The Mighty One
Written by Tyrone Hsu Tien-Yung
Directed by Joseph Kuo Nan-Hong
Hong Kong, 1971
For as fast and furiously as Shaw Brothers studio churned out its action films and made stars of previously unknown actors, the number of names people recognize heavily favour the male performers. There were certainly women who became famous as a result of starring in Shaw pictures and receiving star billing, but much fewer in number and even fewer of them were the principle warriors of a picture. One such name that kept appearing in the late 1960s and into the 70s was Ivy Ling Po (Sword and the Lute, Twin Swords), who could deliver a really solid performance based on the script and hold her own with the boys when the rough stuff started. One of those starring roles was in the fantasy-laden The Mighty One, from 1971.
Master Lung (Liu Ping) is storming the land with his supporting warriors named the Five Dragons for a series of five coveted creeds. Each document instructs those privy enough to get their hands on them nearly indefensible legendary attacks. At the start of the picture, Lung arrives at a modest little martial arts school where the creeds may be located. Lung, convinced the documents are in the possession of its teacher, murders the former and his daughter, leaving behind two small children, a brother and sister. Jump ahead several years and it is revealed that master Lung and the Dragons have lost two of the five creeds, thus commencing another bloody hunt as he and his crew terrorize rival masters and schools. During each attempt however, Lung is foiled by mysterious warriors apparently working on their own yet always arriving shortly after one another: one man, Hsiang Kuei (Ling Yun), who keeps his face hidden from view with a straw hat, and a woman, Hsiao Chu (Ivy Ling Po), masquerading in mens clothing. A new rivalry is ignited, but just who are the new challengers to master Lung’s supremacy?