|The Rebel Intruders (1980)|
|Starring:||Chang Cheh Ni Kuang Lu Feng, Phillip Kwok, Lo Meng, Chiang Sheng and Sun Chien|
|The Plot: Chen Chu Kwan (Lu Feng) is a despotic warlord who rules over his territory with an iron fist. His men oppress the citizens by whipping and beating them on regular occasion, but Chen Chu kwan will soon run into trouble with three young fighters. Wong Shu (Phillip Kwok) is a beggar who has been forced into this lifestyle by the totalitarianism ruling of Chen. Chin Chow-ping (Lo Meng) is a wandering martial artist with a tremendous amount of strength. He quickly impresses the military with his abilities, but he doesn’t have a cold heart, and is soon at odds with his commanders. Yu (Chiang Sheng) is also a starving thief, thanks to Chen Chu Kwan. This trio initially meets at a gambling den, where Yu is caught giving out free tips in order to collect money from the winner at the end of the evening. When Wong Shu realizes what he is doing, a fight ensues. Wong Shu and Chin Chow-ping soon realize that they are using familiar styles, and their masters were best friends. This turns out to be the catalyst for this trio to find an unlikely, and incredibly strong, friendship. After their friendship is established, this group runs into trouble when Wong Shu witnesses the assassination of highly respected military official. This official opposed Chen Chu Kwan, who has at this point associated himself with the nefarious rebel General Lin, and now every clan within the city will be after our three heroes. Will they manage to escape their grasp and put a end to Chen Chu Kwan’s plan of aligning with General Lin?|
Although the story becomes a wee bit convoluted, due to the opposing forces not being developed or explained well enough (General Lin is never even shown, yet referenced all throughout the film), I have to admit that I was fully absorbed in the project. At around the forty five minute mark, when our trio of heroes are properly formed, the film really steamrolls into becoming something unique within this genre. The story becomes less about military politics, and instead turns into a story about a daring escape. Similar to The Warriors, we watch as our leading men travel great distances in order to put an end to the treason that lies within this culminating group of clans. Cheh delivers on the uncomfortable situation revolving around these characters and their inability to trust anyone. The movie is solid in developing this simple story, and it crafts a great amount of tension along the way. Even though Chang Cheh and Ni Kuang usually developed meandering storylines whenever they attempted to pack-in too much story, this is one of the rare instances where they did everything right. Similar to the original Five Deadly Venoms, the plot is actually given a serious amount of leeway. However, unlike that film, Cheh and Kuang were able to also pack in the requisite action that was expected from this group.