Director: Cheng Kang
Cast: Tang Ching, Li Ching, Guk Fung (Ku Feng), Cheng Miu (Ching Miao), Wong Kwong Yue (Wang Kuang-Yu), Carrie Ku Mei
Running Time: 81 min.
By Mighty Peking Man
A princess has been kidnapped by an evil warlord and it’s up to a master swordsman (Tang Ching) to rescue her. Recruited by the princess’ father, the swordsman enlists a group of individuals to assist him with the mission: a skilled female archer (Li Ching), an avid swimmer (Ku Feng), a drunken climber (Cheng Miu) and a mysterious deadly burglar (Wong Kwong Yue). Together they travel to the Mansion on Golden Dragon Hill, where the princess is being held captive. An adventurous tale of deceit, betrayal and brutality ensues…
Killers Five starts off very tame and family movie-like. The interaction between the title characters is humorous and light hearted, which leads the viewer into thinking that the tale will be a festive action-adventure flick which with a low body count and a happy ending; it doesn’t exactly go from tidy clean to bloody dirty, but the direction it does take comes by surprise.
Even though you have to sit through most of the film before you start to see satisfying amounts of action, the film is paced so well that you barely even notice, but when the brutality comes, it comes: Blades will penetrate flesh. Good guys will be spitting gobs of blood. Eye balls will be punctured. There will be blood…
The action is what you’d expect from a 1969 Shaw Brothers swordplay flick. A little chalky, kind of stiff, but always interesting and creative.
In terms of cuts, editing and camera angles, the film suffers lightly from being less fluid and polished than, say, a Chang Cheh film of the same time period. However, it has so much going for it in other departments that you ignore its rough edges.
Like most of the Shaw Brothers films of the late 1960’s/early 1970’s, the set designs are lavish and less lazy-looking than what would appear in later films.
The bottom line is director Cheng Kang kicks ass. This is the second movie I’ve seen of his (the first being Swords of Swords, which was one hell of a movie) and I want to see more.
Mighty Peking Man’s Rating: 8/10