Secret Of The Dirk (HK 1970)

Rating: **
Review Date: 2/5/18
Cast: Chang Yi, Ching Li, Tien Feng, cameo by Chen Kwan Tai

Twenty years ago, a treasure was lost while a besieged city was making its last stand. A dying Madam Liu sends her daughters to look for it, but the evil Black Tiger Clan also wants to get their hands on it. The Tigers kidnap a young woman named Qing Qing who might know something about the treasure, but she is rescued by a dashing swordsman named Zhou (Chang Yi). Mistaking Zhou for a bandit, Ming Zhu (Ching Li) attacks him and steals Qing Qing away. The rest of the film revolves around trying to find the treasure and the tense rivalry between Zhou and Ming Zhu that masks a blossoming romance. The main villain hides in the shadows for most of the film, but it's immediately apparent who he is.

It's a fun swordplay romp that's highlighted by a handful of delightfully bloody effects. Chang Yi wields an interesting multi-bladed sword that he can hurl around, and the dirk of the title holds a special surprise. Both Chang Yi and Ching Li handle their action scenes well, and Ching Li is quite attractive. She looks like a cross between Cheng Pei Pei and Hsu Feng, and has a disarming pout. In fact, when I first picked up the film, I thought Hsu Feng was on the cover, but I was mistaken. It's an enjoyable romp for fans of old school kung fu, but don't expect anything out of the ordinary.