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Magic Blade
St. George and the Dragon / St. George and the Seven Curses / The Seven Curses of Lordac

Hong Kong 1976
produced by
Shaw Brothers
directed by Chu Yuan (= Chor Yuen)
starring Ti Lung, Lo Lieh, Ching Li, Cheng Miu, Ha Ping, Norman Chu, Lily Li, Fan Mei-Sheng, Ku Feng, Tanny Tien Ni
based on a novel by Ku Lung

Chu Yuan's Ku Lung-adaptations

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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As two swordsmen, Fu Hung-Hsueh (Ti Lung) & Yen Nan-Fei (Lo Lieh), are about to duel each other to the death, 2 killers with the beautiful names of Earth Evil & Wood Evil (which describes their respective fighting styles, by the way) show up who also want to kill Yen. But Fu, instead of leaving his work to the 2 killers, instead defends Yen & defeats the 2 killers. The 2 former adversaries Fu & Yen now embark on a mission together to uncover who's behind the attempted assault. Soon it becomes apparent that Master Yu, one of the leaders of the martial arts world is behind it all, because he wants to get his hands on Peacock Dart, the most powerful weapon, & it seems only Yen & Fu can prevent him from it. But when the duo comes to Peacock Mansion, to ask this mansions master, Chiu (Cheng Miu) for said weapon - a disk emitting lethal rays & causing deadly explosions - it might be they have run into a trap themselves for one of Chiu's servants is actually one of Yu's henchman who just waited for an opportunity to get his hands on Chiu's weapon. Chiu of course is one step ahead of the competition, since the weapon was not in the heavuily guarded safe of his after all but in his mansion's hall, easily accessible to ev eryone, disguised as an ornament. Still, he dies fighting his renegade servant (but so does the servant), leaving our 2 heroes not only with the Peacock Dart but Chiu's beautiful daughter Yu-cheng (Ching Li) to take care of. More determined than ever, they decide to journey to Yu's place to solve the mystery of all the killings in the martial arts world once & for all, but Yu has taken precautions, having our heroes face 5 master killers in increasingly bizarre duels - among others they fight the cannibalistic Devil Grandma (Ha Ping) & Ku Wu Chi (Norman Chu), who directs his fighters like figures on a giant chessboard. During this fight though, Yen disappears & Fu (still in possession of the Peacock Dart) is poisoned. Only his years of training prevent him from dying & coming to strength again just in time to defend both the weapon & Yu-cheng. When he later wants to stay at a friend's place, he instead witnesses only traces of bloodshed, learns of Yen's death & even loses Yu-cheng. Still he does not give up his quest & finally gets to Yu's mansion, where Yu's wife wants to seduce him & promises him everything for the Peacock Dart. Surprisingly, Fu agrees, but wants not Yu's wife but a night with Yu-cheng & a chance to fight Master Yu - both wishes are of course granted, as soon Yu-cheng comes to his room & starts to disrobe ... The next day Fu is presented with a masked man as Master Yu, who of course turns out to be none other than Yen who hasn't been killed after all, but whom Fu defeats. Fu though realizes that man couldn't have been Master Yu for he didn't use the Peacock Dart to defeat him & is presented with the real McCoy, an old man who always needs new swordsman to be the official Master Yu but who he can guide as puppeteer, & now Fu shall become the new Master Yu - he refuses of course & challenges the old man to a duel - which is of course granted. The old man of course uses the Peacock Dart in an attempt to kill Fu, but Fu - having spent the night with Yu-cheng, learned a few of the secrets of the Peacock Dart from her, among other things how to defend oneself from it - can escape the lethal power of this ultimate weapon & finally beat Master Yu.

 

The world of Hong Kong martial arts was thankfully never one that had much to do with realism (let alone reality), but even within the logic of the martial arts-movie, Magic Blade goes far-out, always bordering the fantasy-genre (& occasionally even crossing the line), & presenting us with a bizarre world of highly formalized swordfights (done on occasions as games of chess or ensemble dance routines), futuristic-fantastic weapons, cannibals, explosions, hidden doors & secret panels, which, in the context of the movies narrative, makes perfect sense, presenting the audience with a highly entertaining, fast-paced & colourful piece of otherworldly Kung Fu cinema.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD