Reviews by Country
In a departure from the wuxia/swordplay films that he’s best known for, in The Lizard director Chor Yuen brings us a period action film set in 1930s Shanghai. In a city full of wealthy foreigners and corrupt officials, a mysterious figure in black known only as The Lizard flits among the rooftops, stealing from those who don’t deserve their wealth and giving to those in need. Though a hero to the common people, the Lizard is a thorn in … (read more)
This is a hard film to write a synopsis for — while every word of the one above is true, it doesn’t really do The Magic Blade justice. While directors Chang Cheh and Lau Kar-leung were making the transition from the swordplay and wuxia films with traditional actors to kung-fu films with actors trained in martial arts, Chor Yuen made a long series of films based on the novels of Ku Lung. These are proper wuxia films, but with more … (read more)
Clans of Intrigue is a later (1977) wuxia/swordplay film from a specialist in this genre, Chu Yuan. And he was a specialist — according to the documentary on the disc, he was generally making seven or eight films at once at any given time for Shaw Brothers, and I can count at least thirty wuxia/swordplay films in his filmography from the mid-seventies to mid-eighties. A large number of these were adaptations from the work of novelist Ku Lung, and this … (read more)
The Web Of Death is another entry into the swordplay fantasy genre from a specialist in this style of film, Chor Yuen (The Magic Blade, Clans of Intrigue and many others). It’s also effectively a remake of (or taken from the same source as) 1967’s The Thundering Sword, starring Cheng Pei-pei and Chang Yi.
However, unlike The Thundering Sword, which is an older-style martial chivalry film, The Web Of Death pulls out all the stops in … (read more)