Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Flag of Iron (1980)

Eagle Hall, led by Master Mi, was engaged in immoral business like gambling and kidnapping women for their brothel. Luo and Yuan from Iron Flag Clan had a fight with Eagle Hall people to rescue a girl. Then, Master Mi invited people from Iron Flag Clan to apologize, but later ambushed them. Iron Flag Clan's chief died in this incident - along with Master Mi. The most senior disciple of the Iron Flag Clan, Cao, became the new chief.

Luo (Kuo Chui) and Yuan (Chiang Sheng) - best friends
However, the Eagle Hall people put in a charge against the Iron Flag Clan because Master Mi and many of their men had been killed. Luo agreed to shouldered the blame and move away for a year until the matter died down. Cao promised to send money to Luo every month. But after two months the money stopped to come, instead ten assassins came to kill him. Then Yuan came and said that he had been kicked out from the clan.

Luo and Yuan returned to Iron Flag Clan and found that Cao now handled Eagle Hall's immoral business. One of the ten assassins, The Rambler, told Luo that it was Cao who had paid him to kill their chief months ago.

Yuan (Chiang Sheng) and The Rambler (Lung Tien Hsiang)
The story of this movie is similar to The Duel (1971) starring Ti Lung and David Chiang. Although both movies were directed by Chang Cheh, IMDb credited different writers. The Duel was written by Chiu Kang Chien, and Flag of Iron written by Chang Cheh and Ni Kuang.

Kuo Chui, Lu Feng and Chiang Sheng in the final duel
Comparing both movies, I myself prefer The Duel, which in my opinion has more fighting scenes, and more tragic because Ti Lung's girlfriend was sold to the brothel. Flag of Iron, although starred by Kuo Chui, Chiang Sheng, and Lu Feng [a.k.a. three of the Five Venoms], I feel that the fighting scenes are too short and  that these three people could have been used better. Ti Lung only fought 'small' thugs in The Duel; but in Flag of Iron, although they had added 10 assassins (or 9 assassins - because The Rambler only fought Luo after he was forced in the end), it didn't give much impression.

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