Near the end of its lifespan, Hong Kong’s Shaw Brothers studio decided that no film was too weird, resulting in a late-in-the-game deluge of utterly bizarre martial arts fantasy films.
Kung Fu Zombie, , one of the films that inspired the creation of Teleport City, pits Billy Chong against an indestructible living dead martial artist with flaming hands and feet.
A washed-up, alcoholic superhero must pull himself out of depression to defeat Christopher Lee in one of cinema’s first deconstructions of comic book superheroes. It also happens to be a musical.
We are increasingly left with a sort of bland guy who just happens to be named James Bond — which, in a way, might be bringing the character back around to how Fleming originally imagined him, as an anonymous blunt instrument into whom a reader could pour his or her own identity; a characterless cypher of a man who might not be interesting but to whom interesting things happened. But honestly, by the middle of the 1980s, with decades of suave, awesome James Bond under our belts, did anyone really want an anonymous 007?
Based on a retelling by author Daniel Chonkadze of a Georgian folktale, the simple plot at the core of the movie is about Georgia in a tumultuous time, caught in the middle of a war between Muslims and Christians. Although its borders are largely secure thanks to a network of fortresses, one of these strongholds is a weak link owing to the fact that no matter what manner of architectural and engineering know-how is applied to it, the walls inevitably crumble after a short while.
Truly a classic, and a film any fan of Hong Kong cinema needs to have seen. Its energy is boundless but never overwhelming or out of control.