Peplum Paradise Part 4: Asian Historical and Fantasy films 1949 onwards.

This is a list of historical (set pre-1800) or historical-fantasy films produced by Asian countries from 1949 until the present day - including Bollywood and martial arts pictures.

The list is alphabetical using the most common English titles (where applicable), so the IMDb titles may appear to be all over the place alphabetically.

This list is certainly far from complete and a work in progress, so I would welcome any suggestions of titles I may have omitted.

I have included a few additional titles at the end of the main list which bear some relevance to the subject.

There were a number of Asian titles, at least 10, mostly Indian and Pakistani, for which I was unable to find matching IMDb pages, and which are therefore not included.

I will be updating the list regularly with new and expanded reviews and any new titles that I may discover.

Latest Updates:
Review: Buddha (1961)
Review: The Servant (2010)
Review: Swordsman II (1992)
Review: Painted Skin (2008)
Review: Sher-E-Watan (1971)

To keep up to date with all the latest additions join my "Peplum Paradise" group on Facebook

This list is a companion piece to my other lists:
Peplum Paradise Part 1: Italian Historical and Fantasy films 1949-1969 (,
Peplum Paradise Part 2: Italian Historical and Fantasy films from 1970 onwards (
and Peplum Paradise Part 3: International Historical and Fantasy films 1949 onwards (
Peplum Paradise Part 5: Animated Historical and Fantasy films 1949 onwards (
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Aadhiyugam (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Prasad

This Bollywood caveman epic starts out more Adam and Eve than One Million Years B.C. as a prehistoric man (he looks like the guy from Boney M) finds a woman floating on a river and before you know it they’re eating mushrooms together, running from elephants, and having lots of children. Things then take a turn for the surreal as, out of the blue, you have someone who looks like Frankenstein’s dwarf brother fighting what looks like a man in a Godzilla-like rubber giant armadillo suit, which is amusing but goes on way longer than necessary. You then have two rival tribes of cavemen chasing a poor solitary sheep for 15 minutes, then battling each other for 15 more until a volcano puts a stop to it. Further perils include several fights over women, a lustful gorilla, some battling lizards and a wig department on overtime. Very surprisingly for an Indian picture you even get to see a few bare female breasts, and, even more surprisingly, there are no musical numbers. This one certainly has curiosity value, though it never seems entirely sure if it wants to be taken seriously or for laughs, but is certainly no more ridiculous than any similarly themed western efforts, but it is overlong and grows pretty tiresome towards the end. ” - PeplumParadise
Aakhri Chattan (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Aslam Dar
“ Wanted! ” - PeplumParadise
Aandhi Aur Toofan (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Aaya Toofan (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
After his father is killed by a bandit by the name of Bharat of Chandravan, Naagsen is crowned King...
“ No beating around the bush here, within the first 20 minutes Princess Chanda (the very lovely Helen) is kidnapped by a hideous giant genie whom she has been given as a gift from an evil magician, and is rescued by muscular hero Deepu (Dara Singh), and they find time to fit in 2 musical numbers. When it transpires that Deepu is the son of the King’s biggest enemy he is forced to flee to avoid imprisonment (there’s gratitude for you!), but begins an illicit affair with the princess nonetheless. Things get complicated when Kala (Nishi), the King’s mistress and a selfish evil bitch to rival the best, also falls for Deepu’s charms, but who, when she gets spurned, sets out for revenge, which eventually leads to Deepu having his eyes gouged out! Deepu (with closed eyes and heavy eye shadow to signify blindness) and the princess are then banished, the princess is kidnapped by the magician from the beginning, Deepu gets his sight back (don’t even ask), and saves her by beating up several large wrestlers. Fans of muscle men movies should like this one. In addition to Singh, an Indian Kirk Morris type who was also a professional wrestler (he also played Indian variations of Hercules, Samson and Tarzan), there are lots of other body builder/wrestlers on display of all shapes and races. Did I mention Deepu’s gay best friend with his very clever pet snake, or that Singh spends the whole movie wearing a skimpy gold towel with pom-poms? This one has a bit of something to satisfy fans of peplum and camp alike and is also great fantasy entertainment with plenty of action (and yes, songs too), and is certainly not deserving of the near obscurity it currently enjoys. ” - PeplumParadise
Abe Hayat (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  
Director: Ramanlal Desai
The Accidental Gangster and the Mistaken Courtesan (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Korea, 1724. Once upon a time in the Choson Dynasty, Chun-doong falls in love at first sight with a beautiful woman whilst in the middle of a fight... (103 mins.)
Director: Kyun-dong Yeo

