HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
   
 
Newest Articles
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
   
 
  Blade Spares None, The Nora Batty
Year: 1971
Director: Teddy Yip Wing-Cho
Stars: Nora Miao, Patrick Tse Yin, James Tin Jun, David Lo Tai-Wai, Paul Chang Chung, Fung Ngai, Chiang Nan, Lee Wan-Chung, Leung Lung, Pak Man-Biu, Yeung Wai, Eddie Ko
Genre: Martial Arts, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ferocious swordswoman Ho Li Chun (Nora Miao) charges across the screen in an orgy of flying swords, severed limbs and fallen enemies. High atop a towering pagoda, she wows the crowd with her unstoppable sword skills along with a ruthless streak that earns her the nickname: “The Blade that Spares None.” Prince Kuei (Paul Chang Chung), the man behind this martial arts contest, is so impressed he enlists Ho Li Chun as part of an elite task force with which he plans to overthrow the oppressive emperor.

Tang Ching Yun the Dragon Sword (Patrick Tse Yin) and his kung fu brother Knight Chen (James Tin Jun) gatecrash the prince’s party, hoping to uncover the man who massacred their family, whom they suspect is among his hired killers. It turns out Ho Li Chun is looking for the same man, Sun Tien Chun the Devil's Claw (Leung Lung), leader of the Black Cult. He was once her father’s partner but betrayed and killed him shortly after they both murdered Tang’s family. While Tang tries to pursuade Ho Li Chun to lend her superior skills to his just cause, the latter makes a startling discovery: Prince Kuei and the Devil’s Claw, are one and the same!

Born of Eurasian descent, the beautiful Nora Miao remains best known as Bruce Lee’s favourite co-star. The pair knew each growing up in Hong Kong even before Nora made her screen debut in The Big Boss (1971). Thereafter she routinely hopped between romantic dramas opposite her other regular leading man Taiwanese matinee idol Ko Chuen Hsiung and action movies like Fist of Fury (1972) or Way of the Dragon (1972). Usually Nora left the fighting to Bruce, but with The Blade Spares None Golden Harvest tried to launch her as a credible rival to Shaw Brothers’ number one swordswoman Cheng Pei Pei. It didn’t quite take off, partly because the heroic swordswoman craze entered a brief lull with the rise of mucho macho stars like Bruce and co. Indeed in her post-Golden Harvest years, Nora found herself at Shaw Brothers reduced to third-tier status amidst a roster of superstars in Clans of Intrigue (1977) and sharing a steamy lesbian love scene with Betty Pei Ti. After retiring from the movie scene, she immigrated to Canada and hosted a string of TV and radio shows for the local Chinese community. More recently she has made a major big screen comeback in the Hong Kong dramas Run Papa Run (2008) and Merry-Go-Round (2010).

Though cast against type, Nora Miao shines as the fiery, ruthless Ho Li Chun and projects exactly the right level of intensity whilst twirling her twin swords with aplomb in the energetic action scenes choreographed by a young Sammo Hung. Co-written by Fist of Fury director Lo Wei and staggeringly prolific scribe Ni Kuang, The Blade Spares None has a tangled plot that is quite hard to follow with frequent lulls in the action whenever characters outline their backstories or wax philosophical. It does boast two rather novel ideas, however. The first being Ho Li Chun is more mercenary than your average heroic swordswoman, plotting to keep the villain’s loot once she kills him, though she does learn there is more to life than money by the end. Also interesting is the idea to cast two actors as the same villain. Perhaps because frail seeming actor Leung Lung looks like he would croak if you sneezed on him. The actor who essentially plays his fake rubber mask is Paul Chang Chung, previously the dashing hero in Shaw Brothers’ James Bond imitation, The Golden Buddha (1966).

The film boasts terrific sets and photography, highlighted in a sequence where sword brothers Tang and Chen battle a squad of ninja-like warriors, culminating in a tense stand-off between Tang and Ho Li Chun, and a marvellous scene where they ambush Prince Kuei/Sun Tien’s men in the misty-shrouded woods. Eventually the film runs out of plot and crams most of its action into the frenetic finale wherein our flying heroes inevitably slice and dice the lone supervillain to gory bits. Star-spotters should keep an eye out for bit-players Sammo Hung, Bruce Leung Siu-Lung, Lam Ching Ying and Jackie Chan. Music stolen from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)!

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3385 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: