Quite a few set-piece swordfights. Lots of smouldering stares. A storyline close to impenetrable. At least a dozen major characters.
Reviewer Score: 5
I'm not quite sure, but I think the problem here is poor script development. The ingredients could well have made an okay-to-good period swordplay slasher. But things move much too slowly during the non-action scenes, and there is very little idea given as to what is actually going on, and who's with and against who. Of coourse, allegiances are constantly changing.
To top it all off, there's a sub-plot of a murder mystery. I find this mind-boggling. Dozens of people killed in each of many swordfights, and one person's murder is being investigated !
The extreme likeness of three grey-old haired men, each of whom an important character, only adds to the confusion.
Overall, only just average.
A note about the year of production. 1979 is my best guess, based on two things. 1) The movie has a very late-70's look. 2) The credits still wrote some of the names right-to-left (including the director's name). It was around 1980 that HK movies started to write names the opposite way, left-to-right, as we do in English.