31 December 2018 | ckormos1
Above average martial arts drama for fans of the golden age 1967-1984
The movie starts with a wedding then quickly turns into a two girl killing spree. The viewer is left to wonder who are these people being killed, who is the good guy and bad guy.
The main girl is Wang Ling as Yuan Yuan. Up until the late 1960s Asian martial arts movies mostly featured female swordswoman, such as Jospehine Siao Fong-Fong and Connie Chan Po-Chu. Wang Ling came along toward the end when male actors who really knew martial arts started the next trend. Her biggest role might have been her last in "Zatoichi and the One Armed Swordsman".
At her dad's birthday party some guests did not arrive and it's obvious our girl killed them in an earlier scene. She hides her sword skills from her father and family. Her servant is her trainer and they both take orders to kill from a master. The next victim on her hit list is - surprise - her father! It turns out father has had a life from one extreme to another.
The movie becomes heavy on the drama at that point. That was typical if Taiwan martial arts movies back then and it sometimes worked like in "Dragon Gate Inn". Here, the pacing is good and the drama of the flashback is very dark.
Another reviewer commented on the poor video quality. That is a frequent issue with this genre. These movies were considered disposable entertainment back in the 1960s. After the reels of film were played in dusty theaters with no air conditioning they were returned to the production company and just left as-is until the VHS rental economy emerged. In Hong Kong there was also a big (among the wealthy) laser disk business too. I suspect this copy is a laser disk file converted to AVI. It is wide screen with dual Chinese and English hard subtitles which was typical of laser disks. No restoration has been attempted. I have seen far worse and comparatively this is actually better than most. The biggest problem is reading the white without contrast subtitles.
Taking into consideration the genre and the year, I rate this a notch above average and recommend it for fans of the golden age of martial arts movies from 1967 to 1984.