The 4 Seasons Brothel is run by a ruthless madam, Lady Chun Yi. Countless young girls have been kidnapped or bought and then sold into a life of servitude and prostitution here. Ai Nu, an ... See full summary »
A couple unite - she is fluent in the crane style of kung fu, he in tiger style. They have a son, but the boy's father is killed by the evil eunuch Bai Mei. Disguised as a girl, his mom ... See full summary »
Don't miss this one it is excellent. Chinese sword masters pair up to fight off yet another villain for the deadly PeacockDart. The ending is eye popping don't miss this one. Shaw Brothers come thru yet again
Two clans compete for dominance over the martial arts world in this classic of violent swordplay and political intrigue. A complex tale of deception and double crosses. Killer Clans leaves ... See full summary »
A rich man's son (Yuen Biao) believes himself to be the best kung fu fighter in Canton. Unfortunately, his father, anxious for his son's safety, bribes all his opponents to lose. After a ... See full summary »
A Chinese man (Liu) marries a Japanese woman through an arranged marriage and manages to insult all of her Japanese martial arts family by issuing a challenge to her that is misinterpreted ... See full summary »
The Yang family was the loyal strong-arm of the Imperial army. But a jealous General betrays the Eilte Spearman and their father to the opposing Mongol army. After an ambush of a battle, ... See full summary »
The workers of a dye factory have their pay cut by 20% when the factory owner brings in some Manchu thugs to try and increase production. Desperate to reclaim their full wages, the workers ... See full summary »
Jackie witnesses his father's death by the skilled hands of a martial arts master with an unknown killing technique. Jackie vows to become a Shaolin monk and avenge his death (not very ... See full summary »
The 4 Seasons Brothel is run by a ruthless madam, Lady Chun Yi. Countless young girls have been kidnapped or bought and then sold into a life of servitude and prostitution here. Ai Nu, an honest, but poor family's only daughter, is one of the newest girls that was recently kidnapped and sold to Lady Chun. To complicate matters even more, Lady Chun is a lesbian and quickly falls in love with the virginal Ai Nu, who will not let her spirit be broken and tries to escape again and again. This causes Lady Chun to use all of her resources to break her, including auctioning off Ai Nu's virginity to a group of wealthy businessmen. She eventually entrusts Ai Nu with a number of ancient kung fu secrets like the Ghost Hands, which allows you to thrust your fists into an opponent's chest. Soon after murder erupts within the brothel. A diligent detective, Chi Te, visits the brothel and becomes increasingly involved in the murder investigation. He realizes he must do everything he can to prevent Ai... Written by
Underrated classic of the chinese action adventure form
I saw this movie in an English Cinema, in Birmingham, in the mid- 1970's, and was quite bowled over by its startling originality, at least to my eyes as a western viewer. It is far better constructed than most of the Kung Fu type movies that have world popularity, and will appeal to a discerning audience. The intricate plot deals with the fate and adventures of two women, masters of their marshal arts, and sworn to vengeance. The significance of the relationship between the two women grows until it becomes central to the film. That alone was original enough in the 1970's - but amazingly it is still original now.
The film has a legendary, classical feel to it, and is absolutely not self-conscious about the role of its female leads. The plot twists and turns down to its tragic denouement, breathtaking in its melodrama and beauty. I don't know enough about this but it felt very rooted in chinese culture , and had the classical structure of a greek or shakespearian tragedy.
It is also beautifully filmed, and has many of those chinese fencing scenes the mass public has only really just become familiar with in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. But the latter is really not a patch on the earlier film.
There may be many more like this - I don't know - and although it didn't feel formulaic to me, perhaps it might to the chinese audience. So I only gave it eight, rather than the nine that was tempting me.
So why is this film so unknown, alone and unrated? That, I think, is the result of the unfortunate terms of its original release. Subtitled chinese movies at the time would appeal only to a specialist audience - (and Enter the Dragon had not yet appeared to change all that ) . But the specialist audience would instantly have been put off by the unfortunate "Confessions" marketing title, which immediately put it into the category of the contemporary naff British comedy series "Confessions of a window cleaner" and the like. Many a time I have tried to recommend this film title to friends only to be looked at incredulously as if - oh dear - how pathetic. Not that they would have found it easy to see it - it can't have enjoyed wide release.
Now is the time for re-release.
9 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?