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Film / The Secret of the Dirk

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The Secret of Chang Yi's kickass Unfolding Sword

The Secret of the Dirk is a 1970 Shaw Brothers Wuxia film directed by Hsu Tseng-Hung (the same man behind the entire Temple Of The Red Lotus trilogy) starring Chang Yi.

When the notorious Bandit Chief Wang and his mooks raids the City of Liu, the inhabitants are forced to flee, but not before keeping all their gold and treasure hidden in a valley. A team of swordswomen led by Liu Ming-Chu (Ching Li) are looking for the hidden treasure box before the bandits can get their hands on it, but both parties will have to contend with the wandering swordsman Chou Ying-Lung (Chang) and his awesome, awesome unfoldable sword.


Secret of the Tropes:

  • Amazon Brigade: Liu Ming-Chu and her proteges-cum-followers, Xiao Lan and Liu Ching-Ching, who can take plenty of names.
  • Battle Couple: Chou Ying-Lung and Liu Ming-Chu naturally ends up as allies, taking on armies of mooks in large-scale battle scenes as Back-to-Back Badasses. Subverted for the climax, when she arrives to battle the bandits before him, and he arrives just in time to reinforce her, and as she is put out of action by Bandit Lord Wang Shan-Hu, he ends up taking on Wang and the remaining mooks all by himself.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The bandits completely underestimates Chou Ying-Lung due to how affable he is. Until he slays a bloody chunk from their ranks without batting an eye in the finale, that is.
  • Bifurcated Weapon: Chou Ying-Lung's sword, who can split it's blade into at least six fan-like extensions, which allows him to take plenty of names in the film's numerous sword battles.
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  • Horseback Heroism: Chou Ying-Lung is an expert rider besides being a swordsman, and his action setpieces includes a lengthy chase scene where he pursues several horse-riding bandits across a valley.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Bandit Lord Wang Shan-Hu, by Chou Ying-Lung's sword. Who goes through his guts and then unfolds open like a folding fan.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Three leaders of the bandit clans, nicknamed the Three Black Tigers, whom are clad entirely in black and are seen leading the lesser bandit mooks. They serve as a triple boss battle for Chou Ying-Lung to content, but predictably all three of them die rather quickly by Chou's sword.
  • Old-School Chivalry: Chou Ying-Lung, for a swordsman who can take names without blinking an eye, is really polite and affable, apologizing to Ching-ching for almost knocking her over and telling her it's not his style to fight people who never wronged him.
  • One-Man Army: Right at the end of the movie, Chou Ying-Lung's personal bodycount skyrockets as he squares off against an entire army of bandits all by himself. And wins.
  • Sword Fight: Plenty of times between Chou Ying-Lung and the bandits. It helps that Chou's sword can unfold it's blades into at least twelve halves, ensuring that he will always have a spare blade at hand.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: For Chou Ying-Lung. It helps that his sword can split into a dozen thinner ones and be retrieved from the dead bodies embedded into after each battle.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: After duelling Ming-Chu's partner Ching-ching, Chou Ying-Lung defeats her by slicing the ribbon adorning her hair with his sword, and telling her it's time for him to leave.
  • Wuxia


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