This is a likeable, if rather daft, slapstick comedy, of which about 75% is completely hilarious whilst the remaining 25% is just silly and misses the mark. That the movie is as enjoyable as it is, is entirely down to the central performance of Lee-Jung Jae as Cheon-doong, a street fighter who through a bizarre series of events finds himself leader of a powerful gang with devoted followers. The story involves his rivalry with foppish gang leader Man-deuk (Kim Suk-Hoon) and his slightly underdeveloped romance with courtesan Seol-ji (Kim Ok-bin). The period setting of 1724 is pretty nominal since from the clothing and music it could just as easily be set in some modern-day villages. If you’re expecting a standard action or oriental historical piece you’ll likely come out disappointed, but if you’re after a killer off the wall comedy along the lines of Kung Fu Hustle then this film is for you. ” - PeplumParadise
Kiganjô no bôken (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Osami, a soldier-of-fortune from Japan, joins with priest Ensai in a quest for the ashes of the great Buddha. Their journey takes them to a kingdom in the Middle East, where they find intrigue and romance in the court of an evil king. (105 mins.)
Adventures of Aladdin (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Homi Wadia
Ajooba (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
The evil Vizier of Baharistan kills the royal family and takes power himself but the real crown prince, who has survived his machinations, returns to his homeland to avenge his parents as a masked vigilante 'Ajooba'. (178 mins.)
“ This film suffers from an unfairly maligned reputation, Amitabh Bachchan was a major Bollywood star and this film, a major box-office bomb on it’s release, is one of those blamed for his fall from grace. What you have here is basically a good old-fashioned Arabian Nights style fairy story with an evil villain and a dashing hero. The cruel Vazir (Amrish Puri) attempts to kill the Sultan of Baharistan (Shammi Kapoor), his wife, and their infant son, and assumes leadership of the country, but unknown to him they all survive. The son grows up to become Ajooba (Bachchan), a Zorro-type hero in a cardboard silver mask and leather jacket with silver shoulder-wings (really!) with some superman-like powers and a whip. There’s also a feisty heroine, a beautiful princess, a talking donkey, a flying carpet, a shrinking potion, a giant crab and a happy ending. Admittedly the acting is all very hammy, but that’s par for the course in Bollywood, and the “special” effects (there’s a lot of magic involved) are really the worst I’ve seen, ever, ever!! These faults aside though, and really they just add to the fun of it, this is a fast-paced adventure in the style of 50’s Hollywood escapism that keeps you entertained for it’s full three hour length, the songs are OK and not too frequent, Amrish Puri is the most evil Satan-worshipping villain you will ever see onscreen, and, although he admittedly does look ridiculous in his silly outfit and is too old for his role, Bachchan still makes a hero you will want to cheer for. Ignore the film’s reputation, take it in the spirit that is was intended and give it a chance-you may just be surprised. ” - PeplumParadise
Ako roshi (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
(151 mins.)
Aladin dan lampu wasiat (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
(92 mins.)
Aladdin Aur Jadui Chirag (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.0/10 X  
An musical adaptation of Aladin and the wonderful lamp.
Director: Homi Wadia

To be reviewed ” - PeplumParadise
Alakh Niranjan (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Tries to drive home the point that men and women are bestowed with equal powers by the Almighty. Mahavishnu as Machindranath...
Director: Babubhai Mistri
“ From what I can gather from scant information on the internet, this is something about a proclamation of the equality of the sexes in the Hindu religion, and this would appear to be the third filmed version of the story. Watching the film without subtitles I’m afraid I was up the creek without a paddle plot wise, though it obviously had plenty of fantastical elements presumably with religious significance. There are plenty of fabulous costumes and some typically cheesy effects of the kind that would make Ed Wood proud, while the musical numbers are unexceptional. Unfortunately this is one of those which, without (and possibly even with) the benefit of subtitles or knowledge of Hindi, is completely bonkers and impossible to follow (hence no star rating). ” - PeplumParadise
Alibaba and 40 Thieves (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Shunned by his family, a male endangers his life after he finds hidden treasure belonging to 40 thieves.
Director: Homi Wadia
“ A refreshingly straightforward telling of the Ali Baba story. Ali Baba (Mahipal) discovers the 40 thieves cave and steals some of their treasure for himself. When his greedy and unscrupulous brother Cassim finds out about Ali Baba’s new found wealth he wants it for himself, so he tricks Ali into telling him where he found it, then condemns him to death, but Ali escapes. Cassim gets into the thieves cave, but is trapped in there when he forgets the password, and is discovered and beheaded when the thieves return. At this vital point in the storyline, about 2/3 through the film, I’m afraid that the DVD I was reviewing froze up, never to recover, so I have no idea how the film ends. This was obviously made on a big budget by Indian standards at the time, as it’s well filmed with impressive sets and lavish costumes, and even the visual effects are a lot better than usual. It does cry out for colour, and drags slightly at times despite it’s short (for Bollywood) running time, but these are minor quibbles and this is a highly entertaining picture and vastly superior to the 1980 Hindi version. Director Homi Wajda revisited the story 12 years later. ” - PeplumParadise

