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Clans of Intrigue
|     review    |     availability     |


DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Intercontinental Video Ltd. (IVL)
Mandarin Language Track
Removable English, Chinese, Thai subtitles

Year: 1977
Director: Chor Yuen
Producer: Runme Shaw
Cast: Ti Lung, Ling Yun, Li Ching, Nora Miao, Pei Tei, Yueh Hua
The Skinny: Someone has killed the three most powerful clan leaders in the Martial world. Swordsman Chu Liu-Hsiang must uncover the truth behind the enemy's plans before the culprits can frame him and gain absolute power.

     Legendary swordsman Chu Liu-Hsiang (Ti Lung) has been accused of murdering the leaders of the three most powerful clans in the Martial world. Together with mercenary Yi (Ling Yun) and the chivalrous Black Pearl (Li Ching) he sets out to find the real killers.
     Hsiang follows one clue to the next and is eventually led to the Magic Palace, which is inhabited by a bunch of hot bisexual princesses. Had this been a category 3 film, Hsiang would have been extremely distracted. Instead, Hsiang discovers the identity of the real killer, who also happens to be sexually ambiguous. Along the way, he also uncovers a dangerous plot to try and gain control of the Martial world.
     The same team that made The Magic Blade is responsible for Clans of Intrigue, and both films were based on classic novels. However, Clans is lighter on action and heavier on narrative twists and turns than its predecessor. That's not to say that there aren't some great fights; after all, this is a Shaw Brother's movie starring Ti Lung. The sword fights and kung fu are top notch. But, the overall emphasis is not on action, but on finding the identity of the killer and aborting their evil plan. The narrative is very good, especially towards the end of the film when lots of double crossing occurs between Princess Yin Chi (Pei Tei) and Kung Nan-Yen (Nora Miao).
     True to form for a Shaw Bros. picture, the visuals are alive with color and texture. The costumes are particularly lavish in this film and everyone looks perfect even when they're fighting. If there ever was a reason to purchase a Region-Free DVD player, the Celestial Pictures distribution of many of these Shaw Classics is it. Clans of Intrigue is no exception. (Magicvoice 2003)

image courtesy of Celestial Pictures Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen