The Blade (HK 1995)

Rating: **
Director: Tsui Hark
Cast: Zhao Wen Zhiou (Chiu Man Cheuk, Vincent Zhao), Chan Ho, Xiong Xin Xin, Valerie Chow

Dark, brooding, grim, and brutal, with a liberal helping of blood. On (Zhao Wen Zhiou) and Iron Head (Chan Ho) are sword makers who have romantic interests in the master's naïve daughter. On runs away to avenge his father's brutal murder and loses his right arm to a bunch of bandits. He trains and trains and finally comes back to deal justice, spill blood, and have an amazing fight with his father's killer (Xiong Xin Xin, Club Foot from the "Once Upon A Time In China" (1991) series). Features dark, cramped, and chaotic photography with some truly fascinating swordplay. Some very erotic sensuality is provided by Valerie Chow, and her rape scene is mind boggling. Whew. Sadly, the story tends to jump abruptly and a lot of issues are left dangling, but it sure does look nice.