Posts tagged "Sze-To On"

The White-Bone Sword Part 2 (Review)


The White-Bone Sword (Part 2)

aka 白骨陰陽劍(下集) aka The Yin Yang Blade aka Ingentious Swords, Part Two aka Bai gu yin yang jian, xia ji
White-boned Sword
1962HKMDB Link
Written by Sze-To On
Directed by Ling Yun

Dancing with the Trees never took off like Dancing with the Stars did…

The magic of The White-boned Sword continues with Part 2, which features slightly less monsters but slightly more martial intrigue. Which means the entry is less friendly for watching without subtitles. There is some nice sword fights, nice animated martial effects, and the return of the Tree Spirit. But there is also a bunch of people arguing, a pointless martial tournament, and weird pipe fighting that sounds cool but gets old really quick. A disappointing second entry, but the next two parts give us some more monsters so I’ll take this brief break in the fun.
White-boned Sword

Wong Tin-ho (Walter Tso Tat-wah) – Helping Luk Fong-fei and Black Girl train along with Wu Sheung-fung, but is drawn into more sword-related martial intrigue. Doesn’t really do much amazing stuff in this entry.
Wu Sheung-fung (Yu So Chow) – Still helping Wong Tin-ho train Luk Fong-fei and Black Girl, she proves her martial superiority early in this entry, and even tricks some of the dumbest villains in martial history.
Luk Fong-fei (Connie Chan Po-chu) – Daughter of a murdered family and training to get revenge, while also being a rebellious teen who sneaks out to do more martial arts stuff. Like teens do.
Pak Ha-mui aka Black Girl (Yip Wai-Ngai) – Daughter of a murdered mother and possessor of magic swords. She also is easily offended when you blame her for people being killed. She’s so over being part of a franchise and being responsible for magic swords
Vampire Lady (Kong Bo-Lin) – Vampire Lady is back in domino form. This is probably her weakest appearance in the series, but she makes up for it in the other entries.
Tree Spirit (Himself) – He’s dead but he’s back, because you can’t kill a spirit. Or at least a spirit that is connected to the sword via magic and it can summon him to fight evil.
Ghost Mother (Kam Ying-Lin) – The nefarious Ghost Mother returns, now teamed up with a new group of baddies who don’t give her any respect. She’s graduated from being the big bad to being the person killed by worse villains just to show how evil they are. At one point the synopsis calls her Blue Flower Ghostly Mother so that’s probably her full, legal name for you trivia buffs out there!
Pipe Guy (Chow Gat) – Part of a pipe-based martial sect who briefly orchestrates posession of the White-boned Swords before his group is easily tricked out of them. That must not be tobacco they are smoking in those pipes!
Sek Kin 2.0 (Sek Kin) – I never figured out what his character name was, but Sek Kin 2.0 keeps up the tradition and dies just like his identical twin brother did in Part 1. He works with the Five Element Taoists in a sword-snatching scheme that backfires because they are the villains and not the heroes in the story, you see. His name might be Three-hand Lohan Mak Tin-lung, which is a cool name but as I couldn’t prove it was him, it will go unassigned until I use it in a story I write years form now…
Old Devilish Eccentric (Ling Mung) – A mad wondering monk who is good and trains Black Girl after she runs off after fighting with Luk Fong-fei. The world needs more crazy martial guys who wander around and live in trees, so I support him 100%!

White-boned Sword
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 12, 2017 at 8:07 am

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The White-Bone Sword Part 1 (Review)


The White-Bone Sword (Part 1)

aka 白骨陰陽劍(上集) aka White-Boned Sword (Part 1) aka The Yin Yang Blade aka Ingentious Swords, Part One aka Bai Gu Yin Yang Jian, Shang Ji
White-Boned Sword
1962HKMDB Link
Written by Sze-To On
Directed by Ling Yun

White-Boned Sword
Break out the vintage machine because we’ve got some classic Cantonese fantasy wuxia for your entertainment. The White-Bone Sword dates from 1962, and is a four-part epic that features plenty of kung fu battles, along with lots of animated martial effects and three wonderful monsters to add to our Field Guide to Cantonese Fantasy Monsters and Creatures!

