KX (1980)
The Flag of Iron


Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 04/18/2018
Summary: Eagle Clan vs. Iron Flag

It's the Eagle clan against the Iron Flag for martial arts supremacy with the White Robed Rambler, an itinerant mercenary, as the wild card

Iron Flag is ambushed at a phony celebratory dinner hosted by Eagles. With intervention of White Robed Rambler it turns into a bloody stand-off with the leader of each group mortally wounded

Unlike times past the authorities were unable to ignore the murderous clash since the Eagle Clan made a formal complaint. While both leaders were killed, many Eagle soldiers were killed as well while the Iron Flag soldiers were only wounded. Constable Huang is bribed to let Luo Xin, a senior Iron Flag man be the fall guy, charged but allowed to escape into exile.

Luo Xin winds up as a lowly inn waiter but is found out by one of the ten assassins and by Yuan Lang. Lang dispatches the assassin, Iron Axe. There has been a turn for the worse back home and the Iron Flag is now allied with the Eagle Clan in running gambling and prostituion rackets and the 10 assassins are hunting them (now nine) are hunting Luo and Lang.

The battle between good and evil has begun. Unfortunately there are too many double-crosses to keep straight as loyalists turn against both Eagle Clan and Iron Flag. That the action stops dead a few times so that a fighter can explain who is who and who is killing who doesn't help--just slows things down. Plenty of excellent weapons action to keep us entertained, even if we aren't sure which side should be winning.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 02/28/2007
Summary: YIKES

This movie TRIES to make itself more intellectual that it should!!
When the bad guys deduct what the next move of the good guys and vice versa, i think SHAw BROTHERS thought that this would make it a different movie and maybe more appealing!! SORRY it didnt work

With all the talk about strategy, it really slowed down the pace of the movie and bored me!! Was this movie two hours, because it felt like it was being dragged out!!

The ending though is entertaining enough but thats not enough for me to watch this again

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 08/21/2006
Summary: 6/10 - standard Venoms stuff

Typical Venoms-era Chang Cheh really - paper thin plot that somehow still manages to be convoluted, even-thinner-than-paper characters, awful acting, and entirely shot on indoor sets that wouldn't look out of place in a school play. Oh, and of course lots of kick-ass fight scenes!

I really hate it when people say "who watches these films for the story anyway?", because I actually do... but sometimes really good action can compensate for failings in other areas. The action in FLAG OF IRON isn't quite that good, but the film has some other redeeming aspects too (like Lung Tien-Hsiang's sideburns) and is generally an entertaining watch (though sometimes you're laughing at, not with). Not quite a good film, but can't bring myself to call it "bad" either.

Worth a watch if you like Chang Cheh's Venom-era films, basically.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 05/13/2003

Spearmen of Death -- a Chang Cheh-directed kung fu picture starring 3 of the venoms: Lu Feng, Chiang Sheng, and Kuo Chui. Usually, a venoms flick works like this: Kuo Chui is always the hero, with Chiang Sheng kind of a lesser hero on the good side, and Lu Feng being the villain. This is exactly how Spearmen works.

In fact, it's one of the most fun venoms movies. There is definitely something interesting about the old school English dub, even if it ruins the mood. Lu Feng's voice job, for example, is so insultingly unfit that it works. But the dialogues are down right generic - the same lines you hear in every kung fu movie, with the same voices. I must agree with a fan who remarked that Shaw Brothers movies had the best Eng dubs of all.

There is perhaps not enough action to satisfy anyone purely looking for hardcore kung fu. For that, look towards Kid With Golden Arm and Sword Stained With Royal Blood. But, the flag fighting is probably the coolest style the venoms ever did, next to the original five deadly animals styles. Combined with great acrobatics, the fight scenes with flags are a feast to the eye.

The story is also very interesting. This time around, the characters fight with more wit than physically, which is rare in a venoms movie. Still, acting is nonexistent, and everyone is 10 times as stiff as Michael [Wood] Wong. It's just acting in old school movies in general.

Overall, I would say Spearmen is one of the better venoms movies that I have seen. It does have a little bit of everything, although it doesn't excel in any particularly area (like "5 Venoms" excels in mystery and "Crippled Avengers" in acrobatics).

[7/10]


Reviewed by: mpongpun
Date: 11/21/2002

The plot is very similar to one of Chang Cheh’s earlier works, The Duel . In this one, two rival clans, the Iron Flag and the Eagle Clan come together for drinks, but soon a fight breaks out. Both of the clan leaders are killed, but the Iron Flag’s leader is mysteriously killed in action. Could it be the Spearman? The cops come in and state that somebody has to take the blame for all the blood shed. Lo Hsin (Kuo Chui), a good man, takes the blame for his brothers and sets out to leave town until the whole ordeal tides over. Like The Duel , the new clan leader, Chow Fang (Lu Feng) thanks Lo kindly and offers to send him money when he reaches his new pad. Wrong! Instead, the 10 Killers are assigned to kill Lo, but luckily Lo’s buddy, Yun Liang (Chiang Sheng) and some surprise help from the Spearman (Lung Tien Hsiang) saves the day. The threesome then decides to pay Chow Fang a visit to settle some old scores and avenge the death of the Iron Flag leader. Decent flick that is pretty bloody by my account.


Reviewed by: 5elementninja
Date: 01/08/2002
Summary: Venoms...what else can I say?

Another great movie starring the Venoms. A corrupt member of the Iron Flag clan contracts the Spearman to murder the clan's leader and take control. The film takes a dramatic twist as the Spearman decides to undo the evil he started and de-throne the corrupt member with the aid of those still loyal.

[9.0/10]

Reviewer Score: 9