The storytelling and choreography is surprisingly sloppy for a Chang Cheh movie. Still, he has a way of always taking things just slightly further than you think he will (like showing a kid disembowel himself to prove that he didn't steal and eat a fowl), and that commitment to violent insanity is a consistent saving grace even in his lesser pictures.
5 - A mixed bag. The elegance of "The One-Armed Swordsman" is here replaced by tedious exchanges and a generous helping of cloying mumbo jumbo, and the senseless character actions are rampant. Conversely, this film features some of cinema’s few competent examples of "outnumbered hero" melees conducted in open spaces, thanks to a fight choreography heavily reliant on wide, powerful swathes. All in all, a fun watch.
Transcendental romance in the form of a violent Eastern, Golden Swallow is caught between two warrior personas of an ideal love: one, a conservative, introverted protector and the other, a wild, extroverted egomaniac, both of which are genuine sides to the perfect overman. Chang effortlessly masters this spiritual duality between honorable, righteous living and fearless, apocalyptic death.