|Mandarin||Duó mìng cìkè|
|Cantonese||Dyut6 ming6 chi3 haak3|
|Directed by||Michael Carreras|
|Screenplay by||Don Houghton |
|Music by||David Lindup|
|Edited by||Eric Boyd-Perkins|
Shatter is a 1975 action film starring Stuart Whitman, Lung Ti, Lily Li, Anton Diffring and Peter Cushing. It was the second and final international co-production between Hammer Film Productions of England and Shaw Brothers Studio of Hong Kong. The film was shot entirely on location in Hong Kong.
Shatter (Stuart Whitman) is a hitman contracted to kill a dictator in a certain African country. He completes his assignment and returns to Hong Kong to collect his fee, only to learn that he himself is the next target of the assassination because he was intended to be used as a scapegoat by his client for a larger political agenda. Being pursued by various government agencies and gangsters, Shatter seeks help from a master martial artist Tai Pah (Lung Ti) and promise to share half of his fee in exchange for Tai Pah's protection and assistance to recovering his fee.
In May 1972, Michael Carreras returned from London from the Cannes Film Festival with a co-production deal that was made with the Canadian producer George Brown. Don Houghton provided Brown with a script for an action film originally titled Shoot. The film was originally set to start filming in Canada in August 1972 but was halted when Brown went bankrupt leading the project to be shelved. Houghton's father-in-law had connections with Run Run Shaw, who ran Shaw Brothers studios. The original meetings between Carreras were set up for the production of the film The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, which also led to the production of Houghton's unused script for Shoot which was developed into Shatter.
Shatter was filmed from December 17, 1973 through January 15, 1974 on location in Hong Kong, including Kai Tak Airport. Monte Hellman was signed on to direct but was fired during production less than two weeks into shooting, leading to Carreras to finish the film himself. Carreras complained "In my opinion, the action scenes lack excitement, the dialogue scenes are dull and Hong Kong looks like a slum. I just don't know how to salvage it." Among the cast was Peter Cushing, it would be his last feature film for Hammer. Cushing's scenes were filmed in four days . A new score was added when the original Shaw Brothers score horrified music director Philip Martell who thought it "absolutely appalling".
Shatter was not released initially the United Kingdom. Shatter was released in the United States as Call Him Mr. Shatter by Avco Embassy Pictures in March 1975. Shatter remained unreleased in the United Kingdom. until being distributed by EMI in September 1977.
Variety gave the film a negative review, finding the film "dull and sloppy, though the are a few scenes of entertaining hokum" noting Ti Lung's martial arts sequences being "choreographed with unusual skill, but that kind of stuff is getting stale by now" Carreras later spoke about the film stating it was "unfortunately, a bad picture, no question about it. We ran into all sorts of problems, and like all pictures that are bad, I think it was badly conceived from the start. One did all sorts of things to try and save it, but it didn't work."
- Fellner 2019, p. 406.
- Rayns, Tony (November 1977). "Shatter". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 44 no. 526. British Film Institute. p. 242.
- Fellner 2019, p. 408.
- p. 98 Stevens, Brad Monte Hellman: His Life and Films McFarland, 2003
- p. 238 Huckvale, David James Bernard, Composer To Count Dracula: A Critical Biography McFarland, 2006
- Maxford 2019, p. 735.
- p.148 Miller, David & Carlson, Veronica The Complete Peter Cushing Reynolds & Hearn, 01/02/2005
- Fellner 2019, p. 409.