June 29, 2022
Chinese war propaganda from the hands of one of Shaw Bros most respected and prolific directors. It's interesting comparing this film with the current wave of Chinese war epics. Apart from the obvious budgetary differences, they're surprisingly similar, highlighting the dedication and pride of soldiers sacrificing themselves for the greater good.
The title is pretty self-explanatory. A Chinese regiment is nearly annihilated. Only seven men remain, facing a Japanese army of over 20000 soldiers (and a fair few tanks). The seven men are tasked with defending a strategic stronghold, hoping to slow down the Japanese invasion. To do so, they'll have to be pretty crafty and resort to guerilla techniques.
You can't take the Shaw Bros out of Shaw Bros films, meaning this never truly feels like an actual war flick. The fight is never even remotely realistic and the 7 vs 20000 premise feels more like cinematic claptrap, but the action scenes are pretty amusing and the pacing isn't too bad for a 2-hour film. Far from Chang's best, yet passable, if you can stomach the patriotism that is.