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Vengeance is a Golden Blade

Hong Kong 1969
produced by
Shaw Brothers
directed by Ho Meng-hua
starring Chin Ping, Yueh Hua, Ku Wen-tsung, Tang Ching, Ling Peng-fei, Peng Peng

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Because he has a relationship with Li Zhishen's wife Yuexiang, Long Zhentian of the 3 evil Long brothers wants him dead ... but Li Zhishen wields the invincible Golden Blade, so when the Long brothers arrive, he teaches them a lesson ... only his unfaithful wife is clever enough to overcome him, when she drugs him with exactly the poison he has ordered her to take for her infidelity, then she steals his golden blade ... & it is a small wonder that, with the help of his faithful servant Li Sheng, Li Zhishen & his young daughter Xiaoyan manage to escape. Soon they meet up with poor herbalist Liu & his son Quingyong, who save Li Zhishen's life ...

18 years later: Li Zhishen, his daughter & his servant have stayed with the herbalist & his son all the time, & Xiaoyan (now played by Chin Ping) has grown up to be a fierce swordfighter, determined to one day avenge her father - even if she doesn't quite know why or whom she should fight to avenge him. But apart from fighting, Xiaoyan has remainded terribly naive, so on her first visit to the neighbouring vilalge she is promptly lured into a brothel, & almost drugged & raped ... woulnd't the brothel be run by her own, unfaithful mother Yuexiang, who ultimately lets her go without revealing her true identity to the girl, but is quite eager to learn the whereabouts of Li Zhishen ... which Xiaoyan tells her, rather foolishly.

That night, she witnesses Yuexiang visiting ehr father, overhears the fact that she is her daughter, & runs away, disappointed by her father who told her her mother is dead ... soon later, she sees their home burn.

Xiaoyan realizes that she has wronged her father, & her heart is set on revenge. So she goes after the Long Brothers, & the first 2 are hardly a match for her superior sword(wo)manship, & thus lose their lives in a jiffy ... but then there's Long Zhentian, who doesn't only own the Golden Blade, but is also cunning: while Xiaoyan was out killing his brothers, he has kidnapped Li Zhishen & master Liu & is keeping them in his fortress, a deathtrap for anyone who would try to free them ... but Xiaoyan, with the help of Quingyong, tries anyway, but the full-on, swordfighting approach proves futile, & Xiaoyan & Quingyong are lucky to escape with their lives ... so Xiaoyan pretends to sell herself to Long Zhentian to get close enough to him to kill him ... & it would almost have worked, wasn't it for her mother's interference ...

Ultimately, Xiaoyan gets to fight Long Zhentian though, & almost kills him, but again is stopped by her mother, who tells her Long Zhentian is her real father, a claim confirmed by Li Zhishen, who has since been freed again.

Again Xiaoyang runs away, & Li Zhishen, convinced that he has failed his adoptive daughter, wants to leave to so spend the rest of his days as a hermit, but again, he is attacked by Long Zhentian, with the Giolden Blade. But somehow Xiaoyang has gained possession of the Hablong Blade, the only blade that can defeat the Golden Blade, & which her father has made in secrecy, & a fierce battle ensues, in which Yuexiang is killed, rather accidently, Xiaoyan manages to break the Golden Blade ... & ultimately loses the fight, being no match for Long Zhentian after all, who has somehow got hold of the Hablong Blade ... but ultimately is killed by a shard of the Golden Blade Li Zhishen throws into his back to save his daughter.

Xiaoyang promises to stay with Li Zhishen, the only father she ever had.


Nice little swordsplay movie, that might take a bit long to kick into gear, wasting a tad too much time setting the story up, but once the action starts (& quite violent too), it's really worth your while ... even if the film is never on par with acknowledged genre classics of its time like Come Drink with me.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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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




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