To be reviewed ” - PeplumParadise
Alibaba Aur 40 Chor (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Alibaba, (Dharmendra) a native of Guleba is in love with Marjina (Hema Malini). The town has a ruler... (138 mins.)
“ Despite being made in 1980 this has a look and feel to it of something made twenty years earlier, apart that is from the leading ladies wearing glaringly modern period dress (and we won’t even mention the illuminated discotheque dance floor that appears in one musical number, no, we won’t). It’s a bit unclear exactly when and where this is supposed to be set, the attempts at Arabian Nights-style period dress and sets being half-hearted at best. Dharmendra, in the title role, is rather dull, though at least he does turn in a fairly masculine performance, a rarity in Bollywood period films. The more interesting characters are the villains, who are, tellingly, played by the Russian actors in this Indian-Soviet co-production. It’s all a bit of a lacklustre affair with an air of cheapness about it (the “special” effects are particularly amateurish) and not really worth bothering with. ” - PeplumParadise
Alibaba Marjinaa (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Circa the Mughal rule in Persia, Alibaba lives a poor life-style with his mother; married brother Qasim and his wife... (163 mins.)
Director: Kedar Kapoor
“ This is a pretty unexceptional and rather long-winded telling of the familiar Ali Baba tale. Ali (chubby Prem Krishan) buys Princess Marjinaa (cross-eyed Tamanna) in the slave market, discovers treasure in the cave of the 40 thieves, then has things undone by his greedy brother. The acting is uniformly dreadful even by Bollywood standards and the film has a somewhat cheap and cheerful feel to it despite appearing to have been made on a reasonable budget. Not worth bothering with when there are numerous superior versions around. ” - PeplumParadise
Amarsinh Rathod (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Amar Singh Rathore was a great Rajput warrior who chased an insolent imperial messenger into Agra fort...
Director: Jaswant Jhaveri

