General Ma (Yi Chang) tries to get to the young Chinese fighting hero Fang Shi-Yu (Fei Meng), embraced by villagers as their champion for his continued resistance to Ma's oppressive rule while armed solely with a fan, by executing two of his closest allies - his brothers, neither of whom would betray Fang Shi-Yu even upon threat of death! Ma then hires one Dragon Lee (Shoji Karada), a top Japanese fighter who demands payment for killing Fang Shi-Yu from Ma despite the fact he already has a motive since Fang Shi-Yu previously killed his brother Tiger Lee while also under Ma's employ. Dragon Lee, ever cunning and devious, plans to challenge Fang Shi-Yu to a showdown atop the treacherous Shaolin poles: one hundred poles planted as a battlefield in the Earth with smaller, sharper poles waiting beneath meaning certain death to the man who falls off. Who will prevail?
Wow! What a fine example of the Kung-Fu fighting genre at its very best this truly is. It's inventive in that it presents a new type of Kung-Fu showdown rarely seen before with its battles mainly taking place atop the dangerous battleground described above and it features terrific lead performances from Fei Meng (as the young Chinese hero of the people Fang Shi-Yu), Shoji Karada (as the deceptively deadly Dragon Lee) and Yi Chang (as the tyrannical General Ma), performances that transcend the language barrier in terms of body language and facial expression. Also the female leads here are indeed truly beautiful and certainly seem to be the worth the amount of fighting done over them. If this has any real flaw, it's that the basic premise (revenge-training-more revenge) has been done so much as to become almost clichéd for this genre. Also the way the Japanese are portrayed leaves something to be desired, what with the whole idea of a Japanese man being with a Chinese woman getting treated as something absolutely abhorrent. But forgiving this one its flaws, which really were quite common for this genre, it really delivers the goods and then some in terms of fighting action and excitement.
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