided in my criticism of the film’s portrayal of Fong Sai-Yuk. While I’m fairly certain Sai-Yuk’s annoying hypocrisy was intentional, I have to say that it didn’t make for a very enjoyable film. Sure, Sai-Yuk’s utter repugnancy makes the film “interesting” and perhaps worthy of further discussion, but I think my review was written from the point of view of a martial arts film fan, and the film just didn’t measure up to its intensely fun predecessors.
However, I will say that the movie is cool to look at, particularly if you’re a fan of the “heightened” period realities of these Shaw Brothers productions. And the fights, as always, are pretty nifty, too, thanks to director Lau Kar-Leung. Perhaps even worth the price of admission (aka DVD price) It’s not a great way to end the series, but it is an end, of sorts. For interested parties, you can read my review here. And I’ve embedded a trailer, which shows so much, you probably don’t even have to watch the movie: