Entertaining martial arts film with the intoxicating Cheng Pei-Pei as a master swordfighter known for her deadly skill wielding a powerful whip. While the fights between swords and whip may seem a little far-fetched, the film wields a compelling story of vengeance and past crimes, invoking as much a mystery as an action story. Typical for Shaw Bros films, the sets are magnificent and the color photography is beautifully preserved in this pristine DVD release from Celestial, which also saves the film's original Mandarin language so we don't have to endure the embarrassingly horrible dubbing of previous American releases. The setting is snowy northern China so we have interesting scenes on horseback in the snow and ancient icycled fortresses, and Cheng is equally compelling in a white fur cap and winter outfit. The musical score, also typical of Shaw Bros films of the era, is needle-dropped from John Barry's James Bond scores, except for original opening and closing title music, attributed to Wang Fook-Ling. A very enjoyable revenge thriller/crime mystery set in ancient China with beautifully designed group fights and an interesting conception in its whip-versus-sword, despite a proclivity toward some pretty unconvincing flying/soaring through the air moments.
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