TIGRESSES (1977) – Korean Blogathon edition

March 9th, 2012 by Mr. C


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Director: Chan Lit-Ban
Stars: Shang Kwan Lin Fong,Gam Ching-Lan,Kin Young-In, Kuen Yat-Chui, Chui Sing-Gwai, Chui Joi-Giu, Chiu Shing-Gau, Gam Chi-Ying, Chiu Chun, Lam Hoi-Lam, Chui Fung, Hung Wan Ching, Kim Wang-Kuk.
Genre: martial arts-revenge

Another fun South Korean produced old school martial arts flick is coming at ya’ with a deadly kickass chick leading the way who happens to be chinese!? Yes, Polly Shang Kwan plays the leading role as femme fatale in Tigresses looking to get her sweet revenge on the Great Lord of Korea that ambushed her whole family in order to take that prestigious title of King. The plot is your typical revenge story with some pretty snazzy kung fu choreography for 1977 infused with some acrobatics that reminded me of a cross between peking opera and shaw brothers style rolling-ground fighting sequences! There is also some very neat magical powers added to the high flying wu-xia/kung fu hotpot to some of the characters in the movie to make it more mystical with the likes of the invisible man, the fire breathing specialist, and the master of hypnotics!

A non spoiling synopsis of the film follows: two sisters will get separated at a young age when their royal family gets slaughtered. One of the two siblings will develop into the character of the Black Leopard (Polly Shang Kwan) when she gets adopted into the Shaolin Temple while the other sister’s status is unknown until she slowly unravels herself into the shabu-shabu of revenge as well! The Black Leopard is draped in ninja like wear as she stalks the Great Lord’s guards one by one attempting to pick them off one at a time like a kung fu sniper. She moves like the wind while executing her Tiger-Crane techniques sometimes adding the immobilizing thrusts of the snake as well! The Black Leopard can also emit vapors and smoke from her hand. The fun comes in when she battles her superhuman opponents like the invisible man, the fire breathing – weapons expert, & the master of disaster – the hypnotist! Oh, and don’t forget, her long lost sister resurfaces, too!

I had a blast watching this movie. I was expecting basher style fight scenes but instead was pleasantly surprised with some of the crispness in the martial arts choreography. I also loved how some of the fight sequences were filmed with the camera panned out to enable the viewer to capture the entire flow and movements of the struggle while also allowing the viewer to appreciate the vastness of the beautiful geography while blood was being shed in the foreground! Very beautiful, y’all!

Watch Tigresses! It’s a soul to Seoul-wall to wall foray of insane old school action!

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