Avid international kung-fu films fans have a special place in their hearts for this outstanding martial arts drama, which marked the ascension of director Sun Chung and action choreographer Tang Chia to legendary status. Tang also appeared as the “Chief Security Officer” in this powerful tale of the Thirteen Eagles Assassination Sect of the infamous Iron Boat Clan. Ku Feng is excellent as the poisonously patriarchal leader of the killers, but conflicted “son” Ti Lung and vengeful victim Alexander Fu Sheng command the screen as consummate warriors united in tragedy. Everything is exceptional in this endlessly entertaining production: from the cinematography of Lan Nei-tsai, to the script by Shaw Brothers’ writing wizard Ni Kuang, to the editing of Chiang Hsing-loong and Yu Hsiao-feng, which deservedly won the Golden Horse Award.

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