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Yellow River Fighter (1988)

Best Chinese Sword play Film dubbed in English

In this martial arts action-drama, a swordsman named Toh Hong travels home after a long battle to discover his wife and children have been brutally murdered.

Pre-wire-fu so it’s all acrobatics and quick footwork! Setting is great in that it really looks desolate, back drops are epic, everything’s gritty and dirty rather than overly bright like a lot of this film’s contemporary opera based counterparts. -Fighting styles are unique and consistent across different characters. -Weapons techniques aren’t all fancy dodges (though obviously there’s a lot of that), but include a lot of kill blows where weapons obviously smash pretty hard against things in the background (ice, wood, stones, etc). -Fights are all exciting because they’re contextual, with the heroes winning by the skin of their teeth or whole handedly according to the situation. It’s not like a lot of films where it’s always massively one sided. -You know how usually most films have a lot of extras blindly and uselessly flailing weapons at each other like dumb mooks as the main characters actually fight? EACH AND EVERY FIGHT features EVERYONE fighting at LEAST one other person and looking like they’re actually trying. It’s obvious the PRC pulled out all the stops and got great people for even the background guys.

Directed by: Hsin-Yen Chang
Starring: Chenghui Yu, Chi-kang Chao, Shanshan Chunyu

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