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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, only two of the seven sons survive. One remains hidden by the family while the other lives on the run. The traitorous general must find them and silence them before either of them can testify to the Emperor of his treachery. Written by
This film is loosely based on actual historical figures of China; the Yang family, who defended the Northern borders of the Song Dynasty for generations. The movie's story was initially meant to follow the many tales that centered around one historical figure in particular, Yang Yanzhao. (The 6th son of Yang Ye.) According to history, Yang Ye and his 7 sons were betrayed by General Pan Mei and that he committed suicide in order to provide an escape for his remaining living sons. (The 5th, the 6th and the 7th) The film differs from the legend, in that number 7 dies and number 6 goes mad. The film accurately depicts the fate of the 5th son, as he does desert the army and become a monk on Wu Tai Mountain. In the legend, the 6th son was depicted as the hero and fought in the last stand against Pan Mei and the Liao troops. Such was to be depicted in the film, but a re-write was necessitated with the untimely death of actor Fu Sheng, who portrayed the 6th son. Legend tells that the 6th son himself went to the Wu Tai temple to convince his older brother to join the fight, only to be refused as the 5th son would not break his vows to Buddha. Only after a messenger arrived with news of his younger sister's capture, did the 5th son choose to join his brother in the fight. The script was altered so that the only visit the 5th son received, was from a messenger that arrived with news of his sister. This motivates the 5th Yang to return to the fight, giving him the hero spotlight that was meant for 6th brother, Yang Yanzhao. In legend, after Pan Mei's defeat, Yang Yanzhao went on to become a warrior of as fierce renown as his father. Eventually promoted to the rank of General, he continued fighting for the Dynasty until his death at age 57. See more »
The film's story takes place during the Song Dynasty of China which lasted from year 960 to 1279. Yet when the 5th Yang insists on having his head shaved at the Temple, the monks are using a straight razor which was not invented until the 1700s. See more »
Gordon Liu, Alexander Fu Sheng, Venoms, Kara Hui. This movie has it all.
One definite thing about the movie is it is dark. The whole mood is set from the incredible opening credits sequence and all throughout the film. Gordon Liu is Yang #6; a man bent on seeking revenge. His pole fighting is amazing in this one in both battle and training. You cannot miss the scene when he enters the Shaolin temple - classic Liu!!
Alexander Fu Sheng as Yang #5 gives a great performance as man driven insane from traumatic events. Although it's english dubbing, Fu Sheng's facial expressions and acting is really great in this one...he really looks crazy!! I enjoyed seeing his panic attacks being doused by Mother Yang who's not too shabby a fighter herself. Kara Hui is Yang #8 and her fight scenes are always a sight to see! Oh, Lau Kar Leung's cameo is short, but is wickedly intense!
Overall, this has become a favorite of mine. Whether it's the pole training in the wolf room, the final battle, or those deadly coiling staffs, I could watch this one again and again and...
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