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破戒 (1977)
Broken Oath

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 03/28/2007
Summary: 8/10 - definitely one for martial arts fans to see

Angela Mao stars in a remake of the Japanese film LADY SNOWBLOOD. Her father is murdered by a group of traitors, and her mother ends up in prison after trying to take revenge. She dies shortly after giving birth, with her last words being to make sure her daughter knows who her father's killers were, so that she can take revenge. 20 years later, the daughter has been raised in a buddhist temple and acquired superlative martial arts skills, but feels a rage inside her that she can't explain - until the story of her parents death is told.

Angela Mao doesn't have the 'movie star' charisma and presence of Meiko Kaji, but there's no doubt about who would win in a fight. Angela's skills and qualifications were certainly amongst the best of all the 'fighting femmes' that Hong Kong Cinema produced. She's joined in this film by an impressive roster of martial artists (including a very impressive Bruce Leung Siu-Lung), with action choreography by Yuen Wo-Ping and Hsu Hsia (and I dare say Sammo Hung and Han Ying-Chieh contributed to the scenes in which they appear).

The film's story is pretty good (despite clearly not being original) and the film is pretty well directed/produced. It's definitely the action that's the main attraction though, and as long as that is your purpose for viewing it, I can't see any way you won't be satisfied.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/02/2006

A loose remake of the Japanese movie Lady Snowblood (which also provided the inspiration for Tarantino's Kill Bill), Broken Oath stars Angela Mao as a woman who was raised by Buddhist nuns, but can't seem to get that whole "peace and contentment" thing down. After killing a group of would-be rapists, Angela is sent away from the temple, and so she heads out to find her godmother. She learns the true story of her mother, and then sets about to get revenge on the men who wronged her family.

Broken Oath starts out a bit slow, with little in the way of action and very melodramatic acting. But once Angela Mao hits the screen, things kick into overdrive. This was to be her last film with the Golden Harvest studio, and everyone involved seemed determined to send her out with a bang. Of particular note is a fight between Angela and Sammo Hung that has some striking similarities to the Bride/Go-Go brawl from Kill Bill (perhaps not coincidentally, Yuen Woo-Ping handled the action on both movies). If you're a fan of old-school action, it doesn't get too much better than this -- especially since the movie has recently been re-mastered, so potential viewers no longer have to put up with the horrible TV formatting of the other versions.

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Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 08/01/2006
Summary: scorpions, on your neck...

a 'lady snowblood'-esque revenge vehicle for angela mao to show off her talents with. lotus (mao) is the daughter of a government official who was slaughtered by killers who are plotting a revolution; her mother attempted to kill one of them, ending up in jail, where she gave birth to lotus and died. in an attempt to extinguish the desire for revenge, the baby is taken to be raised by monks.

lotus grows up to be an acomplished martial artist, but a poor buddhist. she ends up killing three men who attack her and is expelled from the temple. she goes to stay with her god-mother and learns of the fate of her parents: she then begins to plot her revenge...

this is a very enjoyable film. jeng cheong-woh moves things along at a good pace, yuen woo-ping and hsu hsia's choreography is very good and angela mao is simply fantastic. there's some really nice weapon work, lotus has a secret attack that works a treat and there's even a little bit of evil sammo at the end.

good stuff...

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 04/18/2002
Summary: Ah, Angela !

Talk about a glamour vehicle. Angela radiates at the head of a terrific cast, the story ticks along at a fair pace, the fu is of a high standard. And there's even a few laughs. Check out what happens to the fire-breathing bodyguard.

On top of that, we get perhaps the closest to the first full frontal nude shot in a big-budget HK film. (If anyone wishes to correct this assertion, I'd love to hear it). The unknown actress who plays Lotus's mother (possibly Kao Cheng Yu) bears nearly all while trying to escape the lusty clutches of the evil Hao Shi. And Frankie Chan's music score is one of the best I've heard in ages.

I found the movie a bit slow at the start, but give it ten or fifteen minutes and you'll be hooked. Recommended.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: battlemonkey
Date: 12/21/1999

Angela Mao's best!