Victims of the Assassin

Victims of the Assassin
Starring: Adam Cheng, Brigitte Lin, Derek Yee
Director: Ou Yang Jun
Taken by Feng Chi and Feng Chu to a rustic looking hiding place, Ling Erh and Wei Kai -- who Mr. Sheung distastefully considered to be an “impudent lover-boy” -- are initially happy just to be alive and in the company of the other. Before too long however, Wei Kai starts ruing his looking to have effectively condemned his beloved Ling Erh as well as himself to a rough, tough life of having to constantly be on the run plus needing to watch out for and hide from those who seek to collect the 10,000 taels of gold that’s the announced prize for those who bring even one of the pair back to Ying Feng Villa, alive or dead (as well as avoid the threat issued that anyone who helps them will also be violently dealt with). What contentment these love birds have from being together is further destroyed upon first Feng Chu, then Feng Chi, getting killed while battling to defend their precious freedom (Although Ling Erh and Wei Kai often seem to have only eyes for each other, it does get made clear -- by the way that they grieve over the bodies of their dead friends -- that they do care quite a bit for their equally rebellious -- but sadly less expert at kung fu -- rescuers).

Up until this point in the movie, Victims of the Assassin played like a work whose makers couldn't seem to decide whether it should primarily be a sickeningly lovey-dovey romance or rather workmanlike swordplay offering. With the main entrance into the film of Derek Yee’s character though, this effort got considerably more absorbing as well as less meandering plus slow going. This was because his Lou Chang (whose Ms. Lin’s Ling Erh was apt to familiarly refer to as Hsiao Lou) not only brought news to his former Ying Feng Villa colleagues that the organization which they used to be proud of being associated with was plotting a rebellion (that would install its Tibetan princess co-conspirator as ruler of China) but also effectively presented himself as another manly individual who obviously admired Ling Erh and wouldn’t half mind devoting the rest of his life with -- as well as to protecting -- the beautiful woman who actually isn’t too bad a martial artist herself.

What made matters particularly interesting was that Wei Kai didn’t react as one might have expected that he would to Lou Chang’s proposal that: The latter permanently join up with the fugitive duo; and the three of them stay as far away as possible from Ying Feng Villa along with those other places where powerful plus power-hungry people -- as well as trouble -- were to be found. Instead, he -- who had previously told his lady love that “Confucius says “When a man loves a woman, he’ll do anything to please her”” -- suddenly disappeared one morning, only to return some time later with a triumphantly smirking Kao Tang plus a substantial group of armed men in tow.

Victims of the Assassin proceeds to take a turn towards the quite bizarre as well as downright surprising after an upset Ling Erh asks Wei Kai -- in no uncertain terms but ones which have to have been historically inappropriate translated language -- “Why be her (i.e., the Tibetan princess’) gigolo?”! Suffice to say that among the scenes that then ensue are ones which show Ling Erh literally indulging in bouts of self-flaggelation as well as torturing herself by doing such as throwing her own body against bamboo trees in a scene that (probably inadvertently) looks like a parody version of “A Touch of Zen”’s celebrated bamboo forest fight scene) along with others which bring the generally action-packed movie to a pretty (melo-)dramatic and satisfyingly fight-filled close (that doesn’t necessarily neatly tie up all of the film’s plot threads but still does enough for things -- and the recent apparently illogical conduct of two of the offering’s principal characters -- to make some sense). In conclusion, here’s stating that: Even if just for what takes place over the course of its particularly eventful last half hour or so, this is one effort I'd definitely recommend that Brigittephiles try to get a hold of in order to see a still young and sweet looking favorite actress doing a lot more than one might expect in a relatively wire-less martial arts movie. English Dubbed

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