The Lady Hermit (1971)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2009-04-04
Summary: Entertaining and charming Cheng Pei-Pei...
Miss Leng (Cheng Pei-Pei) is a housekeeper in a small village, but only a few know that she is actually the Lady Hermit, one of the top kung fu heroes in the land. She's gone undercover to nurse her wounds that she suffered at the hands of the Black Demon (Wang Hsieh) and his "Shadowless Claw." Meanwhile, a young swordswoman (Shih Szu) arrives in the town looking for the Lady Hermit in order to be taken in as her pupil. She's brash and conceited, but is taken a liking to by Chang Chun (Lo Lieh), one of the members of a local security transport company. Soon, a trap laid for the Lady Hermit flushes Leng out of hiding and forces her to confront the Black Demon for a final showdown.

The Lady Hermit is a very entertaining film that succeeds in showing the star power of Cheng Pei-Pei. Without her the movie would probably be average, but she manages to raise it up with her considerable charm and excellent acting. The stare she unleashes before going into action simply can't be matched. Shih Szu is also very good, but the attitude of her character is one that starts to grate after awhile. I guess this is a tribute to her acting as well, as she portrays an immensely talented but immature martial artist. Cheng Pei-Pei deals with a similar master-student relationship in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, trying to get the hot-headed Zhang Ziyi under control. The action is quite good as well, with some excellent swordplay that results in decapitations, limb hacking and plenty of jetting blood, including a rather nasty impalement from chopsticks. There is also an exciting scene on a rope bridge, that brings to mind the later similar scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, complete with poorly created dummies falling to their death in the river below. Overall a fun 90 minutes though, always worth the time spent to be entertained by Pei-Pei.

Reviewer Score: 7