In the end, Underworld Beauty is perhaps not as singular a viewing experience as Suzuki’s later, more idiosyncratic masterworks like Branded to Kill, Tokyo Drifter and Gate of Flesh, but it is nonetheless noteworthy.
A serviceable if somewhat awkward masala adventure, very much in the spirit of old exploitation films that seek to teach us the perils of assorted alternative lifestyles even as they indulge in endless scenes of said lifestyle.
Let me be up front: the whole reason I wanted to watch this film in the first place was because the poster art featured a torch-wielding naked woman riding atop a tormented centaur. I knew it was probable nothing like that would ever occur in the actual movie (and I wasn’t disappointed in my pre-disappointment),…
There’s also a neat little XTC rarity, composed specifically for the film. Unfortunately, true to Robert Stigwood’s intent, this ends up being more of an argument for buying Times Square‘s soundtrack than it does for watching the film itself.
Films such as Footmen, as mentioned before, would typically be shown in small churches, and would be followed by an altar call, during which those audience members who had yet to do so, shaken by what they had seen, would step forward and, just as Judy had done at the film’s conclusion, accept Jesus Christ as their lord and savior.
I was left celebrating the merits of the film while all those around me who had seen it more recently made with the ominous proclamations of, ‘You’re going to be disappointed with that one, chief.’ Impossible! I mean — seriously: magic carpet dog fights!
Bat Without Wings takes the now familiar Chor Yuen wuxia trappings and injects an element of the horror film into them. Yuen’s style has always seemed somewhat informed by a combination of horror films and old mystery serials, packed as they are with sinister cults, trap doors, secret identities, and hidden chambers.
The underlying story — about a man discovering the world beyond the safe confines of his palace home, as well as discovering the sordid past of his otherwise heroic acting father — may take a back seat to all the chicken leg kungfu and lasers, but its presence at all makes Battle Wizard a cut above the usual fare.
The Web of Death is one of those martial arts films in Chor Yuen’s catalog that is inessential, but nonetheless enjoyable. It provides a nice break for completists like myself, who have had to suffer through far worse in their mission to watch every single one of the man’s films.
While, admittedly, some of my enjoyment of Khoon Khoon arose from the novelty of it being a Bollywood adaptation of one of my favorite films — just as it was with Inkaar, Raj N. Sippy’s reworking of Kurosawa’s High and Low — I also found it irresistibly watchable on its own terms.
When innovative Shaw Bros. studio director Chor Yuen teamed up with martial arts novelist Lung Ku and the Shaw’s top kungfu film star, Ti Lung, they made beautiful music together. In 1977 the trio collaborated to create two of the best martial arts films ever made, Clans of Intrigue and Magic Blade. The success of…
I think the film was undone for most people by the things I liked most about it: misguided and moronic attempts at social conscience, and a bizarre marketing campaign that framed the movie as a Wolf Creek/Hills Have Eyes new style slasher film while doing everything it could to obscure the fact that this was, in fact, a movie about a giant crocodile.