This film is a wuxia (heroic chivalry) film from when the genre was most popular, starring several A-list actors and with a number of scenes that will seem eerily familiar to people who’ve seen other wuxia films made at the time. It’s great fun though, and has a particularly strong performance from Cheng Pei-pei, in two different lead roles! As the rather frighteningly enthusiastic synopsis above says, this film has both Cheng Pei-pei (this reviewer’s favourite actress of the time) … (read more)
Yueh Hua was a stalwart of Shaw Brothers swordplay films for many years, after two quite prominent roles in his first two films; The Monkey King in Monkey Goes West (a story familiar to Aussie fans of the Japanese Monkey TV show) and Drunken Cat in Come Drink with Me, King Hu’s classic wuxia film. In The Twelve Gold Medallions, he plays the lone swordsman Miao Lung, fighting to prevent a traitorous minister’s plot to stop a general’s … (read more)
The Web Of Death is another entry into the swordplay fantasy genre from a specialist in this style of film, Chor Yuen (The Magic Blade, Clans of Intrigue and many others). It’s also effectively a remake of (or taken from the same source as) 1967’s The Thundering Sword, starring Cheng Pei-pei and Chang Yi.
However, unlike The Thundering Sword, which is an older-style martial chivalry film, The Web Of Death pulls out all the stops in … (read more)
The Water Margin is big. Really, really big. Even for a Shaw Brothers production directed by Chang Cheh at the height of his popularity, it’s huge. Involving just about all of the action stars on the Shaws payroll at the time, enormous sets, lots of outdoor shots and four action choreographers, it really does show off the ‘house style’ that Shaw Brothers are famous for.
The film is an adaptation of a small part of the Chinese classic of the … (read more)