The Ghost Hill (HK 1971)

Rating: **
Review Date: 10/10/22
Cast: Polly Shang Kwan

King Gold pits two rival clans against each other in order to steal the powerful Purple Light Magic Sword. When Shadow Tsai and Black Dragon discover that they've been fooled, they go to Ten Thousand Gold Mountain to avenge their clans. Black Dragon's sister, Swallow (Polly Shang Kwan), goes with them, as she has a bit of a crush on Shadow. Meanwhile, Princess Gia plays her own game of deception as she tries to lure Shadow away from his mission. Eventually, several clans (including the odd and annoying Beggar Gang) team up to break through the ten gates of Ten Thousand Gold Mountain and put an end to King Gold's tyranny.

It's a pretty typical wuxia swordplay fantasy featuring a handsome and stoic hero, a brash and impulsive rival, a cute and feisty heroine, and a supernatural villain who laughs and yells a lot. Gold King and his minions look peculiar and use strange weapons, which implies that they're demons, although they don't have any special powers. The action is plentiful, but the execution is soft and sluggish as was the style at the time. Unfortunately, Polly Shang Kwan's action scenes are the worst and suffer from disruptive undercranking and drop-frame editing. Additionally, much of the film was shot out of focus, which spoils the experience. The final assault on the ten gates drags on too long and isn't particularly interesting, which ruins the anticipation of the final showdown. Otherwise, it's a fun and enjoyable outing, but it doesn't do much to stand out from other films in the genre.