The Deadly Mantis (1978)

Sub-Genres - Martial Arts, Unglamorized Spy Film  |   Run Time - 102 min.  |   Countries - Hong Kong  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Jonathan Crow

Lau Kar-leung spins this kung-fu yarn that features a Manchu as the hero, something of a rarity in which Manchus are usually branded villains. Wei Fung (David Chiang Da-wei) is ordered to spy on the wealthy Tien family, who is suspected to have connections with the recently overthrown Ming. He works his way into the house by posing as a teacher for the family's spoiled daughter, Chi-chi (Wong Hang-sau), whose willful disposition has sent many a teacher packing. Though she loathes him at first, soon she falls for Wei, even to the point of claiming to be his lover when Wei's cover is blown. The family elders spare his life on the condition that he never leaves the village. Unfortunately, the Manchu government has his family hostage and if he does not report back they will be killed. Chi-chi decides to go along with Wei has he plots his escape, but to do this, he will have to beat the family's finest kung-fu master.



agent [representative], child, conspiracy, criminal, disguise, empire, espionage, family, impersonation, infiltration, Loyalist, suspect, tutor