This would appear to be a light hearted period piece, but unfortunately the lack of subtitles and total absence of any information online (even the IMDb only lists one actor) mean I really have no idea what was taking place. It’s obscurity does seem a little odd given that there are a number of well known actors in the cast, several that I recognised from similar productions, though the only one I was really familiar with was the lovely Helen, who went on to be Dara Singh’s leading lady in many of his 60’s pictures and could always be guaranteed to dance up a dervish, and doesn’t disappoint here. Going on visuals alone there would appear to be a handsome hero who is the title character, a princess who disguises herself as a man and her Maharajah father who reside in an opulent palace, an illicit romance, a period setting, a bearded villain, some swordplay, a rather brief battle, your standard comic relief sidekicks, tuneful musical numbers and a tragic ending-I just really wish I knew what was going on. There is a famous 17th century historical character named Amar Singh Rathore who may well be the inspiration here and whose story bears some similarity to what is on screen, but don’t quote me on that. Like many Indian films of the 50’s and 60’s filmed in black and white, or is at least on DVD in that format, it also looks like it would have benefitted greatly from some colour with what would have obviously been beautiful and colourful costumes, sets and scenery. ” - PeplumParadise
Amrapali (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
His hunger for conquest not satiated, even after repeated victories, Samrat Ajaatshatru of Magadh would like to continue on his winning spree... (119 mins.)
Director: Lekh Tandon
“ When Magadh Prince Ajatshatru (Sunil Dutt) is wounded in battle after leading his side to defeat, he disguises himself as an enemy Vaishali soldier and is taken in by Amrapali (Vyjayanthimala) who cares for his wounds without knowing his true identity. Naturally the pair fall in love, which you know will only lead to trouble, as he remains in disguise plotting the downfall of the Vaishali army from the inside while she is promoted to a royal courtesan. When the affair is discovered Amrapali is imprisoned, but when Ajatshatru leads his army to victory and frees her, she, having discovered his deception, is faced with a conflict of emotions of classic proportions. This is a big-budgeted production which was a flop on it’s initial release, though it’s hard to see why since it’s well made and contains all the ingredients of a great Bollywood tragedy, maybe the production values were just too high for an audience used to Dara Singh opuses. It’s colourful, fast-paced, the lead actors turn in performances which are borderline masculine, the songs are average, the dance routines manic, so this is pretty much as good as Bollywood got in 1966. ” - PeplumParadise
Anand Math (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
(176 mins.)
Director: Hemen Gupta
Anarkali (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Shahenshah Jalaudin Akbar is the grandson of Babbar, and the son of Humayun. He is known to have ruled over Hindustan with a humane and just heart... (175 mins.)
“ This is an extremely melodramatic old-school Bollywood historical romance, which we are informed before the credits start has no basis in reality. Bina Rai’s voices, both her real one and her dubbed singing one, sound like she’s been gargling helium and grates very quickly-and continues to for the next 2 ½ hours, and you do have to get over the fact that in any other culture you would take one look at the leading men and think “screaming queens”. The storyline, involving the on-off-on-off-on-off doomed love affair between the girl of the title and a Hindustani prince, is all over the place and pretty hard to follow at times, but still somehow strangely compelling. If you are a Bollywood fan then it’s likely you’ll find something to enjoy here, but others should proceed with caution. Although this was filmed in black and white, you can frustratingly tell what beautiful colours the costumes and sets must be (the DVD menu gives good hints), and, although I don’t generally advocate such things, in this case a colourisation could be of great benefit. ” - PeplumParadise
Anarkali (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Kunchako
Anmol Moti (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.0/10 X  
Director: S.D. Narang
Ashoka the Great (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The epic tale of King Asoka's life is recounted here. (176 mins.)
Director: Santosh Sivan
“ Soulless Bollywood epic which uncomfortably blends history with fantasy. A wise monk tells a young prince that a sword possesses evil powers. The boy of course rescues the sword, and grows up to become Emperor Asoka (Shah Rukh Khan), who ruled Magadha in the 3rd century B.C. The main problem here is the central mis-casting of the ubiquitous Khan, star of seemingly 50% of the films to come out of Bollywood in the nineties and noughties, whose acting style is just too modern to convince in such an unlikeable role. His redemption in the film’s final 5 minutes comes way to late, the whole films tone and colour palate is too bleak, and the required musical production numbers are unmemorable and poorly executed. ” - PeplumParadise
The Assassins (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
Set in the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history, the story focuses on Cao Cao in his old age, exploring the areas of military tactics, love, and the relationship between father and son. (107 mins.)
Director: Linshan Zhao
“ This looks good, as modern Oriental epics should, but here the visuals are let down by a very incoherent storyline. The storyline, if you can call it that, involves multiple plots against the Emperor (Alec Su), and against his chancellor Cao Cao (Chow Yun-Fat – watchable as ever, but giving a by numbers performance), who may or may not also be plotting against the Emperor. The visuals, which are really the only reason for watching this, have an overly clean, unrealistic feel to them. In a crowded field of flashy modern Oriental epics, this one doesn’t really warrant attention. ” - PeplumParadise
The Avenging Eagle (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Chi Ming-sing is a former disciple of a gang run by overlord Yoh Xi-hung. Yoh's disciples hunt Chi relentlessly... (90 mins.)
Director: Chung Sun
Awara Abdulla (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
(106 mins.)
Director: Tara Harish
Azumi (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Raised to deal in cold blooded death, the teenage assassin girl Azumi must defeat three evil warlords while also battling her own heart. (128 mins.)
Azumi 2: Death or Love (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Young assassins Azumi and Nagara continue their mission to prevent a civil war. In their hunt for Masayuki Sanada... (108 mins.)
Director: Shûsuke Kaneko
Baadal (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
Baadal and Meenakshi love each other but parents are against them due to old enmity.
Director: Anand Sagar
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Trailed by a clan of female ninja, Ogami is paid to assassinate a clan traitor accompanied by three killers known as the Gods of Death. (95 mins.)
Director: Kenji Misumi

Picking up where the first film in the series left off, this finds outlaw assassin for hire Ogami Itto (Tomisaburô Wakayama) and his infant son continuing to blaze his trail of revenge and picking up a few pennies along the way. Essentially little more than an excuse to execute a series of increasingly outrageous killings, with no expense spared on gallons of spurting red paint, there is just about enough of a coherent storyline to hold things together. This works better than the first as a stand-alone feature, but is still better seen as part of the series. ” - PeplumParadise
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Ogami Itto volunteers to be tortured by the yakuza to save a prostitute and is hired by their leader to kill an evil chamberlain. (89 mins.)
Director: Kenji Misumi

