Shuang xia (1971)

Deadly Duo has Ti Lung and David Chiang as Bao Ting Tien and Little Bat and they must fight the Five Elements Great Fighters, who are River Dragon (Bolo Yeung), Golden Demon, Fire Demon Lui (Yeung Chak-lam), Leopard (Wong Pau-gei) and Mole (Lau Kar-wing) to rescue Sung Prince Kang.

Directed by Chang Cheh — with Godfrey Ho as the first assistant director (!) and Lau Kar-leung (!) directing the action scenes — this is a movie based as much around the heroics of its leads as it is a series of astounding weapons, including the typical swords and spears, as well as cymbals and a weapon that literally spits fire.

Chang Cheh made six movies in 1971 (King EagleThe New One-Armed SwordsmanDuel of the Iron FistThe Anonymous HeroesDuel of Fists and this movie) and man, how did he do it? He’s throwing in underwater action here too! I mean, it’s not like he slowed down in 1972, a year in which he made eight movies, including The Boxer from Shantung.

These Shaw Brothers epics just keep me alive. I may not always be able to follow every beat of the story but they’re just so relentlessly entertaining that I can’t stop watching.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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