Butterfly Swords is a nearly twenty year-old film finally making it to DVD. With the all-star cast of martial arts superstars it boasts you would expect there to be more dazzling fight sequences, but this was originally released in 1993, years before films like The Matrix, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero revolutionized the way people do battle on screen. In Butterfly Swords there are a few good hand to hand fight scenes that showcase the talented martial artists, but there are mostly just whiplash inducing cuts that don't allow the viewer to take in the impact of each move, let alone admire the execution. In its own hokey way though, the film still manages to be charming, albeit pretty violent (a lot more blood and severed heads than the aforementioned films). I imagine this is the type of crudely edited film that would inspire a much better Tarantino film. This is okay since the film doesn't take itself too seriously and the lighthearted way it bounces along with poorly spaced subtitles adds its appeal. Admittedly it's an acquired taste, I don't think that the average person who might have enjoyed The House of Flying Daggers for instance would find the charm in Butterfly Swords, but fans of Tarantino and old Bruce Lee movies might get a kick out of it.
6 /10 Kung Fu grips ******