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The Sword Stained with Royal Blood (1993) The Sword Stained with Royal Blood

The Sword Stained with Royal Blood Directed by: Hoi-Ching Cheung
Starring: Danny Lee, Biao Yuen

Tagline: "Can I touch your bone?"

A classic fantasy movie which begins in an unconventional way. A big fight breaks out in a waterside pavilion and a man continuing to read from a manuscript while everyone around him is slaughtered. They are interrupted by the Golden Snake Sword Man who kills everyone except the bloke who was reading (the reading man pokes his own eyes out instead).

The story then switches to a princess and her robbery of a caravan carrying frogs. The robbery is not successful and she is arrested by Constable Yuen (Biao Yuen) who knocks people out with pieces of the watermelon he was eating.

On their way to the Wan castle they run into members of the Five Poison Sect who are trying to knick the sword off the Golden Snake Sword Man. There is an excellent fight sequence involving ropes in the shape of a big spider web and the GSSM agrees to meet Yuen again if their paths cross.

As the princess is knocked out during the fighting, Yuen takes her to get looked after and other members of the sect at an inn who are afraid of the GSSM. It starts to get a bit too complicated for me to explain after this as the sect decides to make Yuen immune to poison for some reason I couldn't understand and there are many more characters introduced.

Some of my favourite characters in this film are the man who rolls up into a ball and bounces around the room, the woman who thinks she is the man's wife and her son and beats up everyone and Wan after he goes mad - "I want chicken! I want chicken!"

Yuen Biao didn't star in as many movies as Jackie Chan or Sammo Hung, so seeing him play the lead in this movie is quite a treat.

While there are many wuxia films around, this movie takes a different approach by not being too serious in parts. The fights are still handled very well and overall I thought the movie had a great story and pacing.

There is more than one version of this story in movie form, including one from the Shaw Brothers. I haven't seen any other versions and I would recommend this movie if you would like to see a more modern take on the story.

Rating: 7/10

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