Although the young Johnny To (he was 25 when he made this film) already had some experience with TV films, this film is generally regarded as his debut. It is obviously a genre film and one cannot expect a clear director’s stamp, but it has been made very skilfully and with the necessary stylistic ambition. The film was however not as successful at the box office as hoped and To was to work for television for several more years before he made another film.
The Enigmatic Case is a historic martial-arts or kungfu film. Lu Tien-Chun (played by Damian Lau) is an imprisoned sword fighter. He should really have been executed long ago, but the prison authorities suspect he knows where to find a huge treasure. Despite a lot of torture, Lu does not give up his secret and one day he manages to escape with another prisoner (Lau Kong). On the journey that follows, Lu meets the attractive young woman Yu Pei-pei (an early role played by Cherie Chung). She is on her way to the city to fetch her father’s ashes. When she sees a poster for the wanted Lu, she realises he was responsible for murdering her father. (GjZ)


Original title
Bi shui han shan duo ming jin
Filmmaker
Johnnie To
Country
Hong Kong
Year
1980
Medium
35mm
Length
91’
Language
Cantonese
Writer
Zhu Yan
Cast
Damian Lau, Lau Kong, Cherie Chung