“The Shadow Whip” is a Shaw Brothers martial arts classic from 1971 directed by Lo Wei and stars Cheng Pei-Pei, Tien Feng, Yueh Hua and Ku Feng. “The Shadow Whip” was recently released on Blu-ray as part of the Shout Factory Shaw Brothers Classics Collection Volume Two.
“The Shadow Whip” features an enigmatic cast of including Cheng Pei-Pei as Yun Kai-yun, Tien Feng as Fang Chen-tian, Yueh Hua as Wang Jian-xin and Ku Feng as Hong Dapeng.
The story revolves around Fang Chen-tian, the master of the elusive Shadow Whip technique. For 15 years, he has remained a fugitive, accused of being involved in a daring robbery. Now, a relentless pursuit ensues as various factions seek to avenge past wrongs and recover the stolen treasures.
One of the film’s standout features is its breathtaking outdoor scenery, particularly the snowy landscapes, which add a unique and visually striking dimension to the story.
Notably, there’s an outdoor fight scene near a bridge about an hour into the film, though it’s worth mentioning that it employs under-cranked camera speed, which may diminish the viewing experience.
The movie’s third act takes an unexpected turn with an exposition-heavy flashback, offering insight into the characters’ motivations and connections. While this approach breaks up the narrative flow, it adds depth to the story.
“The Shadow Whip” feels loosely strung together, lacking meticulous crafting. However, it more than compensates with its final exhilarating fight scenes, pitting Ku Feng against our trio of heroes. This climactic showdown provides a somewhat satisfying conclusion to the film.