The Eunuch of the Emperor has ordered the commander of his army condemned to death for betrayal and insurrection. The commander's family was was murdered to cut off his bloodline, but his ... See full summary »
Lee Khan, a high official under Mongolian Emperor Yuan of the Yuan dynasty (year 1366) procures the battle map of the Chinese rebel Chu Yuan-Chang's army. Rebel spies, aided by treachery within Khan's ranks, strive to corner him in an inn.
This movie contains four separate stories, each by a different director. They are all ghost stories, including themes such as death wishes, prison, and alcoholism. Good and evil women play prominent roles in the various tales.
If it wasn't the first major film of the director of TOUCH OF ZEN and the rest, this would be a forgettable war movie, importing the clichés of Hollywood into the Hong Kong scene.
There are few faces familiar from the major Shaw Brothers movies and only the wide spaced pieces of local colour to suggest King Hu's participation. It's rather short on barbarous atrocities too - one wagon load of grass mat wrapped beheaded bodies and a lecherous commander.
That said, the pacing is good and the scope screen is always filling with movement and detail, which distract from the unconvincing story line. The big action finale manages to produce a few authentic WW2 automatic weapons and the makers do confront the implausibility of a peasant militia with hand guns taking on well armed troops.
I've seen worse.
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