20 April 2019 | ckormos1
Little known and much appreciated martial arts movie queen
It starts with Doris riding a rickshaw into town. At the large tea house a fight starts over the quality of the singer. Doris (as Ma Su-Ching) joins in with Wen Chiang-Long (as Hsiao Hu). After the fight it comes out that Hu knew Ching's brother. In fact he has his ashes at home. He doesn't know the killer but has clues.
Ten minutes into the movie we have all the plot we need - revenge. It's off to find the killer!
In this movie Doris plays the sister of the famous boxer Ma Su Chen. Jimmy Wang Yu played him in "Furious Slaughter" and he was killed at the end (along with everyone else). Then, "Ma Su Chen" came out and it started with the final fight in "Furious Slaughter" and this time Jimmy survived. Once again he died at the end and this time apparently stayed dead. It was established Ma Su Chen had a sister so revenge became her duty. I believe this is the first of a few movies concerning the sister of Ma Su Chen.
According to every search Doris Lung Chun-Erh was born in 1957. Pardon my math but that makes her 15 years old in this movie. I don't think she looks 15 especially because Asian women almost always look young at any age plus back in the 1970s almost all girls looked younger than they do today. I have only found tidbits of information regarding Doris such as she was known as "the crazy chick" on and off the movie set, she attempted suicide three times, and in her few interviews she either would not talk about her movies or dismissed them as trash. I cannot confirm any of those single source pieces of information about her. Her last movie was in 1983 or 1987 and she did a disappearing act after that.
As a martial arts movie star she had no fighting skills yet from her first fight scene really delivered. What made her look so good? She had good posture, straight, relaxed, comfortable in her stance. She remembered to add emotional content to the fight. I think the fight director choreographed most of her moves for belly to head level, this keeps the posture upright, minimal movement, easier to quickly memorize the moves. Her one fault seems to be she often has the block up before the stunt man delivers the attack, sometimes appearing she is faster than the stunt man. This is simple, basic stuff but any martial arts practitioner will agree on the importance of the basics, the foundation of these skills. The framing of the shots, distance, and angles are also very important. Unfortunately my copy is low resolution and cropped too close and these problems make the fights look worse. I will not take away from the results because of problems due to poor video copying.
This movie is 39% action or at least 31 or 80 minutes of fighting. It's a pleasure to write a review that comments on the good fights more than anything else. Wen Chiang-Long is another actor and non-martial artist who looked great fighting in this movie. In one sequence he fought while encircled with attackers. These fights almost always look laughable because the stunt men in the background are just hopping back and forth as the attackers take turns coming in from the left and right. Wen looked good in this fight because he was doing more than 20 techniques without a cut over and over again. That amount of unbroken fight action is impressive and works on the screen.
I rate this movie above average for the year and genre. I have had it for a while but held off watching it in hopes I could acquire a better copy. They may yet happen but meanwhile I watched it today and it is on my list to watch again sometime in the future when appropriate.