A very Cantonese film. Broad acting, heavy melodrama, a fascination with gangs and bad behavior. Just a few years later director Sun Chueng would break out with "Avenging Eagle" a very different sort of film. Bloody Escape is very typical with little to distinguish it from dozens of other gang films of the era.
The plot revolves around a "noble" gang member who rebells when the gang loses it's "moral center" after the leader dies and the leadership passes to his tough but immoral son. The father would "only" take half of a victim's possessions and never would kill or harm anyone. The son, however, wants to keep all the booty and kill the victims to eliminate any witness. Rape is in the new order as well. The hero fights the new order and eventually frees a beautiful woman before the leader gets to her. The hero goes on the run as the new leader is determined to kill him. The hero is hiding in the nearby town when he is "adopted" by an elderly shoemaker with a not too clean past of his own. The plot thickens as the local militia arrives to capture the gang and our hero.
It's interesting to see director Chang Cheh listed here as a co-director since this film seems like he was the actual director. The film credits don't list him at all. There are none of the touches that Sun Chueng would show later in his career. There are a few good scenes, especially between the hero and the shoemaker. The cinematography is unfortunately zoom happy and sloppy. The martial arts are representative of Southern China but very stiff at times and stagy. The lead actor, Chen Kuan-Tai, is very good but the actor playing the bandit leader is high ham. The film does make an interesting point when the hero has to confront his moral dilemma with other people's opinions of him.
You might like it but I think there are better Shaw films out there.
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