Return of the One-Armed Swordsman
"Add Return of the One Armed Swordsman to that small list of movie sequels that are just as good, if not better, than their predecessors".
- Mighty Peking Man
Return of the One-Armed Swordsman (1968)
Director: Chang Cheh
Writer: Chang Cheh
Producer: Runme Shaw
Cast: Jimmy Wang Yu, Chiao Chiao, Essie Lin Chia, Cheng Lui, Sek Fung, Guk Fung, Wu Ma, Liu Chia Liang, Ti Lung, Tin Fung, Wong Chung, Yuen Cheung Yan, Lau Kar Wing, Cliff Lok, Chan Sing, Chung Wa, Wong Ching Ho, Hoh Ban, Tong Gaai, Nam Wai Lit, Hong Wa
Running Time: 101 min.
Plot: See review below.
Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com
MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S REVIEW: The visuals that accompany the opening credits hint that the film is going to be a brutal ride. Deadly weapons of all sizes. Evil fighters of all styles. In fact, we pay no attention to the people responsible for the production, due to the array of psycho-killer propaganda being thrown in our faces. Unless you like rooting for the bad guys, the content reeks of bad news. However, there is good news: this is the sequel to "The One Armed Swordsman;" and even though it's obvious that a high number of innocent people will get slaughtered, it's good to know that the evil bastards will be brought to justice.
A ruthless gang of eight powerful sword-wielding killers: #1 Fugitive King, #2 Hercules, #3 Poisonous Dragon, #4 Spinning Wheels, #5 Flying Fighters, #6 Hell's Buddha, #7 Ape's Arms, and #8 Thousand Hands Lady - are holding a martial arts tournament for the "King of Swords" title. Invitations are sent to every major clan in the martial world, and if you refuse the invite, you'll be hunted down and killed.
In a state of panic and fear, innocent clans band together and seek out Master Feng (aka One Armed Swordsman) for help. Since the events of the last film, Feng has become a living legend. He, too, also receives an invitation but ignores it, hoping to maintain a quiet farming life with his wife. However, when he is informed that the eight killers may have ulterior motives to take over the martial world, Feng second thinks his outlook and decides to dust off his broken-sword, polish it with blood, and lead the innocent fighters to a war against pure evil.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chang Cheh's hell at its finest, so sit back and watch the blood flow.
Add "Return of the One Armed Swordsman" to that small list of movie sequels that are just as good, if not better, than their predecessors. You know, films like "The Godfather II," "Empire Strikes Back," and "Drunken Master II" - films that were not a letdown, no matter what expectations you had. "Return of the One Armed Swordsman" opens with a bang, keeps the bang, and ends with a bang. This film's pacing is perfect. The action, which consists of never-ending ultra-violence, is fun and amusing.
The only other Chang Cheh movie that matches its greatness is "Five Element Ninjas." In fact, "Return of the One Armed Swordsman" can almost qualify as an early blueprint for that film. Don't get me wrong, each film has its own unique edge, but yet, they both share many similarities:
Also, look out for a handful of pre-stardom cameos, including ones from Ti Lung and David Chiang (who would later fill Wang Yu's shoes for "The New One Armed Swordsman"); and an on-screen appearance by choreographer Lau Kar Leung, who plays one of the killers.
A must see.
MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S RATING: 10/10