This third film in the Lone Wolf and Cub series has a more complex plot and deeper character development than the first two and resultantly is a more satisfying standalone feature. There is still plenty of gratuitous gore on display as now legendary assassin Ogami Itto (Tomisaburô Wakayama) finds ever more inventive ways to dispatch his challengers, and even gets to suffer a little torture himself. This is my favourite of the series. ” - PeplumParadise
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Ogami is hired to kill a tattooed female assassin. Gunbei Yagyu, an enemy samurai, happens upon Ogami's son, and sees his chance for revenge. (81 mins.)
Director: Buichi Saitô

It's business as usual in the fourth installment of the Lone Wolf and Cub series, with the vengeful father and son assassin team racking up more blood-spraying corpses. Unlikely to attract any converts, and more far-fetched than the earlier episodes, but fans of the series shouldn’t be disappointed. ” - PeplumParadise
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Five warriors challenge Ogami to duels. Each holds a part of information needed to complete the assassination of a mad clan leader. (89 mins.)
Director: Kenji Misumi

Anyone hoping for the land of demons promised in the title of this fifth installment in the Lone Wolf and Cub series will be disappointed. Otherwise please refer to my review for Baby Cart In Peril which is equally applicable here. ” - PeplumParadise
Badal (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An Indianized version of the Sherwood Forest legend. King is away, the jaagirdar is a wimp and his henchman loots the poor... (146 mins.)
“ When evil overseer Jai Singh (Hiralal) kills the father of Baadal Singh (Prem Nath) in an argument over taxes, Baadal sets out to get revenge by turning into a Robin Hood-type outlaw after being declared a rebel, stealing from the imbecilic ruler Jagidar Mahipal Singh (Randhir) to help out the poor villagers, who repay him by staging several big musical numbers. Of course he also finds time to romance the Jagidar’s daughter Ratna (Madhubala), but this being Bollywood, true love never runs smoothly. Prem Nath is a fairly masculine leading man by Indian standards of the time, except when he is called on to sing when he tends to spoil the image by getting extremely girly. It’s all very Saturday morning serial type of stuff, well produced, fast paced and rousing, never letting up on the action for it’s two hour-plus length, and is a lot more enjoyable than most early fifties Bollywood product. ” - PeplumParadise
Baghdad Ka Chor (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
“ Wanted! ” - PeplumParadise
Baiju Bawra (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A young singer, in the time of Emperor Akbar the Great, sets out to avenge his father, killed in a disturbance... (165 mins.)
Director: Vijay Bhatt
“ Well how can you not like a film that opens with a fat bearded man rolling around on a bed wearing a sparkly dress and pearls and caterwauling, sorry…singing his heart out. Set during the time of Emperor Akbar the Great, the story proper begins with a child witnessing the murder of his father and swearing revenge. That the boy then hooks up with the first mascara-wearing man to offer him a shoulder massage is somewhat worrying, but in no time at all he has grown up to become Baiju, a talented aspiring singer. After a lengthy romantic detour he dumps both his lover and his kidnapper (it’s complicated), remembers his revenge mission, and sets about achieving it through his music (it gets more complicated). A couple of warnings! Firstly this has about treble the song quotient of an average Bollywood musical, but thankfully they are, for the most part, more melodic and less screamy-waily than most made in the same period. Secondly this film features a large number of men who, if this film had been made by any other culture, would be of extremely dubious sexuality! A typical early fifties Bollywood product then, very successful at the time, but very dated now. ” - PeplumParadise
Baghi Shehzada (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Bajrangbali (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Bhagwan Shri Bajrangbali was born in a Vanar family based in Kishigandha. His father was Pawan (God of Wind)...
Director: Chandrakant
“ Bajrang Bali is an alternative name for Hanuman, a Hindu deity and an important character in the Indian epic Ramayana, a general among an ape-like race of forest dwellers and a disciple of Lord Rama in the struggle against the demon king Ravana-all of which I freely admit to knowing nothing about whatsoever (thanks Wikipedia!), but which tells you pretty much all you need to know. To those unfamiliar with the Hindu religion this movie is a pretty surreal experience and has no real storyline, but is a series of loosely linked bizarre and colourful scenes and characters, interspersed with some frankly freaky musical numbers, somewhat akin to a lively acid trip. It took me several attempts to actually get all the way through it. Adding to the oddness, at the centre of it all in the title role you have none other than Bollywood’s own Hercules, Dara Singh, somewhat past his prime, wearing a stiff tail and having some obvious difficulty talking through a monkey mask mouthpiece. The production does give the air that the producers spent the entire budget on costumes and make-up, and had nothing left when it came to build the sets. While it would appear that the characters and events portrayed here would make sense to anyone familiar with the Hindu religion, to anyone unfamiliar it frankly comes across as a load of laughable nonsense and does nothing towards educating the ignorant. In it’s favour the film is certainly a more colourful and compelling creation than the majority of films based on tales from the bible produced by western nations, and at least manages to make Hinduism look like it could be fun. ” - PeplumParadise
Balram Shri Krishna (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.0/10 X  
After liberating the people of Mathura from the tyrannical rule of Kans, Krishna turns his attention to wedding Princess Rukmini... (176 mins.)
Director: Chandrakant
“ This has some of the most fabulous costumes ever created, not to mention outrageous thrones and carriages, and a pink palace. It has a huge battle scene including elephants, camels, explosions and an army of soldiers dressed in pink. It also has Bollywood’s wrestling strong man Dara Singh as Prince Balram, with the mullet from hell, who, while top billed, is only actually on screen for about half the time. Plot wise I didn’t have a clue, being a non-Hindi speaker with no subtitles to help me, but it involved long stretches of people talking in palaces interspersed with sporadic battle scenes, occasional wrestling and surprisingly few songs. A lot of the talky scenes apparently involve arguments over who Princess Rukmani (Geetanjali), Balram’s sister, will marry, but that completely passed me by. I would certainly recommend it for the visual aspects, but otherwise it’s a lot harder to follow without subtitles than other Dara Singh opuses, and at almost three hours length it gets to be hard work after a while, I’d had enough after disc 1 of the VCD. ” - PeplumParadise
Bang Rajan (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Set right before the fall of Thailand's old capital, Ayuttaya, Bang Rajan draws on the legend of a village... (113 mins.)
Director: Tanit Jitnukul
“ Fascinating film about an important piece of Thai history, when the villagers of Bang Rajan held off an invasion by the Burmese army in 1765. The acting isn’t great, but what it lacks in skill it makes up for in passion. The film is well structured and holds your attention throughout, with particularly strong battle scenes displaying a realism unusual in modern Asian cinema. The success of this picture helped invigorate the Thai film industry. Try and watch the subtitled version if possible, it definitely loses something in the English dub. ” - PeplumParadise
The Banquet (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A loose adaptation of Hamlet, "The Night Banquet" is set in an empire in chaos. The Emperor, the Empress, the Crown Prince, the Minister and the General all have their own enemies they would like to finish off at a night banquet. (131 mins.)
Director: Xiaogang Feng
“ Produced the same year as Curse Of The Golden Flower, this invites comparison with that film in it’s similarities in storyline, visual aspects and the casting of ‘Curse’ director Zhang Yimou’s other muse Zhang Ziyi, star of House Of Flying Daggers and Hero. This film also concerns the familial squabbles of a Chinese Emperor (You Ge). Every bit as epic a vision as ‘Curse’, visually this is a series of carefully constructed stunning set pieces, which do, however, feel a little disjointed at times and can become a little confusing. The costumes and sets are as exquisite as those in ‘Curse’, but the warmth of that film’s unique colour palate is lacking, with red, gold and black being primary here. The leads here also lack the emotion which give ‘Curse’ it’s power. This film is by no means a failure, and viewed on it’s own merits is still a stunning achievement, but just falls short of the greatness of Yimou’s trilogy. ” - PeplumParadise
The Admiral (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
At the strait 'Roaring Currents', master strategist Admiral Yi and his 12 battleships oppose enemy's fleet of 330, and win the most incredible victory of history. (126 mins.)
Director: Han-min Kim
Battle of the Warriors (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Story centers on a battle during China's Warring States Period, a series of civil wars, which spanned from the 5th to the 3rd century B.C. Based on a popular Japanese manga, which was in turn based a Japanese novel inspired by Warring States history in China. (133 mins.)
“ Andy Lau plays a warrior who defends a city from attack. Reasonably interesting, but fails to ignite the interest or mesmerise in the way many modern oriental epics do. Still worth a view as a mildly diverting slice of Chinese history. ” - PeplumParadise
Beach of the War Gods (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The famous swordsman Hsia Feng gathers five other fighters and rallies the local fishermen to fight off a band of Japanese pirates. (100 mins.)
Director: Yu Wang
“ China, 1556 is under attack from the Japanese, and there really is some heavy Jap baiting here from this Hong Kong/Taiwanese co-production. A saviour comes, Spaghetti western style, in the form of mysterious warrior Hsia Feng (writer/director/star Wang Yu) who rides into town and takes on the enemy single-handed. He then recruits a team of similarly talented renegades, Seven Samurai style, in preparation for a very lengthy series of battles, which go on for fully the second half of the film, including an effective night-time one on the beach of the title. The battles are admittedly fun and well choreographed, but unless you’re a real dedicated fan then 45 minutes of continuous fighting really is a bit much. Genre fans will find plenty to enjoy here, but those looking for original plot or some respite from the action should look elsewhere. ” - PeplumParadise
The Beheaded 1000 (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
An executioner beheads his 1000th criminal, and unleashes a demon army headed by an evil witch called the Blood Lotus. (124 mins.)
Director: Shan-Hsi Ting
Du Shiniang (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The story of a courtesan in Ming dynasty Beijing. (125 mins.)
Director: Mao Zhou
“ BEAUTIFUL COURTESAN ” - PeplumParadise
Bhakt Raj (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
A sage uses his powers to discredit a wealthy and compassionate married male.
Director: V.M. Vyas
“ I think I must be a masochist, there can be no other explanation for watching a dreadful print of a film about a strange religion in a language I don’t understand with no subtitles! Actually by Bollywood standards it’s a pretty restrained affair for a religious picture, with a pretty complex plot that I didn’t begin to understand. What I can tell you is that it does have is several scenes of wrestling with a very fit pre-movie stardom Dara Singh, performed to what sounds like a sailors hornpipe, but how they fit into the plot is another matter. The production values and musical numbers are nothing special. ” - PeplumParadise
Bhakta Prahlada (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A devotee of Lord Vishnu attempts to share his faith with his skeptical father. (151 mins.)
“ To be reviewed ” - PeplumParadise
Out Live (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A sweeping, epic tale of a martial arts warrior who attempts to defy a kingdom to be with his love. (118 mins.)
Director: Young-jun Kim

At the time of production this was the most expensive Korean production ever, though it’s hard to see where all the money went – dry ice possibly? This is your standard love story, Mongol princess meets commoner and fall in love, grow up, discover boy is actually the son of the princess’ father’s arch enemy who he killed. Once the boy – now a man – is left for dead in a battle for the princess’s hand, he comes back as a vengeful ninja with fringe problems and the *beep* really hits the fan. Unfortunately it’s not half as fun as that synopsis sounds. The acting is unexceptional, the costumes and sets are OK, and the fight sequences are downright ridiculous, even for modern Asian product. ” - PeplumParadise
The Blade (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
After the master of the Sharp Manufacturer saber factory abdicates and appoints On, his least popular worker... (105 mins.)
Director: Hark Tsui
“ THE BLADE ” - PeplumParadise
Blades of Blood (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
During a turbulent time when political upheaval, rebellion, and invasion are coming to a head two swordsmen... (111 mins.)
Director: Joon-ik Lee
“ To be reviewed ” - PeplumParadise
Sword of the Assassin (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Nguyen Vu is the sole survivor of his family who was executed by the empress of Vietnam. Upon discovering that his family may have been framed for crimes they did not commit, he sets out to bring justice and clear his family name. (100 mins.)
Director: Victor Vu
Bang Rajan 2 (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Bang Rajan's village warriors bravely battled the massive Burmese army but their defeat was at hand... (127 mins.)
Director: Tanit Jitnukul

So how exactly do you make a sequel to a film (Bang Rajan) which depicted a historical event where everyone died at the end? Well it’s seven months later, it’s not set in Bang Rajan, the Burmese are still attacking Thailand and another village decides to fight back, so basically it’s business as usual. Where the first film had a strong historical plotline going for it, this one is a lot less focused. It’s also obviously made on a lower budget, and the acting is, to put it politely, pants. It’s not terrible, just that you’ve seen it all before and done better. ” - PeplumParadise
Jai Bolo Chakradhari (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Chandrakant
“ BOLO HE CHAKRADHARI ” - PeplumParadise
Hatamoto taikutsu otoko (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
(108 mins.)
“ BORED SAMURAI ” - PeplumParadise
Brahma Vishnu Mahesh (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Babubhai Mistri
The Bride with White Hair (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The sensitive swordsman Cho Yi-Hang is tired of his life. He is the unwilling successor to the Wu-Tang... (89 mins.)
Director: Ronny Yu
“ Odd film where the emphasis is all on mood and style over substance and storyline. It’s all a load of nonsense really, concerning a warrior in a non-specified period of feudal Chinese history who falls in love with a witch, who is a member of an evil cult run by some Siamese twins, whose hair turns white when he betrays her, hence the title. She then gets her revenge by killing off all his clan. Not for all tastes then, but you might like it if your appitites tend toward the weird, and it was a box-office hit spawning a sequel. ” - PeplumParadise
Bai fa mo nu zhuan II (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
For ten years, Cho has been in the snow of Mount Shin Fung waiting for a rare flower to blossom that will cure his wife who... (80 mins.)
Director: David Wu
“ Well with all the atmospherics of the first movie gone, this is basically just an excuse for a lot of silly, uninventive killings (mostly by creeping hair-strangulation or flinging people against walls), plus a few, frankly bizarre, romantic interludes scattered in between. The story, if it matters, is that the white-haired witch is back and out to get revenge on everybody, and everybody, in return, is out to get her (well it’s only fair). Brigitte Lin’s performance in the title role consists of giving hard stares and letting the hair do the rest. On the plus side the film is nice and short and nobody seems to be taking it too seriously, so it is mildly amusing, and it does have (plot spoiler) a happy ending! ” - PeplumParadise
Shaka (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
(154 mins.)
Director: Kenji Misumi

