The Avenging Eagle [冷血十三鷹] (1978)

Starring Ti Lung, Alexander Fu Sheng, Ku Feng, Johnny Wang Lung-Wei, Eddy Ko Hung, Tang Chia, Austin Wai Tin-Chi, Peter Chan Lung, Yuen Bun, Jamie Luk Kim-Ming, Cheung Kwok-Wah, Shih Szu, Yue Wing, Yang Chi-Ching, Ou-Yang Sha-Fei, Jenny Tseng

Directed by Sun Chung

Expectations: High.

The Avenging Eagle is made with undeniable style and skill, standing tall against its many fantastic contemporaries as one of the best kung fu films of 1978. I first saw it in March 2011, back when I was just a few films into this review series. After watching the first few mid-’60s Shaw films, it seemed like a vision into the future, a reminder of how badass kung fu movies were. I’ve anticipated arriving at this moment of reviewing The Avenging Eagle ever since (didn’t think it would take 10 years 😮 ), and now that I’m here I don’t know what to say! It’s a movie everyone who loves Shaw films has already seen multiple times, y’know?

Chik Ming Sing (Ti Lung) is bloody, exhausted and near-death, riding a horse in a similar state. They travel across a barren desert, until Chik falls to the dirt, sprawled and unconscious. Thankfully for him, Cheuk Yi Fan (Alexander Fu Sheng) happens by on a horse of his own, and gives Chik some water. What a nice guy! Chik introduces himself as “The Rover,” and Cheuk replies that his name is “The Homeless.” These guys really hit it off; I love them! Unfortunately, Chik is a jerk who takes this friendly gesture and repays it by stealing Cheuk’s healthy horse, riding it off into the distance. How dare he! These two men haven’t seen the last of each other, though, as unbeknownst to them, their fates are intertwined!

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