Thursday, March 10, 2011


I went through a period a couple of years back where I burned through a ton of movies by Tsui Hark. It was during a particularly difficult time for me, so it was only covered briefly here, in Hong Kong desire.

I wish I'd written more, especially since The Blade, Tsui's take on The One-Armed Swordsman, quickly found its way among my favorite movies ever made.

During that time, I watched the recent Zu Warriors, which I liked a lot, but for some reason, despite my best intentions, never got around to seeing the earlier Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain.

I can't believe it took me this long. The movie is like somewhere between a Road to... movie and Ray Harryhausen movie, except better, because it has also has Kung Fu!

Apparently, according to sources such as the excellent Big Trouble on the Magic Mountain by Ethan de Seife, Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain was even an influence on John Carpenter in making Big Trouble in Little China, although not being hamstrung by Hollywood, I think the Tsui movie is better, if only because of it's zealous and seemingly unhampered imagination, but if nothing else, it should give American cult movie fans a basis of understanding what this movie is.

I could review the plot, but nothing about the plot will tell you much about this.

I found myself watching and having a rare moment of wishing an Asian movie had an English dubbed track, because that would mean all the sooner I could share this with Conan. Probably just as well, perhaps a child who can't read well enough to follow subtitles isn't ready to watch a man build a demon out of human skulls with his eyebrows.

All I know is that for me, this was one great big ball of terrific.

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