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Film / Vengeful Beauty

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The original Black Widow.

The Vengeful Beauty is a 1978 Wuxia film from Shaw Brothers, directed by Ho Meng-hua, starring Chen Ping, Lo Lieh, and Yueh Hua.

A semi-sequel/spin-off to Ho Meng Hua's earlier classic, Flying Guillotine, the story continues after the events of the original film, where another tyrannical warlord, Lord Jin (Lo Lieh), has been assigned to hunt down members of the La Résistance opposing the Imperial Court. When an Imperial Officer suspected of being a traitor ends up being killed by Lord Jin's platoon of Flying Guillotine squad, the officer's wife, Rong Qiu-yan (Chen Ping), a former warrior-turned-assassin currently pregnant with her first child, is determined to avenge her husband. Teaming up with two resistance members, Ma Sen and Wong Jun, the trio of warriors will slaughter a bloody path to revenge.


Vengeful Tropes:

  • Action Prologue: Qiu-yan’s assassination of a corrupt official and battling his guards in her introduction, a few seconds into the film.
  • Action Girl: Rong Qiu-yan, an elite assassin, fighter, killing machine… and a Pregnant Badass to boot!
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Wang Jun, after being defeated by Qiu-yan after revealing he’s the traitor and attempting to kill her, actually pleads for his life when she had her blade on his throat. Of course, he pulled an I Surrender, Suckers moments later.
  • Badass Longcoat: On Qiu-yan throughout her fights.
  • Blade on a Stick: Qiu-yan’s Weapon of Choice is a foldable staff with a bladed tip, which allows her to take names with expert ease.
  • Body Double: In the final battle, Lord Jin had a legion of Praetorian Guard units, his personal bodyguards, who were disguised to look exactly like him. They are all highly-skilled combatants, using identical halberds as their master, and are capable of working in unison as if they were reflections on mirrors, providing a difficult fight for Qiu-yan and Ma Sen.
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  • Calling Card: After murdering her target, Qiu-yan will leave behind a handful of white hibiscuses splattered with blood on their bodies.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Besides Lord Jin, Qiu-yan also had to contend with his personal henchmen, whom are his three children, both his sons and daughter, who take orders directly from him and are in charge of his most personal assassination assignments.
  • Determined Widow: Qiu-yan will stop at nothing to avenge her husband’s death while pregnant with her first child.
  • Dual Wielding: Qiu-yan’s lancer, Ma Sen uses twin swords in his fight scenes.
  • Evil Old Folks: Lord Jin, who had a head full of graying hair and commands his three adult children as his personal minions, and is the ruthless, powerful warlord ruling the land with an iron fist.
  • Fan Disservice: Oh yes. Reportedly, this wuxia contains more nudity than any other made at it’s time, and it’s NOT for fanservice reasons.
    • Lord Jin’s daughter, the Dark Action Girl henchwoman, who tries to seduce Ma Sen, only to end up getting into a fight while naked above the waist. She ends up getting slashed, stabbed and impaled through the guts with copious amounts of blood covering her boobies.
    • Qiu-yan herself, played by Shaw Brothers sex icon Chen Ping, during the scene when she realizes she’s about to lose her unborn child. She ends up stripping her pants to force the baby out, with bloody results, and in the aftermath, she’s mourning over the loss of her baby.
  • Flower Motifs: Qiu-yan’s Red Baron name is the Bloody Hibiscus, and true to her name she leaves behind white hibiscuses at the scene of her murders.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: For Lord Jin’s daughter-slash-henchwoman, who strips herself trying to seduce Ma Sen until Qiu-yan reveals who she really is. Cue said henchwoman leaping into battle with her boobies completely hanging out.
  • Honey Trap: The strategy attempted by Lord Jin’s daughter to kill the protagonists.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Wang Jun the traitor, by Qiu-yan flinging her weapon into him.
    • Lord Jin kills off Ma Sen in this fashion using his extendable staff.
    • Moments later, Qiu-yan kills Lord Jin using her spear in this manner.
  • The Mole: Wang Jun turns out to be working for Lord Jin.
  • Nothing Left to Do but Die: Qiu-yan, after losing her husband and unborn baby, decides to assault Lord Jin’s mansion for a direct confrontation, knowing fully well that she will not likely survive the attempt.
  • Off with His Head!: It is a spin-off of the Flying Guillotine films. Surprise?
  • Power Trio: Rong Qiu-yan and her allies, Wang Jun and Ma Sen. Subverted in a way that Wang Jun is a traitor and informant working for Lord Jin.
  • Pregnant Badass: Qiu-yan is several months pregnant right at the start of the movie even as she goes about killing corrupt officials and traitors, and as the movie progresses her pregnancy becomes increasingly obvious.
  • Professional Killer: Qiu-yan, who is an assassin while keeping her true identity from her husband, a government official.
  • Revealing Reflection: Qiu-yan noticed one of Lord Jin’s assassins sneaking upon her from above a tree after seeing him reflected on her blade.
  • Something About a Rose: Qiu-yan, the titular Vengeful Beauty, whose motif revolves around the White Hibiscus, or more commonly known as the Confederate Rose.
  • Take It to the Bridge: In traditional Shaw Brothers fashion, the final battle ultimately had Qiu-yan and Ma Sen confronting Lord Jin after killing all his guards and Elite Mooks, on a bridge outside Lord Jin’s mansion. Although that bridge gets blown into bits because Lord Jin had installed explosives around it prior to the battle.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Averted when Wang Jun, who missed a swing with his sword while trying to kill Qiu-yan only to have it Left Stuck After Attack into a broken tree, retrieves his weapon and hurls it at her from the back. Qiu-yan dodges just in time, and retaliates by hurling her weapon into Wang Jun’s chest.
  • Tragic Stillbirth: Qiu-yan, after being betrayed by Wang Jun and nearly dying, loses her unborn child as a result.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Qiu-yan after getting roughed up from the many fights she partakes in.
  • Wham Line: Delivered by Wang Jun, the traitor.
    Wang Jun: " Rong Qiu-yan, it’s time for you to die."
  • You Killed My Father: You Killed My Husband, but either way the trope still works the same way.
    • After Qiu-yan suffers a miscarriage, she ends up going through a You Killed My Husband and My Unborn Child Too, by the end of the film.


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