Synopsis by Robert Firsching
Hong Kong filmmaker Andy Chin directed this colorfully gaudy and delightfully satirical fantasy based -- very loosely -- on the classic novel Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils by Jin Yong. Popular Asian pin-up queen Brigitte Lin stars in dual roles as Li Chou-shui, an outcast member of the San sect, and her twin sister, Chong-hoi. Chou-shui is engaged in a vicious and ongoing magical duel for power with another exiled San sect member, Mo Han-wen, played by the popular Chinese actress Gong Li (Raise the Red Lantern). Han-wen's magical mastery is somewhat undermined by her sexual attraction to Chong-hoi, which Chou-shui exploits to hurt Han-wen's pride and sap her will at every opportunity so that she can gain the upper hand in their ever-more fierce confrontations. These battles attract the interest of the powerful leader of the Sing Suk sect, Ting Chun-chou (Norman Tsui), who believes that he will take over in the wake of the women's mutually assured supernatural destruction. Ting starts slaughtering all of his rivals, but runs into trouble when an opportunistic lackey named Purple (Sharla Cheung) steals a scroll containing the Yi-ken sutra, capable of bestowing incredible powers, and gets a Shaolin monk who can interpret it for her own particular ends. Funny, visually spectacular, and paced slightly this side of light-speed, the film is marvelously entertaining, if a bit challenging to follow for newcomers to the world of Hong Kong fantasy. Frankie Lam co-stars with Liu Kai-chi and James Pak.
monk, rival, scroll, Shaolin