The White-Bone Sword (which also goes by a lot of names such as The Yin Yang Blade and Ingentious Swords, “Ingentious” isn’t even a real word so someone done goofed up the translation machine! The Chinese title 白骨陰陽劍 has “white bone” in the name so we’re going with The White-Bone Sword as the “real” English title) is based on a serial novel by Luk Yu featured in the newspaper Wah Sing Pao. I am guessing the story has the same name in the paper, but that wasn’t explicitly stated, so don’t take that as gospel. We’re going to call the sword the White-Bone Sword, but don’t be too shocked if a stray White-Boned Sword or two slips in.

The White-Bone Sword was the inaugural film series from Longway Movie Enterprise production company, which would make about six or seven other films before disappearing. It’s directed by Ling Yun (who would go on to direct the excellent Buddha’s Palm films!) and the scripts are by Sze-To On, who wrote over 250 Hong Kong movies and if you’re even a moderate fan of Hong Kong cinema you will have seen something he wrote. Basically, this is a great creative pedigree that helped produce an above average fantasy flick series that has some cool monsters and effects even as it suffers from some of the conventions of the day, such as a slower pace and weird filler spots. As usual with these rarities, there are no English subtitles, but at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles!
White-Boned Sword

Wong Tin-ho (Walter Tso Tat-wah) – Martial arts hero selected by his sifu to track down the White-Bone Sword along with Wu Sheung-fung. Ends up saving Luk Fong-fei and Black Girl again and again.
Wu Sheung-fung (Yu So Chow) – Martial arts heroine selected by her sifu to track down the White-Bone Sword along with Wong Tin-ho. Ends up saving Luk Fong-fei and Black Girl again and again.
Luk Fong-fei (Connie Chan Po-chu) – Daughter of a nice local dignitary until he’s murdered and their house is torched by Ghost Mother and her gang. Flees with Black Girl and her servant with the gang in pursuit until Wong Tin-ho and Wu Sheung-fung begin saving them.
Pak Ha-mui aka Black Girl (Yip Wai-Ngai) – Her mother Pak Ching-wah has a secret knife that can kill the Tree Spirit that guards the White-Bone Sword, but luckily she hid it by giving it to her daughter. Pak Ching-wah was murdered along with Luk Fong-fei’s father by the Ghost Mother gang, and Black Girl seeks revenge. Yip Wai-Ngai is sometimes called Yip Wai-yee.
Vampire Lady (Kong Bo-Lin) – Though we don’t know her real name, Vampire Lady was ubiquitous in the series and often saves the day after our heroes get in trouble bumbling into villains. She commands an army of hopping vampires with flag commands.
Tree Spirit (Himself) – A spirit who controls the weather, has a magic sword stuck in its body, and is outfitted with mouth sparklers!
Ghost Mother (Kam Ying-Lin) – A woman who uses a skull prop as a conduit to magical powers. She is the boss of Monk of Black Wind and Cheng Hang.
Monk of Black Wind and Cheng Hang (Sek Kin and Ho King-Fan) – One of them is played by Sek Kin, and the other is Ho King-Fan I don’t know which one is which, but as Monk of Black Wind has the cooler name and Sek Kin is the cooler guy, I’m assigning the roles that way. Both of them are thugs who work for Ghost Mother.
Animated Skeleton (Himself) – Ghost Mother sends this animated skeleton to attack the heroes. It can shoot animated flames from its mouth. Totally not a prop guy off camera waving a skeleton around on a string.

White-Boned Sword
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 5, 2017 at 8:53 am

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Big Bad Sis


Big Bad Sis

aka 沙膽英 aka Sa daam ying

1976
Written by Sze-To On
Directed by Sun Chung

Big Bad Sis
Shaw Brothers gives us a tale of bad girl factory workers! It is an interesting spin on the delinquent schoolgirl approach, having the girls just out of school and holding down jobs, but still being delinquent. Big Bad Sis is an interesting hybrid, because it’s an action film with clear influences from the Japanese Sukeban/Pinky violence flicks, but it’s also a Hong Kong Triad film and manages to throw in some left wing pro-labor and pro-women’s rights issues. With just enough exploitation to satisfy those who need that as well. Big Bad Sis may be a stew made from many random ingredients, but they work together to give an entertaining flick.
Big Bad Sis
Big Bad Sis shows that sometimes you gotta fight. Whether it is for your job or to protect innocent people in the bathroom or because of crazy triad gambling den drama or because your boss is a piece of garbage or all of those reasons combined into a gigantic reason. A bid bad reason, which is why you need your sisters!

