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Film / The Young Avenger

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The Young Avenger is a 1972 Shaw Brothers wuxia film starring Rachel Shih Szu as the titular character and long-time Shaw badass Yueh Hua.

The swordswoman Li Bao-zhu (Shih) is travelling across the lands to seek her father's killer, the hunchbacked bandit leader Liu Tuo. Having trained under the Mad Monk, a reclusive hermit of great martial arts skills for years, with the knowledge of the Poisonous Dragon fighting technique, Bao-zhu is determined to slaughter her way to avenge her father.


Contain examples of:

  • Action Girl: The titular avenger, Bao-zhu.
  • Action Prologue: Bao-zhu killing several mooks in her intro. The title is in fact superimposed over her sword going into her first onscreen kill.
  • Anachronic Order: The movie starts with Bao-zhu killing a team of bandit brothers and their mooks, before going back to her past of how she learned of her father's death and training to be a swordswoman, and then back to the present where she meets Chen Shi-lun, back to her past again... pretty much the first 30 minutes of the film are anachonistic.
  • Battle Couple: Li Bao-zhu and her cousin, Chen Shi-lun, who kicks ass and take names together. At the end of the movie after all the villains are dead, they've also developed feelings for each other as lovers.
  • Chiaroscuro: In an early scene, Bao-zhu is framed in this manner when she's gazing at a candle in a completely dark room while a few mooks spies on her ready to ambush.
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  • Combat Hand Fan: Chen Shi-lun uses a spike-tipped Iron Fan as his preferred weapon, which allows him to kill plenty of mooks.
  • Cute Bruiser: Bao-zhu, as the title implies. Being played by the then 18-year-old Shih Szu, and looking like she could pass for 16, and yet take plenty of names in fight scenes, she certainly counts.
  • Evil Cripple: A variation, the Big Bad and leader of the bandits is an Evil Hunchback.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The heroine is a young girl who wants to avenge her father's death.
  • Eye Scream: Right before killing Liu Tuo, Bao-zhu managed to stab his eyes out and leave him running in circles without his sight.
  • Iaijutsu Practitioner: Bao-zhu during her introduction scene, when she managed to whip out her sheathed sword and slice up the bandit brothers who already had their swords trained on her. She displays this skill a bunch more times throughout the film.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: Chen Shi-lun's preferred methods in killing mooks, which involves him shoving the tip of his spiked fan into his enemies' throats.
  • In the Back: As seen in Bao-zhu's flashback, the hunchbacked bandit leader, Liu Tuo killed her father by ambushing him from behind.
  • One-Man Army: Li Bao-zhu and Chen Shi-lun can beat up loads and loads of mooks, even without each other's help.
  • Sword Cane: Bao-zhu's preferred weapon, which belonged to her father.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Li Bao-zhu gets roughed up multiple times throughout the movie and the mess on her hair and face stays even after the fight is over, but she still looks absolutely attractive.
  • Wuxia
  • You Killed My Father: The hunchback bandit leader, Liu Tuo, killed Bao-zhu's father years ago, prompting the then-teenaged Bao-zhu to train herself extensively in fighting and killing and then travel the land seeking her father's killer.