This film was put together after the closing of Shaw Bros. production studio by three actors who had achieved fame as members of director Chang Cheh's "Venoms" ensemble. They clearly learned a lot from Chang Cheh during that period, and this film is very handsomely put together and presented, and the acrobatically choreographed martial arts are precisely staged and well photographed. There are a number of weaknesses to the film, largely having to do with pacing; this film seems to go on far longer than it actually does, because the dramatic momentum is diverted toward the three heroes, when it clearly ought to lead toward the general, perfunctorily enacted by Ti Lung, who is given little to do but sit around looking aristocratic. 3 of the original Venoms and Ti Lung? this casting should itself produce electricity; instead, the filmmakers depend inordinately on the ninja to develop suspense, and, except for old pro Kurata, the performances of the ninjas are all pretty flat.
Still, as an "old school" kung-fu flick, this is solid entertainment - as fair a means of spending 95 minutes as one could think of, as long as one isn't looking for anything special.
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