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Trilogy of Swordsmanship

Qun Ying Hui
1972 / 108m - Hong Kong
Action -
Trilogy of Swordsmanship poster

This was somewhat of an oddity. A Shaw Bros anthology, featuring three martial arts stories. In some ways, it makes a lot of sense, since the directors don't need to drag out a simplistic story to make it a feature length film. On the other hand, do we really need three similar Shaw Bros films for the price of one?

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The first film has a local general vying for the hand of an innkeeper, she is more interested in the mysterious stranger visiting her inn. The second film tells the story of a soldier and courtesan who can only be together when they catch a criminal, the third film is about a hero who fights a corrupt government. Nothing out of the ordinary in other words.

Anthologies are an ideal format to try out some new things, Trilogy of Swordsmanship isn't the least bit interesting in exploring that avenue. The film is little more than a trio of shortened Shaw Bros productions. It's no better or worse than a run-of-the-mill Shaw Bros production, so this one is for fans only.

The Twelve Gold Medallions

Shi Er Jin Pai
1970 / 108m - Hong Kong
Action -
The Twelve Gold Medallions poster

Hadn't seen too many Kang Sheng films (this is only my second), like most Shaw Bros directors he has a pretty expansive oeuvre. When one of his films landed on Prime here I didn't want to miss the opportunity, and so I took a little diversion from Cheh Chang & Yuen Chor's oeuvre, and I'm glad I did.

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The plot is pretty typical. Yangtang is a kung fu master who holds supernatural powers. One of his best students has fallen for Yangtang's daughter, but when Yangtang sides with some bad men the two get in a heated battle. Yangtang gets the help of twelve warriors, each carrying a gold medallion.

The action is a bit more dynamic and the exterior scenes offer a welcome change of scenery. Other than that, this was a pretty stereotypical Shaw Bros film. With most of their work being very similar, these small directorial influences do make a difference, at least I now know there will be plenty more to explore once I'm finished with Chang/Chor.