Clan Feuds
CLAN FEUDS
aka, THE GREAT BANNER
(DA QI YING XIONG CHUAN) 1982

Director: Chang Peng-yi
(Cheung Paang Yik)

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



Clan Feuds Qin Shuang (Liu Lai Ling) is pregnant & the young swordsman Yung Keng (Lo Meng) is happy to learn he'll be a father & is eager to wed the woman he lives for.

But Qin worries since her family & his are committed to their Clan Feuds (Da qi ying xiong chuan, 1982), in a tale that begins as a Romeo/Juliet Hatfield/McCoys situation.

Yung Keng wants to abandon Big Flag Clan & go into hiding with Qin & their baby. And Qin's sister, a swordswoman (Lily Li), encourages her to go with the man for whom she cares.

Clan FeudsBut Qin is too aware that her father's network of spies would never let them escape.

It was less expected that Yung Keng would be killed by his own father as a clan traitor, so that a new hero has to be introduced in the person of Ti Lung, whose confusing quest takes the story in forking directions.

Highly pictorial but awfully juvenile, Clan Feuds is afflicted with affected acting & a giant helping of mediocre trampoline-swordplay.

Clan FeudsIt's adapted from an epic fantasy novel, condensing so many characters & plot elements that it results in a needlessly complicated mess instead adhering to the simple "feuding clans" theme that is all that holds any of it together.

Clan Feuds is also lacking in charismatic performances, in spite of such a promising cast. One possible exception is Philip Ko Fei as a remarkable Zatoichi-like swordsman.

Within the enormous cast, sometimes a character appears who is intriguing, like the diminuative actress Liu Lai-ling in a heroine role that could've been thrilling if only it had been fully developed.

Lo Meng & especially Ti Lung of the heroic cast are just so good looking but sometimes lookin' good just ain't enough.

The number of significant characters probably numbers about a dozen, with another dozen approach being significant, & that's just too many to keep track of.

Clan FeudsThe beauty of the men & women who populate the film is undeniable, but there are too many of them for any few to be aportioned sufficient screen time to project credible or interesting roles.

The workmanlike story does have a fantastical ingreidnet involving the Night Emperor (Tang Ching) as father of the hero.

He & his wife died, preserved in a block of ice, except it turns out the Night Emperor still lives in remorse. This all provides a mystically nutty sidebar to the tale of feuds.

In the main this one's abominably bad as a work of fiction, with a ridiculous happy ending tacked on with very little real resolution to the boringly complicated issues presented for the previous hour & a half.

I wouldn't recommend this one to newcomers to wuxia as it just wouldln't win them over. But others who have in the past really enjoyed most creatively stupid stories Shaw Brothers produced assembly-line style, such as they will find plenty of thrilling visuals in this one too. For me it was another disappointment to see so much talent & energy whizzed together into slop.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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