Vengeance of a Snow Girl is a 1971 wuxia film starring Yueh Hua and Li Ching as the titular heroine.
Of the many martial arts period pieces starring Yueh released in the early 70s, Vengeance of a Snow Girl is notably one of the longest and most ambitious of the bunch (three minutes shy of 2 hours) and follows a different direction in storytelling than the norm at the time; a romance story between a pair of Star-Crossed Lovers, a young swordsman and a vengeful heroine, whose fates intertwines with bitter results.
Shen Ping-Hong (Li Ching) is the titular Snowgirl, an orphan who lose her parents in a war for territorial control in the martial arts clans. Growing up alone and losing the function of her legs from the incident that claimed her family, Ping-Hong, long thought to be dead, is on a path seeking vengeance, killing her old enemies one at a time. But when she crosses path with the young warrior Kao Tien-Ying (Yueh) who fell in love with her, trouble ensues because Kao's father is one of the killers responsible for her family's massacre years ago.
Vengeance of a Snow Girl contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Shen Ping-Hong the heroine and Tung Ming-chu.
- Bittersweet Ending: Shen Bing-Hong had avenged her entire family's deaths, but had to give up her life at the last moment to save Kao Tien-Ying. Moved by her actions, Kao decides that he will stay at her side, now that Shen Bing-Hong has turned into an ice statue, for the rest of his life. Roll credits.
- Blade on a Stick: Golden Warrior Tung uses a halberd with an absolutely massive blade as his main weapon.
- The Cavalry Arrives Late: In fact, they arrive after Shen Bing-Hong had commited her Heroic Sacrifice and after all the named major villains are dead.
- Cool Sword: Shen Ping-Hong wields a powerful Jade Sword with a curved blade.
- Daddy's Little Villain: Tung Ming-chu, daughter of Golden Warrior Tung and the film's Dark Action Girl, who is as cunning and as sinister as her father when it comes to plotting on how to retrieve Shen Ping-Hong's Jade Sword.
- Decapitation Presentation: Shen Ping-Hong is determined to have all four of her parents' killers executed, and have their heads placed on their altars. She managed to collect three of them.
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: The cavern that holds the sacred pearl, necessary to allow Shen Ping-Hong to enter the Ice Cave unharmed, is depicted as a lava-filled volcano constantly spewing flames. Evidently, the pearl is kept on a stone platform in the heart of the flames.
- Genre Mashup: Part wuxia, part fantasy epic, part Romeo and Juliet-esque love story.
- Handicapped Badass: Shen Ping-Hong, the titular snowgirl, whose lose functions of both her legs and can only move with crutches, but somehow still can kick plenty of ass (literally without legs).
- Healing Spring: The final scene is in an enchanted ice cave, housing a crystal spring that can restore the function of Shen Ping-Hong's legs.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Right at the end of the movie, after killing Golden Warrior Tung, Shen Ping-Hong decide to give up her sacred pearl to Kao Tien-Ying, having herself solidifying into an ice statue in the process.
- In a Single Bound: Most characters can cover great distances just by jumping, but Shen Ping-Hong is the most impressive example because she's jumping with crutches.
- Ironic Nickname: Shen Bing-Hong, the titular Snowgirl, dies from being turned into a solid ice statue.
- Off with His Head!: The fates of Master Xiamen, Master Kao and Master Shen, in the hands of Shen Ping-Hong, as part of her mission of revenge.
- Rooftop Confrontation: The opening action scene when Shen Ping-Hong escapes a group of thugs after retrieving her Jade Sword, with a bit of Roofhopping involved. Take note that she is a cripple who needs a pair of crutches to even walk, but somehow she can jump from one roof to another using her crutches and chi alone.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Ultimately, the relationship between the warrior Kao Tien-Ying and the titular snowgirl, Shen Ping-Hong, because his father is one of the killers of her family, which she had slain during her quest for revenge.
- Taken for Granite: Shen Ping-Hong's fate, from exposing herself to the frost in the Ice Cavern and turning into an ice statue.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: In the finale, Spen Ping-Hong kills Golden Warrior Tung by throwing her coveted Jade Sword into Tung's back.
- You Killed My Father: The titular vengeance refers to Shen Ping-Hong seeking the deaths of those who killed her parents.