China Armed Escort

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pollypolly
Posts: 4214
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:18 am

CHINA ARMED ESCORT

Postby pollypolly » Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:31 am

An emperor assigns his two superintendents Lung & Hu to wipe out the heads of the famous Justice Escort Service whom he sees as a threat to him in achieving total reign over the land.
At the helm of the Escort Service are General Tang and his brother Li Ching Feng. The two heads inadvertently offend the Emperor which merely provides him with further impetus for his attack.
Yu Shuang ([B]Pearl Cheung[/B]) is a young swordswoman who likes to spend her time practising Kung Fu much to the displeasure of General Tang, her father, who wants her to settle down and get married. However, the Escort Service suffers some critical loses and Yu Shuang is forced to take charge of all operations. After several unsuccessful attempts to crush the Escorts and having underestimated the lady warrior’s resourcefulness, Superintendent Lung ([B]Tsai Hung[/B]) now steps up to finish the job off himself. Now, left without the guidance and expertise from the Escort elders, will the younger members be able to defeat the Emperor’s troops or even worse…can they overcome the Superintendent's invincible armour?

[I]‘China Armed Escort’ [/I]is a solid and perfectly paced film and it’s a real shame that there isn’t a better quality print in circulation to be able to fully appreciate this minor classic. I lost some important plot details due to the blurry burnt subtitles but the film was strong enough on a visual and entertainment level to make up for it.

The swordplay is fast and crisp with most of the cast putting in some sterling work. Pearl Cheung looks great in all-white (in a similar costume to [I]Cheng Pei Pei [/I]in [I]Lady Hermit[/I]) and her no nonsense character lets off a cool ‘ghosting’ effect whenever she flashes her sword or somersaults through the air – think [I]Bruce Lee[/I] at the end of [I]‘Fist of Fury’[/I].
Along the way, there are plenty of colourful characters who are out to stop the Escort Service – there’s the ‘Five Ghost Fighters’ who’s leader looks like Yosemite Sam from Bugs Bunny; Chin & Yin the two warriors with matching eye patches and a multitude of deadly femmes.
However, none are as merciless as Tsai Hung as Superintendent Lung in a genuinely menacing role! The viewer has to wait until the very end to see him fight and when he finally takes on Pearl and the remaining members of the guard…all I can say is that it’s a slaughterhouse!. With his invincible “Golden Bell” armour and leather hangman’s gloves, Tsai Hung steals the show and provides the film with two definite “Reeeewindd!!” moments!.

[I]‘China Armed Escort’ [/I]is a great film that warrants repeated viewings. Apart the lack of a decent print, I’d recommend this to everyone without any reservations.

Aka Tek
Posts: 1490
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 5:00 pm

Postby Aka Tek » Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:44 am

Nice review mate.

From your review pollypolly it seems like a pretty good movie. Tsai Hung is wicked and have done some very mad roles if you aske me. Guess I will have to try to locate this movie after all.......

pollypolly
Posts: 4214
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:18 am

Postby pollypolly » Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:31 pm

Thanks for the kind words guys. As I'm off work for the festive season, I'm finally able to get really stuck in to my collection. I'm making the most of it whilst it lasts and am trying to clock up 3 films per day!

Regarding Tsai Hung, I always thought he was a little under rated. He pulls off one of his best performances here IMO.

peringaten
Posts: 809
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 8:19 pm

Postby peringaten » Wed Dec 20, 2006 4:05 pm

I'm really digging your review choices of late Polly - damn, you're picking flicks I knew little of that wet my appettite for sure...
Pearl! Well, we all know Pearl's a wonder... here teamed up with Tsai Hung! Man, two of my favourites! If I was a producer back in the day I would have loved to pair those two in lead roles in a film... Lo and behold, someone did! And it sounds like a good 'un too!

Damn you Polly - I'm struggling to keep up with and get ahold of all the flicks I've confirmed as speculative sure thangs, especially when the titles keep mounting up left, right and centre like this and Chinese Black Magic, etc! Let alone considering the hole in my wallet! ;*Olol|:o

Great work fella!

pollypolly
Posts: 4214
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:18 am

Postby pollypolly » Wed Dec 20, 2006 5:21 pm

lol

Thanks man - I appreciate it!

I know 'China Armed Escort' has some hardcore fans on this forum from comments in past threads so I just thought I'd try and bring it back into the limelight. I'd struggled to finish watching it before because of the print quality but this time I was up for the slog and it was well worth it.
The Pearl v Tsai Hung finale really is something and although it's only a brief tussle , it's definitely worth the admission price my friend!

pollypolly
Posts: 4214
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:18 am

Postby pollypolly » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:08 pm

A mint China Armed Escort would make a very nice "Massacre Survivor" style deal IMO...

samtheseed
Posts: 541
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:29 pm

China Armed Escort

Postby samtheseed » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:49 am

China Armed Escort turned out to be a test of my dedication to Pearl Cheung Ling. Not that the movie was all that bad -- or, at least, not as far as I could tell. It's just that the DVD I watched appeared to have been made from a very old, tenth generation VHS tape made from a TV broadcast. I can't even verify for certain whether I actually saw Pearl Cheung Ling.

One thing I definitely could not see were the film's tiny, burned-in English subtitles, and so, much of China Armed Escort's plot remains as mysterious to me as Cheung Ling herself.

However, I can tell you that this low budget wuxia film, one of Pearl's earliest starring vehicles, occupies a much lower tier on the insanity scale than those that the star would later direct herself. In fact, compared to Wolf Devil Woman or Matching Escort, it's actually sedate and, by all appearances, coherent -- a fact which kind of surprised me, given it was written by Wai San, who also scripted that broken-in-all-the-right-places, celluloid home lobotomy kit that is Fantasy Mission Force (which, of course, also stars Pearl Cheung Ling).

The film finds Pearl working for an escort service, which sounds promising, until you realize that it's an armed escort service. (Ohhhh.) Pearl's Dad run the service, and the first act is taken up with intrigues that result in him being murdered by a clan of cackling evildoers who count among their number, not one, but two guys with eyepatches. Pearl becomes head of the escort service as a result, and must take on the task of escorting a beardy white missionary across some dangerous territory that is full of those anonymous looking fields and quarries that low budget Taiwanese kung fu movies so love to stage their fights in. Of course, while undertaking this mission, Pearl must also fend off repeated attacks by the eyepatch gang, and, of course, exact bloody revenge for her father's murder.

In keeping with the film's tone, Cheung Ling's performance is a much more sober one than what we're used to from her, lacking the goofiness and mugging seen in her auteur efforts. Her character is basically one of those steely-eyed swordswoman with a bordering-supernatural skill level, and it's a role she excels at, making her all-too-few fight scenes a delight to behold.

There's a great effect used to suggest her preternatural swiftness, by which her every leap or flip leaves a trail of multiple images fanning out behind her. Such are Pearl's skills that she is able to decapitate a guy without him even knowing it (though his facial expression reflects the dawning realization that things are perhaps not quite as they should be head-body wise). At another point, she spikes her sword through the top of another opponent's head like it was a cocktail olive. So, in short, while we may be seeing a Pearl Cheung Ling that is in some ways different from the one we came to know and love by way of her own psychedelic cinematic creations, the old Pearl Cheung Ling-Gore equation is still fully in play.

China Armed Escort: While it's hard to make a call, given the condition of the version I watched, I'd hazard that the film is interesting, but not essential for fans of Pearl Cheung Ling. Interesting because, for those familiar with her only through her more psychotronic efforts, it shows a serious side of the actress that may be a mild revelation.


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