Thursday, July 15, 2010

Clan of Amazons with Ling Yun and Yueh Hua

A masked swordsman in red thwarts the plans of various warriors at the start of 1978's Clan of Amazons. Raids are disrupted, thievery averted, and the leaders of various clans are plotting moves against this masked man who embroiders while he waits to strike.

Jin Juiling (Ling Yun) guesses that the masked avenger might be a woman in baggy clothes and he and Lu Xiaofeng (Anthony Lau Wing) decide to investigate but after Lu greets his lovely romantic interest, Xue Bing (Ching Li). The ladies of the palace -- yes, Ouyang Sha-Fei is in this! -- determine the source of the embroidery.

Qingxia (Shih Szu) enters the film to help Xiaofeng and Xue Bing in their quest.

The film turns into a mystery of sorts as the duo looks for the maker of the silk left at the scene of the attacks by the masked embroider. Then there's some fighting but nothing particularly memorable.

By the time the amazons of the title show up, the film has taken a turn for the fantastical. I say that but Clan of Amazons still seemed largely forgettable to me. Have I seen too many Shaw films from this era? Probably not.

It's just that there's no strong lead and the action in the second half is set at night and murky. Yueh Hua is barely in this, Ching Li was used better in earlier action films, and Ling Yun was past his prime by the time this film was made.

Normally I would post a link to buy the DVD but it looks like Clan of Amazons is out-of-print on both VCD and DVD.