Chu Liuxiang icomes from a series of novels by Taiwanese writer Gu Long and hiname literally means lingering fragrance. He steals from the rich, gives to the poor and serves justice as a bandit. A master of vertical surface running and leaping — Qinggong — and the metal hand fan, he has never taken the life of another, instead he relies on his intelligence to help others.
He’s been played by Ti Lung (Shaw Brothers’ Clans of Intrigue and Legend of the Bat), ichael Miu (The New Adventures of Chor Lau-heung TV series), Richie Ren (The New Adventures of Chor Lau-heung TV series), Ken Chu (a 2005 TV series) and Ken Chang (a 2012 TV series), Aaron Kwok (Legend of the Liquid Sword), Meng Fei (Everlasting Chivalry, The Sun Moon Legend, Middle Kingdom’s Mark of Blood), Liu Dekai (Chu Liu Xiang Chuan Qi, Chu Liu Hsiang and Hu Tieh Hua) and Tien Peng (Legend of the Broken Sword). If you ever played the NES game Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu, well, you were playing as Chu Liuxiang.
In this film — based on the book Wuye Lanhua (Midnight Orchid) in which the titular menance is told that Chu Liuxiang is dead, so he invents a trap to lure the martial arts master out of hiding — Chu Liuxiang is played by Adam Cheng. He also played the role in The Denouncement of Chu Liu Hsiang and TV serieses in 1979, 1985 and 1995.
Also known as Orchids of Midnight, Thirteen Moon Sword, Demon Fighter and Faster Blade Poisonous Darts, this was directed by Peng-Yi Chang and written by Lung Ku.
Chu has been in hiding since the death of his friend Su Rong-rong, which comes up as some criminals are seeking the jade horse she gave him. This is not important. What is is that Prince Lang Lai (Don Wong) and Princess Lang Ge-si (Lu Yi-chan) are the villains who want to either find, destroy or seduce our hero, who is protecting Su-su (Brigitte Lin) along with his drunken friend Hu Tie-hua (Lu Yi-lung).
This entire movie is astounding even before you get to the bad guy’s base, which looks like Legends of the Hidden Temple and yet is filled with cat people, ninjas that can emerge from women’s bodies Xtro style and one ninja who can literally make himself flat and go under doors and into cracks.
This movie took my brain out of my skull and caressed it. How many films do you know that are willing to do that, much less put your cereberum back into your head and clean it up for you? This is can’t miss magic.
Want to see it for yourself?
You can watch the U.S. 2K premiere of Night Orchid on Sunday, April 30 at 7:15 PM in Theater 2 at Metrograph and Subway Cinema in New York City. It’s part of the 10th Old School Kung Fu Fest: Sword Fighting Heroes Edition from April 21-30, 2023!
Tickets are on sale right here!