Fung Ying (Chen Ping) – Ah Ying is the tough as nails former gangster turned factory worker who defends the innocent and becomes friends with her fellow oppressed factory workers, even forming her own sort of gang. But her past begins to catch up with her.
Sai Chu (Siu Yam-Yam) – An orphan raised in the system, and then released where she starts biking around nude and stabbing people. Becomes Ah Ying’s biggest fan and a tough chick in her own right.
Chan Fong (Chong Lee) – A young girl with naughty stepfather who runs away from home to get away from his wandering hands. Her looks make her a target of everyone with awing hands, but her new gang affiliation allows her to be able to stand up and fight back.
Big Brother Dai Gi-Luk (Wang Hsieh) – Gang leader who used to employ/date Ah Ying, and is bitter about her leaving. Sends his goons to harass her.
Brother Shing (Chen Kuan-Tai) – Old friend of Ah Ying who defends her from Big Brother’s men.
Wai (Wong Chung) – One of Big Brother’s gang, but a friend of Ah Ying. He won’t renounce his boss despite his feelings for her.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 24, 2013 at 6:12 am

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Buddha’s Palm (Part 4)


Buddha’s Palm (Part 4)

aka 如來神掌(四集) aka The Young Swordsman Lung Kim Fei Part 4 aka 如來神掌(四集大結局)

1964HKMDB Link
Written by Sze-To On
Story by Shangguan Hong
Directed by Ling Yun

Buddha's Palm
Hey, it’s Buddha’s Palm Part 4! As you recall from the introductions to Buddha’s Palm Part 1, Buddha’s Palm Part 2, and Buddha’s Palm Part 3, we’re sort of getting burnt out introducing the same thing over again. So let’s pretend this introduction has more exciting information than it actually does. But, seriously, if I did suddenly find new information, I would probably be editing it into the relevant Buddha’s Palm movie.
Buddha's Palm
The adventured we got “To be continued!” on in the last time comes to a close. And it’s really the close of the whole story, except for that whole several more sequels produced years later by different production companies thing. Let’s just forget about that for now, and focus on the current installment. Do we got cool new monsters? YES! Two brand new cool monsters show up for battle. Do they die a horrible death, murdered by our bloodlusting protagonists who can’t let innocent monsters who are minding their own business live? Yes! So “BOOOOOO!!!” to monster murder! Is there magic drawn on effects that show the super wuxia forces at battle? Yes! Is there no stinking subtitles, of which TarsTarkas.NET does not need? Yes! Yes as in no subtitles.
Buddha's Palm
Though this is the end of the Buddha’s Palm Quadrology, don’t worry. There is one more article coming up, and it will be something special. A celebration. But until then, let’s get on with the show!
Buddha's Palm

Lung Kim-fei (Walter Tso Tat-Wah) – The Buddha’s Palm hero must find a way to stop the Three Devils from taking over the world of kung fu, and also unlock the secret of the ninth style of the Buddha’s Palm.
Kau Yuk-wah (Yu So-Chau) – Kung fu sister who has to help save the day from evil jerks who want to take everything over.
Kau Yuk-kuen (Patricia Lam Fung) – Kung fu sister who also has to help save the day from evil jerks who want to take everything over.
Master Ku Hon-wan (Ling Mung) – How many tripod jars can you levitate with a sword in your back? Probably not as many as Master Ku, though that doesn’t stop him from dying.
Condor (Man in suit) – Master Ku Hon-wan’s magic condor is still giving rides and rescuing people, though he refuses to leave the grave of Master Ku, so he won’t be in the rest of the film.
But Ku (Ko Lo-Chuen) – The helmsman of the Cheung Lei Sect doesn’t let evil jerks trying to take everything over stop him from loudly yelling before he enters a room. But that may be the death of him…
Luk Yu (Kwan Hoi-San) – Friend of the Kau sisters, a guy who gets captured a lot and Lung Kim-fei keeps saving. Does he get captured in this movie? No!
Suen Bik-ling (Yung Yuk-Yi) – Matriarch of the Kau’s clan. She died in the last movie, but shows up in flashback here for another example of how she wasn’t very nice.
Auyeung Ho (Siu Chung-Kwan) – A jerk guy who bullied Lung, and now pals around with the Three Devils. Except they aren’t pals any more, if you know what I mean…
Three Devils (Cheung Seng-Fai, Hoh Siu-Hung, Lee Sau-Kei) – Three evil dudes who conspire to cause trouble in the land of kung fu while solidifying their power. Will use the palm-imprinted tripods to figure out the secret of the Buddha’s Palm technique, but they don’t have all the tripods!
Lau Piu-piu (Chan Wai-Yue) – The helmswoman of Heavenly Fragrance Sect, she’s reluctant to help stop the Three Devils because Suen scarred her face long long ago. But a magic face cream cures everything, so she agrees to help. But it may be the death of her…

