Thursday, July 9, 2015

Clan of Amazons (1978)

I think this movie is a good adaptation from Khu Lung's book 'The Embroidery Bandit', considering there are other adaptations which are messy. Although there are changes, important elements and plots were still used. I don't like the English title and I fail to grasp the marketing's idea why they thought The Embroidery Bandit was not as magnetic as Clan of Amazons.

The movie began with a shipping expedition met a bandit who was doing needlework on their way. The bandit not only could embroider flower on cloth, but also embroider the blind. The bandit used his needles to blind the shipping men. He also broke into The Pingnan National Treasury which was heavily guarded and blinded the guards.

Number One Constable Kim Kiu-leng asked Liok Siau-hong to look into the matter. The only lead was a piece of red cloth with embroidered flower which had been left in the national treasury. Liok Siau-hong went to visit one of his girlfriends, Sih Peng, because her mother knew all about embroidery. Sih Peng's mother told him that the flower was made by a woman. This clue was not explained until the end, why Sih Peng's mother said so, because the bandit was certainly not a woman.

Sih Peng eats with healthy appetite on this date.
Liok Siau-hong has a phoenix accessory on his hair.
(Siau-hong means 'Little Phoenix')
Sih Peng accompanied Liok Siau-hong in his investigation, until she was kidnapped. Sih Peng's part was to explain the progress of the investigation to the audience since there were question-answer session between her and Liok Siau-hong.

The investigation would lead our hero to the Red Shoes Society, which its members were seven women (who wore red shoes). Red Shoes Society was supposed to be a secret group, but they had this big headquarters, complete with its name sign. The Embroidery Bandit was not The Red Shoes, but someone else, although in the Red Shoes there was a traitor who worked with the bandit.

Name sign on the Red Shoes 'secret' headquarters
Liu Yung played Liok Siau-hong, who had lost his famous moustache from the beginning of the movie. It seemed that he felt himself too tall, because he hunched his back and couldn't stood straight.

Liok Siau-hong and Red Shoes members
Clan of Amazons was better than its sequel Duel of The Century. Liok Siau-hong was lazy, but on screen if it was portrayed closely - like how Liu Yung played it on Duel of The Century, it could get irritating.

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