Deadly Silver Spear (Taiwan 1977)

Rating: **
Review Date: 11/22/09
Cast: Jimmy Wang Yu, Hsu Feng, Chang Yi

An attractive, but completely incoherent tale of kung fu revenge. Silver Spear (Jimmy Wang Yu) is the deadliest assassin in the business. He charges a high fee and only kills those who deserve to die. Ultimately, he's looking to avenge the death of his parents, and vows to give up his killing lifestyle once he achieves that goal. Tensions mount when his blind girlfriend (Hsu Feng) is kidnapped and her father is forced to build a devastating weapon for the traditional white-haired villain. Naturally, Silver Spear comes through in the end.

Narratively, the film is a complete mess and jumps all over the place. Many times scenes will end so abruptly that you're left with no clues about what just happened. At one point, Silver Spear is poisoned by a cackling villain who proclaims "now that you're poisoned, you only have two hours to live!" Then in the next scene, the bad guy is presumably dead and Silver Spear appears to walk away unharmed. The fight scenes are creative and plentiful, but the execution is sluggish and marred by drop-frame editing. Wang Yu does a good job of holding his own and does an admirable job with the material. Sadly, the reason I watched the film was for the tragically beautiful Hsu Feng, who has absolutely nothing to do in the film other than look helpless. She does a poor job at pretending to be blind, and one has to wonder why the blind angle was in the film in the first place. Disappointing, but marginally amusing.