The White-Bone Sword (Part 4)
aka 白骨陰陽劍(四集) aka Bai gu yin yang jian, si ji aka Ingenious swords, part four
Written by Sze-To On
Directed by Ling Yun
American elections in gif form!
This is it, the final chapter of the saga of The White-Boned Sword, the thrilling tale of some powerful swords that everyone wants so of course it attracts a bunch of jerks! Don’t leave yet, we still got one more brand new monster showing up later in the film, but first we have the amazing battle of the undead happening! When last we left, Wong Tin-ho had been poisoned, so Wu Sheung-fung was in search of the rare White-bone Grass to save him, but there was a pack of dancing skeletons in the way! Luckily, Luk Fong-fei and Vampire Lady were also around so Vampire Lady could send her pack of hopping vampires to fight the dancing skeletons. Thus the battle is joined…
The hopping vampires shoot flames from their mouths while the skeletons shoot lasers from their arms as the two sides battle it out. This is seriously good stuff! Soon they are doing individual dance fights, including a point where a skeleton rides a vampire like a horse! A callback to the first film?
Wu Sheung-fung tries to take the White-bone Grass during the distraction, but it is protected by an old man named Taoist White-Bone, who keeps it from being taken until Wu convinces him she’s helping someone. Taoist White-Bone must see this stuff happen all the time. Now would also be a good opportunity to ask Taoist White-bone if he or the White-bone Grass were related to the White-Boned Sword, or if this was all a ridiculous naming coincidence. As far as I know, no one bothers to connect the dots, so this will be a mystery forever, at least until my White-Boned Sword fanfic is done!
Chung Ching and his villains Heaven, Earth and Man scheme, and I laugh because one of them is wearing a white hood that looks like a Klan hat mixed with a dunce cap. Chung Ching realizes that despite all their laughter, Wong is just going to get cured, so he sends Kam Yan-kit to kidnap Wong before they can return with the cure, spiriting him away to Black Hair Cave. At least Kam is courteous enough to leave a note explaining where he kidnapped Wong away to…
Hey, I’m trying to spray for termites here!
Black Hair Cave is run by a dirty sifu who is probably named Black Hair something or other, while Old Devilish Eccentric sits outside the cave and occasionally insults Black Hair and easily defeats him while mocking him. Kam Yan-kit still respects Old Devilish Eccentric for saving him in the last movie. And if you missed the sets in this film having lots of random bones lying around, then feel relieved because there are bones all over this cave!
Old Devilish Eccentric revives Wong Tin-ho, because he’s just that cool, and Wong explains to Kam Yan-kit that Chung Ching is sort of an evil mastermind that has been lying to him for his own ends. Vampire Lady shows up at the cave and has her squad of vampires strangle Kam Yan-kit, and he’s about to die when Wong runs up to let her know that he isn’t dead of poison and that Kam is no longer working for the villains. Soon the rest of the heroes show up and everyone is friends. Except Sai Kwa Pau, who is still mad at Kam Yan-kit for some reason and tries to beat him up, but Kam just taunts him and pushes him around and almost off a cliff multiple times as Pai cries and everyone laughs at him. Ha. Ha. Ha. I guess you had to be there?
But then a little later even Pai is a friend (though he still reacts to Kam Yan-kit in a less than friendly way!) Kam comes up with a plan to get back at Chung Ching and gank the swords back to Team Good. Chung Ching still thinks Kam Yan-kit works for him, and when he returns he shows Kam how he hides the swords in a very obvious “secret” panel. Also he shows off a Buddha statue that shoots sparks from its belly button. Yep. I don’t know who came up with that or why, but it’s ridiculous and fits right in with all the other ridiculous stuff happening!
The heroes show up and soon are fighting with the villains as Chung Ching has a bunch of students/servants on his side. The villains are routed, and Chung Ching runs off while Kam retrieves the swords. Which are also fakes, because this is too early in the movie for them to have been found! Dun dun DUN! Now would have been a good time to have the villains laugh for like five minutes, but they wasted that last movie and it’s not like they’re going to do it right this time.
