99 Cycling Swords | aka Lung Wei Village (1978) Review

"99 Cycling Swords" American DVD Cover

"99 Cycling Swords" American DVD Cover

Director: Tyrone Hsu Tien Yung
Writer: Tyrone Hsu Tien Yung
Producer: Ho Mei Tsing
Cast: Polly Shian Kuan, Yao Hwa, Lo Lieh, Hu Chin, Lung Tien Hsiang
Running Time: 91 min.

By Numskull

I know when I’m beaten.

I’ve tried my damnedest. I’ve made a dozen valiant efforts that have invariably ended in failure. I’ve turned it over and over in my head for ages and there’s just no getting around it:

Dear reader, it is outside my ability…completely beyond my command of the English language…to communicate to you just how stupid this movie is.

There are stupid movies with bad scripts, bad acting and bad ideas; those are the type of stupid movie that you see all the time. Then, there’s THIS type of stupid movie; the type in which the viewer’s intelligence is held in the utmost contempt, and the characters lack the mental acumen to chew their food before attempting to swallow it.

The “plot” revolves around the elusive “Traitor!” Chu Er Ming. He wears white clothes and a big hat that prevents people from seeing his face. Out to catch him are the Four Dragons, one of whom, we are told, is plotting some treachery of his own. They are joined (and soon overshadowed) by Shang Quan Tung (Polly Shian Kuan), a woman pretending to be a man. Of course, she fools all of her idiot comrades with the greatest of ease. They’re even less adept at discerning male from female than all the other people in all the other kung fu movies with cross-dressing in them. I defy anyone to point out a less masculine looking woman in mens’ clothing in any martial arts film.

Shang Quan Tung soon hooks up with Lo Lieh, playing a fighter whose black hat has more personality than he does. Like the Four Dragons, he doesn’t realize she’s a woman…not even when she changes clothes and pretends to be her own sister. The two of them set off to find Chu Er Ming, and the Four Dragons come along. “Even the traitor among you can join us,” says Shang Quan Tung. In the very next scene, she is appalled to learn that there is a traitor in the ranks. “TRAITOR?!?” she cries. “Who is the traitor?” Apparently, the concentration required to dress in mens’ apparel has an adverse effect on her memory.

It bears repeating that the stupidity of these characters is beyond measure. They see blue and call it green. They do not see a spy crouching in the grass five feet in front of them. They unmask a bad guy, tie him up, and drag him half way around the world before he escapes and they instantly forget what he looked like and whether or not he was someone whom they have encountered before. And Lo Lieh just stands around the whole time as if to say, “I’m a fucking moron, but at least I have a cool hat.”

Not even the frequent fighting can save Lung Wei Village from the absolute depths of sucktitude. More often than not, the “fighters” look as hesitant and as uncertain as they do when they’re not in combat mode. Add to this the usual atrocious dubbing, with gems of dialogue like “I could show you a thing or two if I can!”, and you have consummate 1970s kung fu crap, a superb representative of the worst the genre has to offer.

Numskull’s Rating: 1/10

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

This entry was posted in Chinese, Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *