This film is about a woman’s rise from imperial concubine to Empress of China. She does it using sex, murder, and whatever else works. Director Peilin Fang does a really nice job of keeping the film within the imperial quarters only. This makes it much easier to see and understand how the emperor was so easily manipulated and later on how the empress can’t see the plot against her life until her loyal subjects storm the place to stop it.

This is another classic Chinese film that isn’t great, but is still worth a look.