26 February 2019 | ckormos1
Hello Taoist Master - please finish this movie
It starts with a funeral at Fort Gan. "Old Jade Face" (a name I made up to recognize the actor) Chen Hung-Lieh is there under false pretenses. He demands the family give the Violet Light Sword to the emperor but plans to keep it. Three sisters try to hide it and cousin Chang Yi arrives to defend it.
I must give applause to Chang Yi. In 1967 he came on the scene as the typical leading man who was not a martial artist. Here it is four years later and he is using a range of weapons and sixteen plus moves per cut. He even does forward flips with his sword demonstration scene at about the 19 minute mark. Chang Yi looks as if he has been practicing martial arts every day since his appearance in "King Cat." He only gets better in the coming years. Same as other leading men such as Lo Lieh, Chang Yi started his career playing heroes and ended playing villains. Then he retired to Canada and lived happily ever after, or so I have read.
Since none of the other actors had any martial arts skills the action director compensated with the shaky camera and close ups during the fight sequences. This works as long as the camera is neither too shaky nor too close. Here, they got it right.
The best part is that the last 20 minutes is almost nonstop action. The appearance of James Tien as the Taoist master seems to be a Deus Ex Machina ending. I wonder if they realized they didn't have the runtime for a proper movie and tossed that in.
Overall I rate this as above average for the year and genre and recommend it to all fans.