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The Sword Stained with Royal Blood

Xin Bi Xue Jian
1993 / 96m - Hong Kong
Action, Fantasy, Comedy
The Sword Stained with Royal Blood poster

Every time I watch one of these films (early 90s Hong Kong martial arts with strong fantasy/comedy elements) I feel it might be the last one. And every time I find a new one I'm elated that there are more to discover. The Sword Stained with Royal Blood may not be one of the absolute highlights of the genre, it's perfect fan material.

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I wasn't too impressed with Cheh Chang's Shaw Bros adaptation, this version resolves most of that film's issues. The story is pretty basic, then again you're probably not watching this for the intricate plot. Heroes and bad guys fight it out, with some mistaken identities and volatile relations thrown into the mix to keep things interesting.

The action is great, the comedy is fun (RIP Man-Tat Ng though) and the fantasy elements add the necessary flair. What draws me to these films is the insane pacing, giving you absolutely no room to breathe, and this one definitely delivers. Fun from start to finish, perfect genre filler, well recommended if you haven't seen it already.

Devil's Vendetta

Yao Mo Dao
1991 / 96m - Hong Kong
Fantasy, Comedy, Action
Devil's Vendetta poster

During the late 80s/early 90s, there was a big surge of fantasy/comedy/action mixers in Hong Kong. The better ones (like Chinese Ghost Story) became landmark releases of the era, inevitably some lesser known films fell through the cracks. Devil's Vendetta is one of them, and it deserves a second chance.

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Twiggy the Demoness (for real) has agreed to refrain from wreaking havoc on Earth, but only when her daughter loses her virginity before a certain deadline. Her daughter grows up in an all-female Taoist school, her lover is part of a rival all-male school, which makes it quite difficult for the two to hook up.

The plot is nonsensical, the comedy is juvenile and the effects are pretty basic. But the pacing is insane, the entertainment value is through the roof and the fantasy elements look very cool. It's certainly a film for a niche market, but if you like this type of film then Devil's Vendetta comes well recommended. Solid entertainment.