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Slave of the Sword
Year: 1993 "You fool! You bought this DVD!"
Max Mok
Director: Chiu Yen-Ping
Producer: Hui Pooi-Yung
Cast: Pauline Chan Bo-Lin, Max Mok Siu-Chung, Joyce Ngai Suk-Kwan, Jackson Lau Hok-Yin
The Skinny: One would think fusing Hong Kong's fantasy swordplay genre with Category-III erotica would be a match made in heaven, but Slave of the Sword disproves that naïve theory. Not even repeated scenes of Pauline Chan making out with Joyce Ngai can salvage this movie.
Review by
     As a movie reviewer and a lover of cinema, I've seen my fair share of critically acclaimed motion pictures. I've also bared the brunt of numerous, shoddy Wong Jing flicks. But I'm no snooty film geek; I really do like all kinds of movies. And of all the genres Hong Kong cinema has to offer, wuxia is one type of Chinese film that I am particularly fond of watching. On a seemingly unrelated note, like any other red-blooded, heterosexual male, I do enjoy seeing naked women. So imagine my complete delight in stumbling upon Slave of the Sword, a film that purports to cross-pollinate those two heretofore-separate genres into one magnificent thrill ride of sex, sin, and swordsmanship. Well, not exactly.
     Slave of the Sword details the erotic misadventures of Cheung Wu-Nien (Pauline Chan), a down-on-her-luck dancer who finds herself starving and alone when her father is murdered by assassins. Wu-Nien has a couple of chance encounters with Yun (Jackson Lau), a cold-blooded killer who takes a shine to the buxom young lass, and gives her some steamed buns out of pity before soldiering off on his merry way. But Yun is abducted and sold to a brothel, where she meets Madame Hun (Joyce Ngai), a bisexual bitch looking to make some money off the innocent, virginal Wu-Nien. After some sexual training and a little torture, Wu-Nien escapes from her captors and flees to swordsman Yun's forest shack to seek shelter. At the cabin, she learns the shocking truth about her so-called knight-in-shining armor, Yun—he's having a fling with Hun! Oh, and Yun and Hun are brother and sister! Cue dry heaves. And if that level of perversion isn't enough, there's a creepy eunuch played by a slumming Max Mok, who shows up to randomly strangle people and laugh maniacally in the twisted, not so family-friendly climax.
     To sum up: points are revealed, lesbians French-kiss one another, and ample doses of surprisingly tame (yet increasingly incestuous) softcore sex goes down in this sorry excuse for a movie. Don't ask me why the director decided to intercut several sex scenes with unnecessary footage (a dog barking, redundant flashbacks). If anything, he probably wanted to disguise the fact that not only the sex scenes, but the movie itself, was utter crap. Neither a martial arts extravaganza nor a delightfully (a)rousing cheap thrill, Slave of the Sword attempts to combine the best of both worlds. Sadly, the viewer gets none of the above. (Calvin McMillin 2003)
Notes: • Don't be fooled by Tai Seng's snazzy DVD box art; the actual film looks like bad VHS, and has burned-in subtitles to boot, with numerous grammatical transgressions against the English language.
• Reportedly, much of the costumes and sets were reused from the non-pornographic Butterfly and Sword, a film that director Chiu Yen-Ping produced.
• For more insanity, stay for the end credits, which strangely fixate on the insanely happy Max Mok for several minutes, only to begin showing random scenes from the movie long after the credits have run their course. Weird.
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Tai Seng Video Marketing
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Embedded English and Chinese Subtitles

 image courtesy of Tai-Seng Video Marketing Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen