One of Cheh Chang's earliest films. They're usually a bit slower and more elaborate than his later work. That tends to translate in nicer cinematography, often featuring scenes shot in the actual outdoors. On the other hand, the stories are rarely engaging enough to support the longer runtimes, so it becomes a double-edged sword.
Nie Zheng comes from a poor family, but he performs well in school, and he's an excellent sword fighter. He wants to live a simple life with his girlfriend Xia Ying, but fate decides otherwise. His school becomes the setting for a big bloodbath, only Zheng and his best friend manage to escape. They decide to move far away, but not before bringing the one who caused the bloodbath to justice.
The cinematography is pretty stylish, performances are also well above the Shaw Bros norm. The action isn't quite as vibrant though and for a simple story like this, the 110-minute plus runtime is a bit excessive. These early Chang films are well worth exploring, even when they can be a bit long-winded.