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - February 16, 2013 at 1:35 pm

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Buddha’s Palm (Part 3)


Buddha’s Palm (Part 3)

aka 如來神掌(三集) aka The Young Swordsman Lung Kim Fei Part 3 aka 如來神掌(三集大結局)

1964HKMDB Link
Written by Sze-To On
Story by Shangguan Hong
Directed by Ling Yun

Buddha's Palm
It’s a whole new chapter in the Buddha’s Palm saga as Part 3 takes us into new intrigue and adventures. A joyous celebration becomes a tragedy when murder is the special guest. Lung Kim-fei and his new bride Kau Yuk-wah must find out who killed Suen. The rest of the crew is also searching for answers, and we run across arrogant martial arts masters and evil jerks causing trouble. But most excitedly, there is a brand new monster!
Buddha's Palm
Buddha’s Palm (Part 3) goes more into the details of the world we were introduced to in Part 1 and Part 2. We meet some new schools, and find out that part of the reason there are so many problems in the martial world is a mix of rash accusations and arrogant school heads. Of course, everyone stopping to chat around some tea doesn’t make good cinema. Unless you’re really good at writing dialogue…
Buddha's Palm
Once again, the effects and monster costumes are what make the Buddha’s Palm films. Though we only get one new monster, there are a lot of new martial arts effects – waves, blasts, explosions, giant bells. The increase in effects in Parts 3 and 4 is very evident. Once again, there are not subtitles, but at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles!
Buddha's Palm

Lung Kim-fei (Walter Tso Tat-Wah) – The Buddha’s Palm hero is set to be wed, but an untimely murder ruins everything, including his honeymoon! Now he has to hunt down murderers.
Kau Yuk-wah (Yu So-Chau) – Kung fu sister whose marriage is marred by the murder of her matriarch. Spends her time with Lung hunting down clues. They are much more polite about accusing everyone they meet of murder than her sister’s group.
Kau Yuk-kuen (Patricia Lam Fung) – Kau Yuk-wah’s younger sister who sets out to find out what happened to her matriarch. Is kidnapped twice during this film. Also finds the most best clues. And causes the most trouble with people who aren’t keen on being accused of killing people.
Master Ku Hon-wan (Ling Mung) – Is gone for most of the film, but returns to Earth to find out about the murder and surmises who is responsible rather quickly. But it may be the death of him…
Condor (Man in suit) – Master Ku Hon-wan’s magic condor is still giving rides and rescuing people!
But Ku (Ko Lo-Chuen) – The helmsman of the Cheung Lei Sect doesn’t let a murder investigation stop him from loudly yelling before he enters a room.
Luk Yu (Kwan Hoi-San) – Friend of the Kau sisters, a guy who gets captured a lot and Lung Kim-fei keeps saving. Does he get captured in this movie? Yes!
Suen Bik-ling (Yung Yuk-Yi) – Matriarch of the Kau’s clan. No longer hides her disfigured face, which is beginning to heal. Is murdered by a mysterious weapon, and much of the film is spent trying to figure out who did it.
Auyeung Ho (Siu Chung-Kwan) – A jerk guy who bullied Lung, and now pals around with the Three Devils. He’s graduated to being more evil than before!
Ten Thousand-hand Lohan (???) – Just a guy who can identify rare weapons, which makes him a target of friends and foes. Gets foed. Despite having ten thousand hands, this is one Lohan who never goes to jail!
Three Devils (Cheung Seng-Fai, Hoh Siu-Hung, Lee Sau-Kei) – Three evil dudes who conspire to cause trouble in the land of kung fu while solidifying their power.
Lau Piu-piu (Chan Wai-Yue) – The helmswoman of Heavenly Fragrance Sect, she’s initially suspected of Suen Bik-ling’s murder, but is cleared when she claims to be a sworn sister of Suen.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - February 15, 2013 at 11:47 am

