Fu Sheng and Ti Lung isn't even featured. how do these things even happen in this day and age? the world may never know. it's sad for this fine movie.
anyway, this is an interesting movie. it's been remade a couple of time after this, but not as well. it's directed by Sun Chung, so it looks different than the other Shaw movies directed by Chang Cheh or Lau Kar-lueng. which makes it more memorable. the weird plot helps as well.
the leader of the Eagle Clan kidnaps young boys and trains them (and brainwashes them as well) to be his thieves so he can amass wealth. this leads to all sorts of conflicts when Chik Ming-sing (Ti Lung) decides to quit after being helped by a righteous family (and falling in love). he is pursued by the other 11 assassins and there are really cool battles that follow. he's helped out by the mysterious stranger, Cheuk Yi-fan (Alexander Fu Sheng) along the way.
there's a few flashbacks in the story, which also make it more original than the other directors. the heroes use a three sectional staff and some deadly knives, and there are plenty of other weapons on display as well.
the blurbs on the back of the boxes tend to make a big deal of the "surprise" twist at the end, but it's not that surprising. anyone paying attention can see it coming halfway through the movie.