Chu Liu Xiang
1977 / 102m - Hong Kong
Action, Adventure
Clans of Intrigue poster


September 28, 2021


Vintage Yuen Chor. Though maybe one of the Shaw Bros directors who tried out working in the most different genres, he is best known for his particular blend of martial arts and fantasy, focusing more on mood and mystique than action and acrobatics. Clans of Intrigue is a perfect example, making this a prime entry film for people wanting to explore Chor's oeuvre.

Hsiang is known in the world of martial artists as a master thief. When three prominent men are found dead, poisoned, people suspect Hsiang is the killer. He claims he is being set up, but the only way to prove his Innocence is by unmasking the real killers. He sets off on a perilous journey, guided only by a handful of clues.

After seeing oodles of Shaw Bros films, something like Clans of Intrigue does have trouble standing out. The characters, the plot, the trademark sets, it's everything you'd expect from a 70s Shaw Bros production. But Chor's set designs and eye for visual detail do stand out. Not as much as with some of his best films, but it makes that Clan of Intrigue is a worthwhile genre flick.