10 February 1999 | Bishop-12
confusing, yes -- but still worthwhile
The problem with this film is that it has been released in a number of different versions, one of which has the narrative beginning hacked off and several important scenes deleted. While I have no Chinese skills and a poor memory when it comes to Chinese names, I'll do my best to summarize what happens in the film.
Two swords, the To Lung and the Yee Tin, contain secrets that would enable their owner to be the Supreme Master of Martial Arts. Alone, the swords are still extremely powerful, able to lash out and cut through virtually anything the wielder wishes.
Two groups of martial artists (each comprised of different sects) are at war with each other -- the Evil Sect (or "Persians") and the Chinese group. The Evil Sect is headed by a group of individuals: King of White Eagle and King of Green Bat being the only ones who play an active role in the film. As setting for the story, King of Gold Lion (also of the Evil Sect) befriends a man from the Chinese Wu Tong. King of Gold Lion's daughter eventually marries this Wu Tong man and they have a son named Mo-Kei.
In an effort to gain the To Long sword which King of Gold Lion has, the Chinese (Shaolin, Wu Shih, Master No-Mercy's nuns) attack him. King of Gold Lion is blinded and lives in hiding to protect the sword. When the Chinese cannot find King of Gold Lion, they pressure Mo-Kei's parents to tell them where the sword is. In the process of threatening and intimidating Mo-Kei's parents, Mo-Kei is permanently wounded by the Jinx Brothers and his parents kill themselves to avoid betraying King of Gold Lion.
Mo-Kei grows up unable to learn Kung-Fu because the Jinx brothers have damaged his chi. Mo-Kei's cousin is given the role of protecting Mo-Kei, as he is unable to defend himself (he's not too fond of this). When the cousin is given a chance, he tries to beat up and maim Mo-Kei. Luckily for Mo-Kei, a strange Evil Sect woman in chains comes to seek out the Yee Tin sword that Wu Tong has at the _precise_ moment that Mo-Kei's cousin is trying to cut his hand off. When Mo-Kei seeks solace in the woman, his cousin and Master No-Mercy's student push them to and off the edge of a cliff.
After this point, things get pretty complicated, but Mo-Kei essentially learns a form of Kung Fu (Great Solar Stance) that frees him from Jinx's Palm (and which, coincidentally, allows him to learn any form of Kung Fu in a matter of minutes, just from watching it) and then starts his quest to gain revenge for his parents and re-unite the feuding Evil Sect and Chinese Sects. Through the course of the film he learns Great Solar Stance, Magic Stance, Dragon Claws Shaolin Kung-Fu, and (my favorite to watch) Tai Chi Chuan.
While this film was extremely zany and hard to follow the first time I watched it, I think that the full, unedited version allows you to understand what's going on a lot more easily.