Swordsman And Enchantress (HK 1978)

Rating: **
Review Date: 7/29/12
Cast: Ti Lung, Ching Li, Liu Yung, Wen Hsueh-erh, Lily Li, cameo by Norman Chu (Tsui Siu Keung)

"In the fighting world there is always nonsense."

That line pretty much sums up the plot of this Shaw Brothers swordplay film, which the trailer promotes as "mysterious and weird." (however, I've seen MUCH weirder kung fu films...) Lien (Liu Yung) and Xiao (Ti Lung) are considered the best swordsmen in the world of martial arts, and an old sword master decides to give his famous "deer cutting sword" to one of them. This turns the martial arts world upside down as everyone wants the sword, including the strange Zombie of the West and the Zombie Casters. However, Xiao is a carefree drifter and couldn't care less about such affairs. Unfortunately, he gets framed for stealing the sword by an impish Wen Hsueh-erh, which puts him at odds with Lien. A misunderstanding involving Lien's wife (Ching Li) complicates matters and makes their feud even worse. The plot takes an inexplicable detour into silliness in the second half of the film, reducing the main characters to a height of six inches and trapping them inside a miniature palace. Or is it just some elaborate ruse to manipulate the players? Ti Lung gives an energetic performance with some fancy leg work and is always fun to watch. A flirtatious Lily Li (known as "Man Junkie") is a pleasant sight, but she is sadly underutilized. Pretty standard kung fu fare for the time period.