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Buddha’s Palm (Part 2)


Buddha’s Palm (Part 2)

aka 如來神掌(二集) aka The Young Swordsman Lung Kim Fei Part 2 aka 如來神掌(下集大結局)

1964HKMDB Link
Written by Sze-To On
Story by Shangguan Hong
Directed by Ling Yun

Buddha's Palm
Buddha’s Palm Part 2, the adventure continues! When last we left our intrepid travelers, Lung Kim-fei had helped recover dragonroot to restore the sight of Suen. The first thing she sees when she regains her sight is his uniform, the same uniform as his sifu, Master Ku Hon-wan the Wicked God of Fiery Cloud and enemy of Suen. So she blasts Lung in the chest!
Buddha's Palm
This edition is unique in it is the only one of the Buddha’s Palm series that does not have the iconic opening credits sequence of Lung Kim-fei shooting palm blasts at a Buddha painting every ten seconds. But don’t fear, it will return for the next two parts of Buddha’s Palm. Part 2 finishes the story began in Part 1, while Parts 3 and 4 are their own story. Some of the monster costumes from the prior film return, along with a new surprise.
Buddha's Palm
Burdened by the story, there is less quest adventuring going on, and more of running and fighting adventuring. The next two chapters will attempt to balance the questing and the fighting, but for now we got a stream of action sequences. The plot is largely propelled by Suen’s anger, while Master Ku is given a moment to act all cocky like his character’s back story is supposed to be. But oddly enough, that saves the day. So the lesson is to be cocky, but explain yourself? Sure, whatever Buddha’s Palm!
Buddha's Palm

Lung Kim-fei (Walter Tso Tat-Wah) – This zero became a hero and got blasted in the chest for it! Luckily he’s saved by Kau Yuk-wah and his friends until things are set into motion and clans prepare to battle, unless Lung Kim-fei helps bring peace.
Kau Yuk-wah (Yu So-Chau) – Kung fu sister who falls for Lung Kim-fei and tries to save him. Spends part of the film racked with guilt when she thinks her sister died. Helps Lung rescue Luk Yu and then tries to help calm down the feuding clans.
Kau Yuk-kuen (Patricia Lam Fung) – Kau Yuk-wah’s younger sister who is believed killed early in the film, but is actually rescued by Master Ku and trained in the Buddha’s Palm Technique. Her being saved and welcomed helps calm the feud between Master Ku and Master Suen.
Master Ku Hon-wan (Ling Mung) – The Wicked God of Fiery Cloud, his sight was recently restored by Lung. Trains Kau Yuk-kuen in the Buddha’s Palm technique after Condor saves her.
Condor (Man in suit) – Master Ku Hon-wan’s magic condor who saves people all the time. And you can ride him!
But Ku (Ko Lo-Chuen) – The helmsman of the Cheung Lei Sect. Always announces himself via incredibly loud offscreen yelling. Helps rescue Lung and tries to calm the clan feuding that’s going on.
Luk Yu (Kwan Hoi-San) – Friend of the Kau sisters, a guy who gets kidnapped a lot and Lung Kim-fei keeps saving. Does he get kidnapped in this movie? Yes!
Suen Bik-ling (Yung Yuk-Yi) – Matriarch of the Kau’s clan. Was blinded in duel with Master Ku Hon-wan long ago, and just regained her sight. Wears a mask to hide her disfigured face. Is willing to start a war to get revenge on Master Ku.
Auyeung Ho (Siu Chung-Kwan) – A jerk guy who bullied Lung, but not he gets shown up by the kung fu trained Lung. So suck it, bully!
Auyeung Ho’s wife (???) – Auyeung Ho’s wife, she gets to watch her jerk husband be humiliated…again!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - February 14, 2013 at 11:40 am

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