Call To Arms (1973)

Directed by
Nice eye candy, not much else
Reviewed by Simon on 2005-08-31

Shen Chiang manages to fit his "monumental tale of three entire kingdoms" into just 78 minutes, with predictable results... whilst the overall story is easy to follow since it's set in the familiar time period when the Qin king was trying to unite the provinces of China into an empire (against their will), I must confess that many of the details were surely lost on me. I don't know if there was ever a longer cut released than the one presented on the IVL dvd?

The story itself is fairly lifeless, a little bit like watching a history lesson, but it's spiced up with some tasty melodrama (courtesy of the gorgeous Hsia Fan) and some hi-flyin' sword action from the Yuen Clan (the wirework is a bit crudely done, but it wasn't a terribly well developed art at the time). The action scenes are further flavoured with Shen Chiang's seemingly trademark love of gore... see blood spilled by the gallon, and more than a few extremities get lopped off. All good fun, but since the story hadn't got me engaged I didn't feel much emotional impact from the fighting either.

CALL TO ARMS is not a bad film, but I'm hard pressed to recommend it unless you are a particular fan of Hsia Fan, since there aren't too many opportunities to see her in films. I'm afraid the boob shots in the film are almost certainly a body double though ;)