Second in Chu's long series of adaptations from martial arts novels by Gu Long, and probably the best. Swordsman Fu Hongxue (Ti, kitted out in Clint Eastwood's poncho and stubble) is entrusted with the Peacock Dart, a supreme weapon, to prevent it falling into the clutches of underworld recluse Yu. Abetted by his sometime rival Yan (Lo), he fends off a mindbending series of ambushes, traps and direct attacks and finally reaches Yu's mansion to confront his foe. There's a yawnsome philosophical dimension (from the book) to do with fame's illusions, but it pales beside the protean inventions of the quest. The villains include a man with a woman's voice, a demon granny who eats human flesh and a small army whose attack formation is the Chinese character 'jian' ('sword'). Fu also finds himself cast as a human chess-piece, drugged and offered sexual favours. Splendidly acted and choreographed, and spectacularly designed, this is the apex of the Shaw studio style. It has exactly the pulp poetry suggested by the Chinese title, which means 'Far Horizon, Bright Moon, Blade'.
Cast and crew
Ni Kuang, Situ An