Make way for the Silkworm Technique!
27 September, 2012
Originally titled Tian can bian, the Bastard Swordsman hit the screens in the year 1983. A Shaw Brother’s production, this film is set in Hong Kong and belongs to the Wuxia genre of movies. Kung fu at its lethal best, the movie was directed by Lu Chun-ku, and stars Norman Chu as Yun Fei Yang, the bastard orphan of the film, Tony Liu who plays Fu Yu Shu and Yung Wang as Qing Song, among numerous others.
The highlight of this film is the martial arts techniques used by the two opposing clans, Wu Dang and the Invincible Clan. The Wu Dang clan are the underdogs headed by Wong Yung, while the Invincible Clan has their leader in the person of Alex Man Chi Leung. An action-packed movie till the very end, this film has it all. Martial arts weapons are in the thick of the action with various combat techniques including flawless wire-work, chief of them being the lethal and signature move – ‘Silkworm Technique’, which Yun has to master in order to be entitled as the film’s titular hero.
A beautiful blend of Wuxia staples for a plot with other-worldly action sequences, this movie is an all time, though lesser known Kung fu classic in every sense of the term. The protagonist is a bastard child and is hence relegated to the status of a menial at the Wudang Temple. He is not taught any of the martial arts techniques and is bullied and shunned frequently by the others. With the resident master’s daughter as his only friend, she also personifies the symbol of his unrequited love. The apparent trivialities cease when a rival clan, the Invincible Clan, wishes to duel with the Wu Dang clan, in a duel that they must face every decade. With almost superhuman foes to defeat, the Wu Dang clan find themselves in a fix. Yun Fei Yang rises to the occasion and hopes to lead his clan to victory by being trained by a hooded figure in the movie. Painfully aware of his inglorious past, he wishes to defend his clan to the best of his ability. He has to learn the art and skill of the Silkworm Technique in order to defeat his opponents.
The plot of the movie encapsulates rivalry, betrayal, bloodshed, thirst for power and the seedy side of the martial world. Will the Bastard Swordsman defend his clan’s honour and lead them to victory?
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