Oh, look, it’s another brightly-coloured Chu Yuan fantasy swordplay film, like the squillions of other ones he made for Shaw Brothers — except that this one has a number of features that make it a little different, and a bit of a surprise as well. Made in 1977, this film stars Derek Yee (David Chiang’s younger brother, and director of 2004’s great One Nite in Mongkok) as Third Master, reputedly the number one swordsman in the world. His stature … (read more)
Miracles was Jackie Chan’s answer in 1989 to the criticism that Hong Kong cinema wasn’t capable of doing more than low-budget action films, limited to genre pictures and nothing more. This film had an enormous budget for its time, took nine months to shoot and was made with a great deal of care and attention to detail. The sets are enormous and detailed. The costumes are great. There are tracking shots and other complicated camerawork everywhere. And, as always in … (read more)
This film is a wuxia (heroic chivalry) film from when the genre was most popular, starring several A-list actors and with a number of scenes that will seem eerily familiar to people who’ve seen other wuxia films made at the time. It’s great fun though, and has a particularly strong performance from Cheng Pei-pei, in two different lead roles! As the rather frighteningly enthusiastic synopsis above says, this film has both Cheng Pei-pei (this reviewer’s favourite actress of the time) … (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)