Wu (1976)
The One-Armed Swordsmen


Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 05/30/2004
Summary: So-so effort from big stars......

First there was Chang Cheh's One-Armed Swordsman starring Wang Yu. Then Wang Yu appearred in a sequel and some other One Armed Boxer films. Later Chang remade the original as The New One-Armed Swordsman starring David Chiang.

A couple of years later, when the 2 actor's were popular, powerful and wealthy enough to produce their own projects, they teamed up to try and out do Chang, the master director who had made each one a star. Produced by the Wang Chiang Film Company, The One Armed Swordsmen is the saga of two one armed martial artists seeking revenge against yet a third one armed fighter who has besmirched their reputations and murdered mutual friends.

This VHS version is tough to watch, but the film is good enough to make one yearn for a widescreen version. The dubbing is horrible. English speaking actors saying "Right!" way too many times. It is panned & scanned with good picture quality. The plotline is totally confusing and the ending is ridiculous but the fighting scenes are pretty good. The two stars fight against each other. They fight separately and they fight together. They have magical powers and can fly.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: SteelwireMantis
Date: 03/31/2004
Summary: Cheesy and Poor

Jimmy Wang Yu and David Chiang star and direct in a kind of spin off (or rip off) of the Shaw Brothers original.

The story is about some masked one-armed guy who has killed an emperial guard and 2 one-armed guys (Wang-Yu and Chiang) are in town and seek out the murderer and challenge each other.

When I saw this movie, I thought: What the f**k?! This is probably one of the most BORING kung fu movies ever made! There is hardly any good fights, Wang Yu and David Chiang are both very slow and the acting was kind of lame (The cheesy dubbing never really helped). On the Vengeance Video DVD there was a deleted fight scene (which made no sense in being related to the actual story). I was falling asleep through the whole movie.

Definitely NOT worth the buy (it wouldn't really cost that much) and this is truly lame.

*/*****

Reviewer Score: 2

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 05/29/2003
Summary: Dull and talky

I'm quite a big fan of Jimmy Wang Yu. He's well known for long smouldering looks and the "volcano effect" - rumblings indicating things are about to explode. Well, this one rumbles and rumbles and rumbles .... but 45 minutes in, nothing much had happened yet.

The opening scene was a ripper. A group of fake pallbearers chop some people up to free some guy who's hiding in a coffin wearing a death mask, who promptly kills the guys who freed him, then he gets killed.

Godsakes, what's this all about. Well, Jimmy doesn't help much. He takes quite a while to appear, and when he does, he just sits there and deflects a bunch of people attacking him.

The lack of subs didn't help much either, particularly as this film is so long on talk and short on action.

And most confusing, I didn't see anyone with one arm, let alone swordsmen, except for one poor guy who appears briefly in the opening scene and gets an arm sliced off before he gets killed.

I can't recommend this film.

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: mpongpun
Date: 11/21/2002

Whoa! First Chang Cheh gave us the Wang Yu vehicle, One Armed Swordsman and then next came the sequel. Then after Wang Yu left the Shaw Brothers, the company got pissed off and made the New One Armed Swordsman with Chang Cheh at the helm and David Chiang in the role of the “new” One armed hero. What’s next? Taking advantage of their own popularity and the one-armed character, Wang Yu and David Chiang combined to make the One Armed Swordsmen. This flick is a tale of two Master one-armed swordsmen, Fang Ping (Wang Yu) and Li Hao (David Chiang), who try to unravel and solve the mysterious death of another one armed guy, Chin Chu Ying (Chang Yi). Interesting plot, twisted ending out of nowhere, and decent sword fights/gung fu. If you are not tired of the “one armed” genre, then you might find this flick worthwhile.