Shaolin Abbot (1979)

In which the white-haired supervillain somehow returns to rain down even more destruction upon the disciples of Shaolin!

Also known as Slice Of Death, Shaolin Abbot proves that David Chiang is not to be messed with. Whether he is playing a street fighting champ for Chang Cheh or a passive monk, his style of kung fu fighting just can’t be topped. Here, playing Chih Shim, it is his job to restore the Shaolin Temple in spite of Pai Mei’s (a returning Lo Lieh) many attempts to see it destroyed for good.

"Welcome to Shaolin Abbot, where history meets pulp"

Directed by Ho Meng-Hua and featuring fine performances from Lily Li and Norman Chu, whom Chih Shim recruits for the Shaolin cause along the path to learn even more techniques to take down the evil Pai Mei, Shaolin Abbot is a filled with great environments as Shaw Brothers once again take things outdoors.

The film also has strong fighting choreography from Tang Te-hsiang, but it is the buddhist character which Chiang becomes which makes this film worth your time. He is quite good. With Chiang’s performance, Chih Shim is, at once, full of life and mad skills, eventually breaking large vases with the abilities he learned studying the ways of Wu-Tang when he first started on his quest to restore Shaolin and stand against The Qing Empire.Shaolin Abbot (1979)

Shaolin Abbot is for fans of traditional kung-fu films as it feels pretty familiar. It’s quite possible Shaw Brothers made this type of film many times over, you know ? It’s wild with the unexpected gore, but some audiences might have issues with the overall pacing of the film. As suggested, the story will seem familiar, too. But, overall, nothing truly detracts from this chopsocky offering.

Fans of Shaw Brothers productions will be happy to learn of its inclusion in Shout Factory’s on-going series, Shaw Brothers Classics, Vol. 3. This spectacular box set comprises 11 classic martial arts films from the famous Shaw Brothers' library, featuring some of their greatest stars – Alexander Fu Sheng (The Brave Archer), Lo Lieh (King Boxer), Ti Lung (A Better Tomorrow), David Chiang (The Boxer Of Shantung) and the Deadly Venoms! Many of these films are debuting for the first time on Blu-ray.

Welcome to Shaolin Abbot, where history meets pulp!

4/5 chops

 Shaolin Abbot (1979)

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- October 24, 2023
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
: English
Mandarin: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; 11-discset
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

While international favorite David Chiang was best known for his roles as a grinning streetwise fighter in many Chang Cheh-directed classics, he rarely played a noble warrior monk. But here he portrays the great Chih Shim, the monk who saved the Southern Shaolin Temple. Making this production all the more notable is Lo Lieh, the Shaw Brothers' first international star, who returns to a role he also made famous – that of Shaolin renegade Pai Mei. This, and even more, makes for a true martial arts epic of the first order.


Presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, Shaolin Abbot is beautifully presented on 1080p from Shout Factory. Interiors are strong. Colors pop throughout, but it is the blood effects - burning bright in the transfer - which seal the deal on this one. It’s full of great atmosphere thanks to the quick-footed script and looks visually eye-popping due to the 1080- upgrade. Black levels are strong throughout, bringing out nice details in both the loud and quiet moments of this epic adventure. The tracking shots are glorious to behold in 1080p. Blacks are solid and shadows maintain their lines. Even the costumes are noted stitch by stitch.


Fans of the genre get an uncompressed Mandarin Mono DTS-HD Master Audio With New Subtitle Translation and an English Dub Mono DTS-HD Master Audio track.


Get ready to duel to the death with these supplemental items!


  • See Special Features for the breakdown.

Special Features:

  • NEW Audio Commentary By James Mudge, Veteran Hong Kong Film Critic At easternKicks
  • Celestial Trailer

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4/5 stars

 Film Details

Shaolin Abbot (1979)

MPAA Rating: R.
84 mins
: Meng-Hua Ho
Kuang Ni
David Chiang; Lieh Lo; Lily Li
: Action | Drama

Memorable Movie Quote:
Shaw Brothers
Official Site:
Release Date:
1982 (United States)
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 24, 2023
Synopsis: International favorite, David Chiang, stars as the great Chih Shim, the monk who saved the Southern Shaolin Temple. Joining him is Lo Lieh, the Shaws' first international star who returns to his famous role of Shaolin renegade Pai Mei. The result is a true martial arts epic.


Shaolin Abbot (1979)