10 July 2012 | shaolinstylin
Hammer horror meets wuxia. It makes about as much sense tonally as it sounds. Storywise, it's a barely coherent morality play about pride and greed that comes across like an excuse to string together some swordplay, some reasonably nasty flaying scenes, and very pretty setpieces. It is a great looking movie, I have to admit--the use of lighting is otherworldly. Sun Chung was easily one of the best directors Shaw Bros ever had, but when he wasn't doing cookie cutter martial arts stuff, he was seriously wasted on misguided crap (let's face it) like this.
There's something really "off" about how simultaneously Asian and European this movie feels. My instincts tell me it's not supposed to exist. Dramatically it never really takes off, but it's interesting enough in the context of "what were they thinking?" curio.