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美人恩情英雄血 (1969)
Hero's Blood


Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 03/06/2009

“Hero’s Blood” begins intriguingly--or at least strangely--with a young woman dressed in white flowing robes playing a wooden flute while walking through an ornate temple. A swordsman sees her and, entranced, follows her--she is expecting him and leads him to a boudoir. He asks the woman he find there if she a woman or a monster. It turns out she is both and the movie tells the story of how she got that way.

She is living at in her palatial home with her family, protected by General Yu. His forces are overwhelmed by a gang of bandits and their leader carries her away to be his unwilling bride. Her father and mother come to the bandit’s cave but instead of bargaining for her release they tell her that she should stay because her captor holds the entire family hostage. This is followed by the arrival of General Yu, her fiancé, who collapses under pressure and abases himself when threatened.

Abandoned but not without inner resources, she brings the bandit chief under her control becoming the real power in the gang. He begins to mellow, deciding to spare the life of two enemy scouts when she intervenes and demands that they be killed, simply because she has the power to do so. He doesn’t realize that he has drawn a viper to his bosom. He finds out soon enough when an attack by General Chang, a lantern jawed hero with one steely eye (the other one is covered by a dashing eye patch, having been pierced by an arrow during the initial bandit attack) carries the day, in no small because due to her betrayal.

Our heroine is now completely unhinged—she has been abandoned by her father and fiancé, fallen in love with a dashing ne’er do well and then rescued by a handsome general who has no further interest in her. She lolls around the house wasting away when her father decides to deal with the problem by getting her out of sight. He builds her a new house where, accompanied by her faithful maidservant, she is given free reign to do anything she wants and be entertained in any way she can imagine. Some of the acts are duds—she falls asleep during a very slow and stylized dance performance but then perks up when two gladiators take the stage in a fight to the death.

We have now arrived at the opening sequence. One of her pastimes is luring travelers to her bedchamber, having sex with them and then having them killed the next day. The unfortunate that we saw at the opening of the movie is dispatched by two deaf and dumb guards while he wanders through the grounds. He isn’t much of a warrior, not even drawing his sword when attacked.

This isn’t the case with the next would be victim. General Chang has arrived again and it will take more than the surviving gladiator—a formidable foe—and the various thugs and murderers lying in wait for him. The denouement is quick, although not quick enough for me.

Dull sword fights, generally horrible hand to hand fighting and the most wooden acting this side of the petrified forest. There is nothing to recommend in this movie.

Reviewer Score: 2