On Diabolique: My three-part article, “Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio,” examines A Chinese Ghost Story, the original story by Pu Songling, and the Shaw Brothers’ Enchanting Shadow.
Back in the day, Jimmy Wang Yu was one of my favorite punching bags, and I’m glad I was never a punching bag for him. Because I hear he was actually pretty tough.
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.
Despite secret lairs and spy gadgets, Asia-pol plays things straight where other Shaw Bros. espionage efforts reveled in the most outlandish sci-fi aspects of spy films.
Inframan is, in many ways, a perfect film, in that it is resoundingly successful in achieving what it sets out to do. Every one of its scenes could be bullet-pointed with the word “SEE!” in front of it.
The classic tale of a young scholar who falls in love with a snake spirit gets the Tsui Hark treatment in this lush fantasy film. Which is to say, it’s full of wild effects, gorgeous imagery, and is thoroughly depressing.
Interpol 009 has everything you’d want in a 1960s spy movie–except for a memorable villain, a spectacular crime, and audacious action set pieces. On balance that leaves you with attractive stars, lots of nicely photographed scenes shot in glamorous locations, some nice cars, and a lot of fun gadgets.
Hong Kong gets in on the Ring craze with a slapdash tale of ghosts and curses which, despite its many flaws, still manages to be an entertaining foray into J-horror, HK style.
Ninja Killer was a lot fun, even if there were no ninjas, and even if my dreams of Cuneyt Arkin fighting Bolo Yeung never came to fruition. Godfrey Ho and conspirator Thomas Tang have created something almost… competent… in the execution.