Not Liu Chia Liang’s most compelling work; the story isn’t as complicated as it may first seem, and some of it was reorganised in the wake of Alexander Fu’s death.
I watched the English dubbed version, which is rarely as eloquent as the subtitled version; leading to some incidental humour in otherwise dramatic moments, although given the melodramatic nature of the film it may not be so accidental. In particular the English dub for Alexander Fu’s character is beyond annoying.
The fight choreography, as always with a Shaw Brothers production, is superb and ahead of its time; culminating in an over the top face off between Gordon Liu, his sister, some teeth snatching monks and invading Mongols.
The cinematography outside of the fight scenes is unusually different to other Laing films, there’s a greater variety in angles and types of shots used here that really adds to the film when the story itself isn’t so gripping.