Bride With White Hair (1993)Directed by: Ronny Yu
Starring: Leslie Cheung, Brigitte Lin, Elaine Lui, Francis Ng
Tagline: "That's a lethal hair-do!"
On a snow-capped mountain one man waits for a flower to bloom. This is no ordinary flower however, it only blooms once every two decades and is reputed to revive the person who takes it. He ends up killing some other people to protect the flower and we begin the story proper.
We find out that the mysterious man's name is Cho-Yo-Hang (Leslie Cheung), as he remembers his childhood as part of the 8 Clans and being trained hard by his master.
As a child, he knew that his master wanted him to lead the clan one day, but he did not aspire to that. He tries to follow the teachings of his master and be chivalrous, but this just leads to him being chased by wolves in the middle of the night while carrying a baby goat. Luckily for him, he is saved at the last moment by the Wolf Girl playing her flute.
Asleep on the ground afterwards, he is found by a low-ranking soldier and they share a drink while the soldier offers his views on life. Cho Yo-Hang recounts that later the soldier goes on to become a General.
Out in the countryside a group of poor villagers steal military supplies for something to eat. Their hunger soon evaporates when they are attacked without mercy by the soldiers they stole it from. Into the middle of this carnage, comes a mysterious woman dressed in white, Lien Ni-Chang (Brigitte Lin), who then uses her whip to cut up the soldiers.
Two villagers (a husband and wife) manage to escape, but the woman is in labour and cannot go far. For some reason, Cho Yo-Hang happens to be up a tree near them and hears her cries. He goes to help her and is surprised when the woman in white also appears to help.
Intrigued by the woman, he follows her to a ruined city and watches. She catches him however and says she should blind him for seeing her face. She doesn't do this though, and is summoned back to the palace.
It turns out that the woman is actually the chief bodyguard of a Clan that seems to have two leaders, a brother and sister who are 'very close'. They give her orders to kill the leaders of the 8 Clans, which includes Cho's uncle, his master, and Cho himself.
During the night Cho is camped out with his fellow clan members, when suddenly the enemy clan attacks and the woman in white is with them. She tries to kill him, but stops and is injured by other member of Cho's clan.
Cho takes her to the same ruined city where they were before and removes the needle that struck her while sucking out the poisoned blood. This obviously does something for her as they have sex a lot.
Of course you know it is going to end badly and Cho betrays Lien, causing her to lose her mind and become the bride that makes Uma Thurman look pretty tame in comparison.
Regarded by many fans at the best martial arts fantasy movie every man, it certainly is memorable. The characters, setting and storyline are all top class and very original.
The wolf-girl (later woman) is great and is the favourite performance of many Brigitte Lin fans and the leader of her clan is very strange.
The other characters are fairly standard, but the General is a good character who is only doing his job when he gets mixed up in the whole affair.
My favourite scene is when Cho's clan is being attacked and he doesn't want to be there, so he ends up getting a reed and whacking people nonchalantly and still kicks arse.
This movie even inspired a sequel, but this is the one to see by all accounts. If you liked the Swordsman movies or A Chinese Ghost story, then I highly recommend this film.