- 1h 27min
This sword-filled thriller centers on the title location-an inn where the down and dirty meet to plot nefarious doings.This sword-filled thriller centers on the title location-an inn where the down and dirty meet to plot nefarious doings.This sword-filled thriller centers on the title location-an inn where the down and dirty meet to plot nefarious doings.
I have written before that I do not like whips in martial arts movies. I have practiced martial arts for over thirty years and no style of martial arts uses a whip. The whip is used in movies because it is relatively harmless to both actors. Now there are ways a whip can really be used but more often than not the fight choreography shows moves that simply look good but in reality do not follow the laws of physics. Despite my complaints, I found myself willing to suspend my disbelief of the whip as a weapon in this movie. I give all the credit to Ku Feng as the Whip Master. The move where he traps the girl against the pillar with the whip was perfect. He probably nailed it on the first take too! The [plot of this movie is unusual for the genre. It is like a mystery at first as character after character enter the story to make the audience wonder who is the good guy or if there even is a good guy. All are not as they seem at first. Ku Feng is rescued by Tung Li at first but he is not at all defenseless.
In the fight choreography one film edit technique was done excellently. For example, one actor stops a kick from the other actor by grabbing the leg. There is a quick cut in the action and next the kicker is sent flying off. This has to look smooth on film or it just looks fake and unbelievable. To get it right a lot has to be done precisely. The kicker is replaced by a stunt man, the wires are attached as needed, and the film starts again to get the effect. There are dozens of details such as the camera angle, lighting, body positioning, depth of focus, and actor movements that all have to fit exactly. It all had to be done on the set as CGI was years away. Everyone involved in getting this on film did an excellent job, fight after fight. The irony is that after all the trouble it takes to get this right the result should look like it was no trouble at all. They got it right, over and over again.
I rate this as one of the ten best martial arts movies of 1972.
- May 24, 2019