At this point the director looked at the script and realized they didn’t have enough story to film up the rest of the film, so exjoy some high-quality filler! While looking for the real swords, the heroes run into a random bandit and over five minutes of screen time is spend on them squabbling with the bandit before they run him off! Thrilling! Then they stumble across a family that is being haunted by ghosts, except the ghosts are the guy who is supposedly exorcising the house and his friends, the heroes defeat them in battle and expose them Scooby-Doo style by taking off their masks! Also Kam Yan-kit and Luk Fong-fei suddenly begin flirting with each other because they are the only ones their age searching for magic swords together, I guess.
Blah blah blah, GET TO THE DRAGON ALREADY! GEEZ!!!
The heroes try to run a scam on some sleazy guy who is picking out hot chicks to perv on, the scam involving Kam Yan-kit hanging out in drag along with Wu Sheung-fung and Luk Fong-fei, while Wong Tin-ho and Sai are eunuchs or something, but it all is unraveled because Chung Ching wanders by and recognizes everyone! Huzzah that the ridiculous side stories are over, especially since they just ended in the middle of one of them when the villains accidentally stumbles across the heroes instead of vice versa! Forget Sleazy Guy, he’s killed in the resulting melee and the entire town is grateful that a pervert was murdered and bows down before the heroes. The lesson for the day is kill perverts and people will love you!
The villains hang out in a cave whose entrance is a giant roaring gorilla demon face! It’s a cool cave, and as the heroes are now closing in, one of the villains hides the White-Boned Swords and commands the Dragon they own to guard them!
Yes, it’s DRAGON TIME!
Dragons rule, this one is a puppet that is one of the Chinese long snake-like dragons, but it’s got a sparkler hooked up to shoot out of its mouth. The final battle is joined! It starts out pretty even because they have to make it look exciting before Vampire Lady shows up late as usual with her dozen hopping vampires and turns the tide. She basically wins every fight the heroes get into, that’s why they need her to arrive last so there is an element of danger in the film! Even then, the villains then use animated laser magic on the heroes, until Old Devilish Eccentric teleports in and uses his own to save them, and then laughs and laughs. Lots of laughing in this movie series.
The villains reveal their dragon, which breaths a combination of animated flames and actual sparklers shooting from the puppet’s mouth. The flames are too much for the heroes except they have a power to counter against that, but the dragon is also breathing poison in its flames, so even if they get close they’ll get sick from that. The poison even downs all 12 of the hopping vampires when Vampire Lady sends them in. Don’t worry, a Sifu Ex Machina teleports in to tell them all how to defeat the dragon. The plan looks like it is just to grab the swords while the dragon was distracted. Great plan, I can see why it took a teleporting sifu to deliver it!
Kam Yan-kit grabs the swords and then uses them to bring back the Tree Spirit! I missed you, Tree Spirit! I don’t know how he knows about he Tree Spirit, maybe Luk Fong-fei told him. It’s Dragon vs Tree Spirit! Both of them fire sparklers at each other for a while until the dragon is defeated! The Tree Spirit then slaughters the villains, but in a shocking twist, Sek Kin’s character Chung Ching isn’t skeletonized like his prior two!
The day is saved, the swords will be split between Kam Yan-kit and Old Devilish Eccentric, and the two couples (Luk Fong-fei and Kam Yan-kit, ) can get married! Wait, why does Kam get a sword? It looks like Old Devilish Eccentric just gave him one because he’s sort of his pupil, but it’s weird because he wasn’t one of the prior owners, Luk Fong-fei should probably be the other owner. I can get behind Kam killing Chung Ching’s character because it is revenge against his father’s murder, like how Luk Fong-fei did back in the second film. But this ending is just, whatever. It’s so similar to the last ending that if they wanted to make two more they could easily have the swords taken without much trouble again, but this is all they made, so the tale is over.
Hey, we got Tree Spirits, an Awesome Gorilla, a Dragon, and hopping vampires battling dancing skeletons! The White-Boned Sword kept up the flow of awesome cool things that more than made up for it being an older, slower film with no subtitles. The choreography was far above the average for the time, and the individual films are short enough that even despite the sections that are obviously filler, there is enough action happening that usually things are entertaining. If you have started to grow fond of these old flicks, the White-Boned Sword series is not a bad choice to continue your discovery journey with!
An exterminator challenger appears!
Rated 6/10 (swordy, swordy, belly hole, shocked makeup, moving so fast the effects are blurry, fire for scarecrow)
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