15 December 2001 | BrianDanaCamp
A surreal costume fantasy from Taiwan starring Brigitte Lin
THE DEMON FIGHTER (1984) appears to be a Taiwanese attempt to cash in on the success of ZU WARRIORS FROM THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN (1983). It features that movie's stars, Adam Cheng and Brigitte Lin, and assorted low-tech versions of its wire effects, although with none of the earlier movie's imagination and excitement.
There are a lot of pretty images, several lovely women in exotic costumes, and some nice sets, but it's hard to tell what relationship any scene has to any other. For a long time, there's very little dialogue and many of the scenes play out as if there was supposed to be narration explaining it all but the soundtrack is, instead, strangely silent. Eventually, some kind of plot emerges as Adam Cheng rescues Brigitte Lin and takes her along with him and his drunkard partner on some sort of undefined mission. They then have to contend with ninja-type acrobatic assassins and a mysterious black-clad figure called the Orchid who kills assorted women, including a very sensual Indian woman who resides in a lavishly appointed cave.
Lots of non-Chinese Asian cultures are represented, although one has to guess at what they are, since there's such a hodgepodge of costumes and motifs. There's even an Egyptian temple at one point. Kung fu star Wong Tao (HOT, COOL AND VICIOUS) turns up as an Egyptian. Popular kung fu villains Eddy Ko, Lung Fei and Fung Hak On are on hand also, but have little to do. The fight scenes are few, short and gimmicky, with an over-reliance on wires and effects. The film is so inept that it becomes fascinating and could probably benefit from 'Mystery Science Theater 3000'-type commentary. A low-cost, poor-quality, cut version of this film has been released under the title FASTER BLADES, POISONOUS DARTS.
ADDENDUM (Nov. 22, 2007): There seems to be some confusion on this page. There are reviews here for two completely different films, DEMON FIGHTER and LONE NINJA WARRIOR. My review is of THE DEMON FIGHTER and the cast listed here by IMDb is indeed the cast of THE DEMON FIGHTER. I've also seen LONE NINJA WARRIOR, which does not feature the same cast, although the two films may indeed have the same director. I'm hoping IMDb will correct the mistake and give LONE NINJA WARRIOR its own page.