April 14: Tiger Style — Grab a Shaw Brothers film and write about how great it is.
At once a Shaw Brothers film, a Eurospy action movie and kind of like the Hong Kong Danger Diabolik, Temptress of a Thousand Faces is why I watch movies.
Officer Chi-ying (Tina Chin-Fei) is trying to hunt down the Temptress, who she publically dares to come after her. The Temptress agrees to this by stealing her identity, flirting with an entire club full of men and cleaning out a jewelry store while wearing Chi-ying’s face. Our heroine’s name gets cleared by her photographer boyfriend Inspector Yu (Liang Chen), who ends up being the one in peril when dealing with the titular villainess and her army of henchwomen.
Yes, the Temptress really does have a thousand masks, maybe even more, as well as an unlimited supplies of knockout gas and scantily clad women ready to answer her every command. This is a movie that at once has a strong female heroine and antagonist, but also one that has fan service aplenty, like the Temptress appearing being bathed by her handmaidens and Chi-ying fighting barefoot in a near see-through gown, but the men around them are such morons that they can’t help but shine, no matter how much of the male gaze gets thrown their way.
There’s a bomb that gets deactivated with seven seconds left — just like Goldfinger — as well as a volcano base — just like You Only Live Twice — and even the Bond theme playing just because, well, this movie is a riot and unafraid where it’s taking stuff from. That’s how good it is.
It all ends with Chi-ying battling the Temptress after she wears the face of our heroine and makes love to her man while she’s forced to watch. A twin adversary kung fu spectacle, topped only with our heroine and her reclaimed man shooting near thousands of bullets and wiping out an entire base full of dedicated domina female supertroopers.
I may not have any power over Arrow, but I know another Shawscope box set has to be coming. I dream that this and Infra-Man end up on it, movies that show that the Shaw Brothers made more than just their typically amazing kung fu movies.
You can watch this on YouTube.
Hear hear, and add THE ENCHANTRESS and SWORD OF THE BAT to that list. If you’re listening, Arrow – find thy target – and let Run Run run.