Reviewed by: cathy in dc
Normally, I like a martial arts period piece. However, there didn't seem to be much of a point to the movie. And the title bears no relation to the rest of the movie. The elements of a great movie could have been there. The set for the second half of the movie is beautifully filmed. However, the special effects are lacking in a way that's just silly. The fight with the wooden puppets wasn't the least bit scary or suspenseful. Also, the plot makes no sense. Phoenix Luk gets framed by the beautiful Mandy for the robbery of the emperor's treasure. Anthony wong's character intially seems to believe that Phoenix Luk has been framed, but by the end of the movie is just trying to kill him. A blind guy with martial arts skills who is a friend of Phoenix Luk's shows up and disappears at random intervals weith no explanation. Phoenix Luk appears to have been framed in order to be lured into an agreement with some sort of criminal syndicate, but in the end the man behind the criminal syndicate apepars to by not a master criminal but a member of the royal court who needs Phoenix Luk as a fall guy to assassinate the meperor so he can become the new emperor. That character goes by the name of Joe through most of the movie. Also, the end fight takes on a really bizarre S&M tone for no reason whatsoever, with Joe screaming "whip me mandy through most of it." This movie is not worth buying, renting or even seeing if it appears on tv (I saw it on the international channel).
Reviewed by: STSH
First, 1996 is clearly the date of re-release. Judging by the look of the film and ages of the actors, it would have been made around the mid-1980s. Some of the story seems to be influenced by Chinese Ghost Story, so it may be post-1987. Either way, it is certainly not the same film as "Clan of Amazons (1978)". Also, judging partly by continuity problems, it appears Anthony Wong's part was either enlarged or rearranged. Although he is given top billing, Mang Fei clearly plays the lead character.
Reviewer Score: 1
Second, this film contains all the elements of what I love in HK cinema - flying people with flowing silks, swordplay, smouldering stares, and even a pretty lady dancing in the nude (behind silk). But, just as flour mixed with eggs and sugar doesn't necessarily make a great cake, this film is a total flop. The characters are completely non-involving, the story makes no sense, the fight/flight scenes are barely competent. In short, the overall product is appallingly cut, paced and directed. Which is a shame, as the ingredients were all there.
Having said that, if this is all they could do with a re-cut and re-release, one shudders to think what the original product was like. Instead of buying/renting this one, watch Chinese Ghost Story again.