Chase Step by Step
This was a surprisingly decent film with continuous
kung-fu action throughout. Surprising in that I had never heard of this
film and watched it only because I noticed that Hsu Feng was in the cast.
Hsu Feng is one of the more elegant and attractive of the femme fatales
of the 1960/1970's and appeared in four of King Hu's classic films. After
her acting career was over, she went on to produce such films as Red Dust,
Farewell My Concubine and Temptress Moon. The film had no sub-titles,
but the simple plot is basically a device in which to construct
numerous fights around it.
Hsu Feng and a fellow male troupe performer King
Gwoa Sheong are chosen to convey a box of valuables across country by cart.
This fact seems to be known to nearly everyone and their steps are dogged
the entire journey by a multitude of enemies intent on stealing the treasure.
Their enemies use every method from frontal attack
to feminine seduction. Twice women are sent to seduce King and he appears
all too obliging - at least as far as Hsu Feng is concerned. She is clearly
not happy with the attention that King pays to other women, especially
in lieu of the fact that they keep trying to kill him!
No place is safe for this duo as they are attacked
in the inns or on the road. It is rare for more than five minutes to pass
without an attack occurring. Some of the fighting is only so-so, but as
the film progresses they continue to get
better, more interesting and deadlier. Hsu
in particular begins to lose her patience with all the attacks and starts
to think nothing of throwing a sword into the back of an attacker.
There are a few other inspired moments such as
King being attacked with two long poles. He is able to snatch the poles
away and then use them as shields when they hurl knives at him. Then with
the two knives embedded into the poles he uses them as stilts to fight
on. Later Hsu is on the ground dodging a flurry of knives being thrown
at her when one pins her long hair to the ground. It looks like she is
about to meet her end, but then she strenuously flicks her ponytail and
sends the blade deep into his chest.
As mentioned above, I watched this only to
see Hsu Feng and I couldn't have hoped for any more than this film delivers.
Though the film itself is nothing fancy, if you are a fan of Hsu you should
try and track this one down.