The pacifist warrior Silver Hermit is accused of having killed and/or conspired to kill three rivals in a martial arts contest. The contest is to choose a brave warrior to marry a princess,... See full summary »
The pacifist warrior Silver Hermit is accused of having killed and/or conspired to kill three rivals in a martial arts contest. The contest is to choose a brave warrior to marry a princess, heir to a famous martial arts school and the daughter of the most powerful martial artist in China, Lady Jade. In proving his innocence, Silver Hermit teams up with a mysterious woman and the warrior Iron Axe to fight against his accusers as well as the real culprits. These disciples are the disciples of a nefarious martial arts master seeking revenge against the princess's mother who had defeated him 2 decades back. Written by
Compared to his more brutal and straightforward movies, this one only occasionally hits the heights. Wang Yu's spearwork, which is pretty central to the plot, is no more than barely adequate. His kicking and punching is up to his usual standard, but the hesitancy in the spear fights is a bit too obvious in my eyes, after exposure to Gordon Lui and Carter Wong's spear and staff work. It's not really helped by the out of sync dubbing which murders the sound effects.
A dodgy Wang Yu movie is still a few notches above the rest of the cheapo chop sockys of the era, and it's watchable enough in that context. The plot is as creaky as an ancient waterwheel, featuring lashings of cackling treachery, some evil scheming (and utterly predictable) bad guys, a wicked wily temptress, a blind heroine, and a showdown in the snow. But not much else of note. And all edited with a blunt axe, by the look of it. The much lauded rings of death would not be out of place in a Godzilla movie, so don't get your hopes too high.
Despite all that, I watched it through to the bitter end and thoroughly enjoyed the low budget camp predictability of it all. Despite the hype on the DVD cover, it's definitely not to be taken too seriously.
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