Zhui ming qiang (1971)

The Mongols have taken over China but White Dragon (Jimmy Wang Yu) and his huge spear stand in their way. Two rebels die to give a young thief named Kenny a tube with a secret message and White Dragon agrees to protect him as they journey to deliver that information to the Prince, who hates White Dragon as he once defeated his father in a duel and ruined the man’s life.

That tube contains a secret list of rebel leaders that the Prince can use to save China, even if he hates White Dragon, who is selfless and still wants to return it to him, even if the Prince had no honor and stabbed him with a secret dagger hidden inside his Magic Sword.

This all leads up to a twenty-minute long final battle that seems like a contest between White Dragon and the Prince to see how many soldiers they can kill. The final boss, General Tai (Yi Yuan) has one of those amazing martial arts movie weapons, a sword that turns into a whip. I have no idea how a weapon like that would work in real life, but who cares? This is the world of unreal weapons and even more fantastic warriors using them to unleash their fighting skill.

It’s intriguing that this was directed and written by a female filmmaker, Kao Pao Shu, which doesn’t happen too often in martial arts cinema. She would direct herself in The Female Fugitive and also make The Master Strikes.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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