A Taste Of Cold Steel (1970)

Directed by
Surprisingly violent swordplay film
Reviewed by Simon on 2007-02-19

Lord Wuyi sends his son to take the Violet Light Sword from the Gan Sisters by fair means or foul, but the prince is unable to accomplish the mission alone, so he hires a bunch of bandits - The Five Tigers - to assist. The major flaw with this plan is that the Five Tigers would quite like the sword for themselves.

This film shares much of the same cast and crew as Dragon Creek, which I watched a week or so ago, but it could hardly be more different. For a start, it's much more action-packed, with simpler story and characterisation, and a lot more violence! The action is quite 'edgy' for the time, with a lot of long takes and hand-held camerawork creating a sense of chaos and ferocity that's quite unusual. The film is overall quite dark and sometimes brutal... it's not quite The Blade, but it is a step in that direction I guess.

Pao Hsueh Li's cinematography is excellent throughout, the cast's performances are ok (Ku Feng and Wu Ma's being the best, but for relatively minor characters), and the film is generally a good effort. Special bonus points to the guy with the purple spotlight :-)