Issue #257            HOME          E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com        BACK ISSUES            March 28th, 2005

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Killer Darts
(1968; Shaw Brothers)

Cantonese: Jui wan biu
Mandarin: Zhui hun biao
English: Chasing Soul Darts

 

RATING: 7/10

REVIEW:

Liou Wen-lung (Fang Mien) returns home to find his village a smoking ruin and his wife on the verge of death, both the work of the villainous Chau Chiu (Ma Ying). Liou tracks Chau down and flings a "killer dart" into his target; in order to save himself, Chau chops off his left hand and swears that he will return one day seeking revenge. Shortly thereafter, disreputable pupil Hu Chi-feng (Chang Pei-san) slays an innocent couple and escapes before Liou can kill him. The murders have left young Jin Yu-sien an orphan, so Liou accepts the girl and instructs her in kung fu. Ten years pass and Yu-sien (Chin Ping) turns into an accomplished swordswoman, her heart set on her teacher’s son, Liou Yu-long (Yueh Hua). However, their rich benefactor’s daughter (Shen Yi) does her best to ruin their affair, while Chi-feng convinces Yu-sien that her teacher is the murderer she seeks.

Chin Ping Ma Ying Yueh Hua

An early effort from director Ho Meng-hua, KILLER DARTS suffers from a number of plot contrivances (eg. the otherwise stately and sober Liou Wen-lung being blind drunk at a key moment) in order to keep the story moving along. Some of the staging is just as awkward, but the duels are consistently rousing and the pretty, pouty Chin Ping is both lithe and fierce in the way that makes the heroines of these films so appealing. The inevitable reappearance of Chau (complete with a dart-firing mechanism attached to his stump) occurs in the final third and he is accompanied by a squad of recruited killers (including Wei Ping-ao, Han Ying-chieh, and Dean Shek Tien). As it turns out, these brigands play almost no role in the finale but there is so much going on, they are not missed.

Fang Mien Chang Pei-san (left), Chin Ping Shen Yi


PRESENTATION:

The presentation is not quite as sharp as the best Celestial restorations, but gets top marks in every other department. Additional kudos to the company for leaving the film in the original mono the audio is fine. The standard supplements are included.

This DVD is available at:

Images in this review courtesy of Intercontinental Video Ltd. To read captions, hover mouse over image.


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Copyright © John Charles 2000 - 2005. All Rights Reserved.
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DVD Specifications

  • Hong Kong Release
  • NTSC Region 3 Only
  • Intercontinental Video Ltd. #104305
  • Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Post-synced Mandarin Language
  • Subtitles (Optional): English, Traditional Chinese
  • 12 Chapters
  • 16:9 Enhanced (2.35:1)
  • 84 Minutes (25 frames-per-second)

Ratings & Consumer Information

  • Singapore: PG
  • Contains brutal violence

FILM REVIEW RATINGS KEY:

  • 10 A Masterpiece
  • 9 Excellent
  • 8 Highly Recommended
  • 7 Very Good
  • 6 Recommended
  • 5 Marginal Recommendation
  • 4 Not Recommended
  • 3 Poor
  • 2 Definitely Not Recommended
  • 1 Dreadful