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Rd (1982)
House of Traps

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 04/04/2018
Summary: Good actioner

"Your brother died in the House of Traps, the Jade Horse that the Butterfly has stolen is stored there and what's more the list of everyone participating in the revolt is hidden there." When this is said by a minor character to another minor character in "House of Traps" we know exactly where we are, in a Shaw Brothers kung fu action drama. There is a trifecta of reasons for a Hong Kong action hero to attack the House of Traps (missing only that the guy who owns it ripped down your school's sign). So even though the initial character is soon dead we know that the assault on the House of Traps must continue.

The list of the revolutionaries opposed to the king is a typical Macguffin in this type of movie. The question never gets asked, "Who thought it would be a good idea to write down everything the royal assassins need to destroy the revolt" nor is the list itself ever found. It doesn't have to make sense or even really exist but is an evergreen cause of action, the existence of which is enough to set the entire apparatus of the movie--the good guys, the bad guys, the quest each set undertakes to find the list before the other can use/destroy it--in motion.

We are treated to the expected high level athleticism and martial arts practice. Some is undercranked to make is look even more spectacular when projected but not egregiously so. It is clearly studio-bound with most the action taking place indoors on sets that have been seen before and will be seen again but the fight choreography and its realization is exciting and fast paced enough as to make the setting unimportant. The traps themselves--lots of knives popping out of floors and walls, trap doors and stairs that suddenly vanish--are well thought out and if a bit ragged in execution that adds to the verisimilitude of the depiction, a sense that they are far from permanent and that the traps can be changed and switched out to the disadvantage of the person lured in.

Worth seeing as an excellent example of its genre--a Shaw Brothers action programmer with an off the shelf plot, terrific action, lots of red poster paint type blood and enough acting and characterization to make the pauses in the action bearable

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 09/25/2009

Fairly typical Chang Cheh Venoms film, shot on indoor sets and featuring a plot of intrigues and hidden identities, and a bunch of fight scenes showcasing his then-favourite stars. The traps in the eponymous house are a bit rubbish, unfortunately. Reasonably entertaining film anyway.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 10/20/2007
Summary: Better than average shaw brothers movie

The House of traps, is exactly that. There is a revolt coming in the government, and to show loyality to the evil prince, you have to steal something for him. The valable items are stored in the House of TRAPS!! So somene has to go in there and get it, along with a list of people loyal to the prince.

The audience is guessing what is in the house of traps, most of the traps are shown but not all!! Also some characters are not what they seem. New characters get introduced in the middle of the movie which keeps up the excitement.

What makes it even more interesting, for me, is whether Sun chien is going to fight or not!!

The ending though is unexpected a little over the top, is it me or is Phillip Kwok usually the main characters of the 5 of the venoms!!

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 07/24/2001
Summary: Awesome action drama

An awesome old school action thriller with the best plot/storyline(which is what really counts) of films made in its era. I suspect the story is taken from the popular TV series "Justice Bao", which comprises of about 30 different beautiful stories, some documented while others fictional. I was familiar with many characters in this film, and the best thing about it is the retaining of original Mandarin dialogues! That instantly made the movie 90% better. I just love the old way of talking in Chinese. A lot of good fighting and suspense, and of course great stunts used for THE house of traps which lives up to its name. As with most Shaw Bros movies, scenes of murder and dying are super short and not convincing in any way, but that was due to the early stage of the film industry and the low budget given. Other than that and some uneven transitions during the movie, I loved this magnificent venom production! Kuo Choi is THE man!


p.s. The ending was quite odd...

Reviewed by: battlemonkey
Date: 12/21/1999

An evil man hides incriminating evidence inside a pagoda thatis booby-trapped to the teeth, and some heroes brave the bizarre death-maze to get the evidence. This was the final film featuring the complete "Venom" team working for Shaw Brothers.