Competing groups arrive for a faithful abbot’s retirement, each scheming with one of the abbot’s protege monks to get their hands on the monastery’s priceless scroll. Such smooth editing, hard to find scene breaks as the whole thing flows together, and modern looking for 1979. Almost the entire cast was in King Hu’s Legend of the Mountain the same year.
Sailor Wen (Yueh Sun: City on Fire) brings thief White Fox (Touch of Zen star Feng Hsu) and tassel-face Gold Lock (Ming-Tsai Wu, a student in Fist of Fury). His rival The General (Feng Tien of Green Snake) brings cop Kuang Yu Wang (in a John Woo, a Wei Lo/Jackie Chan, and a “Bruce Li” the same year), who is archenemy to the newest monk, reformed criminal Chiu Ming (Lin Tung, the movie’s assistant director). Old master Wu Wai (Chia-Hsiang Wu, in movies since the 1940’s) may be up to something, or maybe just a distraction. Chiu Ming is made the new abbot and his first act is to destroy the scroll, and the villains go home unhappy.
Fox / Lock / Wen:
The cop gets his: