Funimation // 1972 // 117 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // April 16th, 2010
Hell hath no fury like 14 women scorned.
If you say so.
A family of nobles, fighters, and bad-asses sees its elite squad of male warriors completely wiped out by a nemesis clan. Who's left to exercise vengeance and violence? The women...or, more specifically, the Amazons, who are skilled, motivated, and more than inclined to unload the smackdown.
The bad guys underestimate their female foes, of course, but after a handful of epic brawls -- and the wacko "human bridge" sequence -- they learn to respect what the Amazons have to offer. And that is pain.
More insanity from the vault of the Shaw Brothers. Ever since the doors blew off of this wellspring of Asian cinematic chaos, I've been drinking in a steady supply of cult favorites, kick-ass martial arts, and general weirdness. 14 Amazons brings a little bit of everything, resulting in an entertaining wuxia romp.
The bread and butter of the action choreography are big sword and chopsocky battle scenes, featuring multiple players hacking and slashing at each other with spurting results. Choreographer Cheng Hsiao Tung does a good job managing a legion of actors and stunt performers, forging some genuinely cool -- and brutal -- melees.
There isn't a lot of downtime in 14 Amazons, with the non-combat screen time being taken up by various scenes of family elders gathering to discuss their defense options; resistant to the ladies throwing down and the evildoers thinking they're pretty awesome. Until the human bridge, that is.
Yes, the human bridge! If anything will stick out about this film, it's this scene; a bonafide nutso idea executed about as well as something like this could be. Here's the set-up: it's crunch time for the Amazons, and they're facing a huge gorge they need to cross. What to do? How about standing on each other's shoulders and falling over the edge of the cliff, miraculously bridging the gulf, allowing their companions safe transport. Up to this point, the action had been semi-grounded, so it's difficult to latch back onto realism following this ridiculous set-up, but whatever; you'll remember it.
Funimation's DVD is no-frills: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, Mandarin mono and an English stereo dub, English subtitles, and no extras.
It's all about the girl power -- and the Amazons deliver.
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Scales of Justice
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (Mandarin)
Running Time: 117 Minutes
Release Year: 1972
MPAA Rating: Not Rated