Thinking Aloud About Film: A Deadly Secret (Mou Tun-fei, Hong Kong, 1980)

We discuss our fourth Mou Tun-fei film, A Deadly Secret (1980). It was made the same year as the more sensational and political Lost Souls, and suffers in the comparison, being an entertaining but generic and unsurprising Martial Arts Romance. It also suffers in the comparison to his earlier humanist, nuanced and visually remarkable Taiwanese films, I Didn’t Dare Tell You (1969) and The End of the Track (1970). It is nonetheless quite enjoyable; and we talk about all this and more in the podcast below:

The podcast can also be listened to on Spotify here:

and on itunes here:

As you can see in the film below, the film feels very patriarchal. The story is melodramatic, about an impossible love only united in death. Desires are frustrated by family and politics. The film offers a critique of corruption but seems to accept the gender relations as they are. A taste of that is evident in the gif below:

The film also has very entertaining early special effects, good martial arts choreography, interestingly edited, as can be seen below.

You can get a taste of what the film promises in the trailer below:

José Arroyo

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