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On Mount Shin Fung, a lone swordsman, Yi-Hang (Leslie Chaung) guards a
magic Rose that blossoms only every 20 years, but once blossomed it can
grant immortality. The soldiers of the ailing emperor approach, wanting
the rose to heal their regent, but Yi-Hang kills them all, as for him
there's a person more important than the king ...
Flashback: Master Tzu Yang (Fong Pao) trains Yi-Hang, stil a child, to
become a top swordsman & ultimately the joint chief of the 8 clans of
Chung Yuang. But Yi-Hang doesn't care too much abot this, he just
constantly runs into trouble, until one night, while saving a sheep, he
almost falls prey to wild wolves ... when he is saved by a beautiful,
almost dreamlike girl playing a flute. A moment later she is gone & he
would have to accept punishment for having saved the sheep - from the
butcher, as it turns out.
Years later, Yi-Hang still hasn't learned to stay out of trouble, &
he has a man opposing him becoming Joint Chief of the 8 clans, Pai Yun
(Law Lok Lam), who would rather see his daughter Lu-Hua (Lam Kit-Ying) in
this position ... who in turn though is in love with Yi-Hang - a love
that's unrequitted though, especially after Ha-Ying (Brigitte Lin), who
turns out to be the fluteplaying girl of his childhood, & somehow the
2 truly fall in love ... but Lien is the chief assassin of the Evil Cult,
a cult led by Siamese twins Chi Wu-Shuang (Francis Ng, ElaineLui) that has
set out to destroy the 8 clans.
When Yi-Hang is chosen to lead the soldiers of the 8 clans against the
Evil Cult, he refuses, instead spends hours of love with Lien, during
which he promises to never distrust her & to, should her hair tunr
white, bring her the magic rose on Mount Shin Fung to grant her eternal
life ... Both of them decide to leae their respective clan/cult &
spend a life together as recluses ... but for Lien that doesn't prove too
easy since the male part of the Siamese twins is deeply in love with her,
& demands to fuck her before he lets her go, but when he realizes she
is in love with someone else, he decides to ultimately humiliate her,
letting her leave his place only in a simple gown, walking on hot coals
& being beaten with clubs by all his subordinates. She endures
everything for Yi-Hang.
Yi-Hang meanwhile wants to bid farewell to his master, but finds him
& his servants & guards slaughtered by none other than Lien as a
witness tells him (even if it will turn out to be not true), which does
damage his trust towards her a bit, & it's not made any better when
she arrives at the place & is attacked by those who came with him, Lu
Hua & Pai yun among them, & viciously & successfully defends
herself. Ultimately he accuses her of having killed his master, even
though she claims differently, & thus breaks her heart. In the ensuing
fight, all of his companions die, killed by Lien pretty much in self
defense, & Lien's hair turns white. Then she leaves the place, &
suddenly the Siamese twins turn up, & prepare to kill him, but not
without congfessing to him that they have killed the mster in Lien's
guise. Ultimately though, Lien comaes back & the 2 desperately fight
the twins, & defeat them when Yi-Hang cuts them apart ...
Then Lien leaves once more & Yi-Hang realizes the only way to win
her back now is to bring her the magic Rose from Mount Shin Fung ...
even if it doesn#t blossom until 10 years from now.
A dramatic love story, disguised as a martial arts/fantasy film (or is
it a matial arts film disguised as romance), with all its images
consciously drenched in kitsch & not an ounce of irony - yet somehow
it works just great. The inventive, well staged fight scenes take the edge
of the cheesy parts of the story, while the romantic scenes, never long
enough to bore, prevent the film from being just another actioner. Good
central performances of course don't hurt one bit either.