One-Armed Magic Nun (HK 1969)

Rating: **
Review Date: 11/23/17
Cast: Suet Nei, Lu Chi, Shih Kien, cameo by Samo Hung

A young man named Hua Yuan Biao (Lu Chi) has been tasked with escorting a young woman named Wen Feng Zi (Suet Nei) out of a dangerous war zone. Unfortunately, her carriage is ambushed by marauders and she is kidnapped by a hideous monster woman who brainwashes her and teaches her kung fu. While trying to save her, Yuan Biao becomes embroiled in an evil plot led by Shih Kien to overthrow the government, and only the One-Armed Magic Nun of Shaolin can restore peace and order. Or something like that. The film ends with the heroes victorious, but the war is far from over. It's a somewhat tedious swordplay adventure and the acting is pretty weak. While undeniably handsome, Lu Chi is an uncharismatic lead who spends most of his time looking confused with a fake smile on his face. Suet Nei is incredibly cute and charming, and is at her best when she's throwing menacing glares. Her fierce intensity is reminiscent of Angela Mao, but without Mao's superior martial arts skills. Unfortunately, her overacting is so egregious that it makes her character unlikable and difficult to connect with. The action scenes are fair, and overall the film is solidly average for the genre and the time period. The only aspect worth pointing out is the large number of strong female characters, which is what initially brought my attention to the film.