Acclaimed director Chu Yuan was credited for bringing mystery thriller ingredients into his atmospheric martial arts epics, and this is one of the most impressive examples. The title refers...
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Don't miss this one it is excellent. Chinese sword masters pair up to fight off yet another villain for the deadly PeacockDart. The ending is eye popping don't miss this one. Shaw Brothers come thru yet again
A rich young man seeks to make a name for himself by being the one to discover a lost treasure. He teams up with a streetwise kung-fu artist and together, they set out to not only find the ... See full summary »
Max Mok is the dashing young swordsman Feng Xiwu who arrives at a beautiful, but deadly location known as Moonlit Sky to investigate rumors of deaths and disappearances there. He comes to ... See full synopsis »
Acclaimed director Chu Yuan was credited for bringing mystery thriller ingredients into his atmospheric martial arts epics, and this is one of the most impressive examples. The title refers to the feared nickname of a notorious rapist-murderer who swoops down to destroy one swordsman's fiancé and frame another. Or does he? The two tragic men team with a beautiful swordswoman to find the truth
Fan's of Hong Kong cinema would most likely know Chor Yuen more-so for his role as the main bad guy in Jackie Chan's legendary, Police Story, rather than his work as a popular director. But personally, I'm a big fan of Chor Yuen's Shaw Brother films. They always offered something a little different, often mixing thriller, mystery, and horror into kung-fu epics, with the Bat Without Wings being a prime example...
Starring the wonderful Ku Feng, a man who's filmography has spanned over 50 years, as the titular character, the Bat glides around the place, raping women and killing anyone who gets in his way, all while looking like an angry reject from popular rock band, Kiss. He even dons face paint almost identical to that of Gene Simmons himself. As it turns out, Feng is only masquerading as the Bat, and has the real one locked up in a cave having lost his memory a few years before, after getting hit on the head during a fight.
And while the Bat Without Wings has a lot of great things going for it, a lot of scenes with the aforementioned Feng, come off as silly as he seems to defy gravity in a much more abstract way than everyone else. But its hardly anything to put you off . In fact, the little bits of silliness really just add to the charm of the whole thing to be honest, giving the film a slight tongue-in-cheek feel at times. That said, director Yuen delivers an atmospheric, comic book style film packed with murder, and a host of incredible sets often enhanced with slow-moving smoke and fantastic lighting. This is backed by a wonderful score, and non-stop fights, which really, is what we're here for!
Shaw's regular, Tong Gaai handles the choreography offering plenty of wonderful fights from one-to-one battles, to our heroes taking on small armies of swordsmen with some lengthy one-shots and great moves from all involved. There's definitely no shortage of action with something kicking off every 5 or 10 minutes, leading to a fantastic finale against the two bats...
Joining Ku Feng is the handsome Derek Yee, brother to star David Chaing and an incredible director in his own right. Yee was quite the leading man in his Shaw Brother's days and while he doesn't have much depth to his character here, still proves a joy to watch and is great as the hero of the piece. Other popular stars that pop up are Jason Pai Piao, a young Yuen Wah, Yuen Bun, and even Yuen Biao pops up through-out as a background fighter.
Bat Without Wings may seem a little uneven, but if you don't think too hard about it, the film actually proves to be a fun watch. It does get bogged down with the introduction of far too many characters (that usually don't go anywhere) but again, its not enough to make it unwatchable!
Views: A bizarre Shaw Brothers entry, Bat Without Wings is far from the best in the catalogue, but entertains nonetheless with its non-stop fights!
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