This was the first Japanese cinemascope production, and was designed to be a religious epic to rival the likes of The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur. Taking as it’s subject matter no less than the Jesus-like life on earth of Siddhartha (Kojiro Hongo), the founder of the Buddhist religion, it might lack in some of the opulence of the Hollywood blockbusters, but it certainly doesn’t skimp on the sex, sin and spectacle expected in such productions. The biggest stumbling block here, and one that is pretty much unavoidable when dealing with a man who inspired a million monks, is that it moves very slowly in between sporadic moments of high melodrama. As far as the religious angle goes it isn’t as in-your-face preachy as its Hollywood rivals and I left somewhat enlightened on a religion I knew little about going in. Not the classic the producers were obviously aiming for, but certainly of interest for its historical significance and partially successful epic aspirations. ” - PeplumParadise
The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
A tale of revenge, honor and greed follows a group of misfits that gets involved with a kitchen cleaver made from the top five swords of the martial arts world in this wild and brash action comedy. (92 mins.)
Director: Wuershan
Butterfly and Sword (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Dynamo Michelle Yeoh stars as a loyalist who attempts to keep the King's empire from being overthrown by a revolutionary group. (88 mins.)
Director: Michael Mak
“ This has to be the granddaddy of wuxia movies – the ones where ninjas fly around on wires – pre-dating Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero by 8 years, with wire work that’s every bit as good as in those groundbreaking movies. You also have three Asian superstars – Tony Leung, Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen – looking youthful when their careers were just taking off. All the pretty constant flying around does, of course, make things rather unbelievable, and the fights are often so fast that it’s difficult to tell what’s going on until they’re over. The plot is pretty incomprehensible too, though it doesn’t really matter, something to do with retrieving a letter, a duel between the best fighters and a bizarre love triangle – it’s all really just an excuse to tie the fight scenes together, and there are lots of them. For action fans, and particularly fans of wire work, I would say it’s highly recommended, but for those of you who favor plot over action it may all be a little much. ” - PeplumParadise
“ It’s anyone’s guess why, 2 years after the international success of Mongol, the producers of this film felt the world needed a second Mongolian telling of the same story. This has plenty of lovingly shot views of stunning landscapes, but then so does a national geographic video. Otherwise it’s a case of close but no cigar, with the script, direction, editing and acting all well below par. Sergei Egerov, the actor who plays the young Temujin, is so skinny that he makes Calista Flockhart look healthy. While it’s far from a total disaster, and does contain some interesting moments, pretty much the only reason really to see this would be if you were to rent it in mistake for the far superior Mongol. ” - PeplumParadise
Changez Khan (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
(135 mins.)
Director: Kedar Kapoor
Char Dervesh (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Khamer Bhakt is a handsome young man, who lives with only motive in mind - trouble. And he does negatively effect lives of his two brothers...
Director: Homi Wadia
“ Pretty boy Feroz Khan, it has to be said, here treats us to some of the least convincing athletic displays, swashbuckling and chase sequences I’ve ever seen, all the time wearing the requisite pink satin pants favoured by “butch” male leads in Bollywood historical pics. He plays an impetuous youth called Qamar, who falls in love with a princess (Sayeeda Khan), but is exiled to the Black Island for sneaking into her palace boudoir. En route to the island his nasty brothers toss him overboard, along with the obligatory gay dwarf sidekick for company, and they wind up on a rock which promptly sinks. Then it gets all surreal when they come across an undersea kingdom where they worship a god who looks like Mr. Spock, and there’s another princess being held captive by an evil sorcerer. To free themselves they have to do battle with a golden two-headed giant, and enlist the help of an uncooperative giant “genie with a gentle physique” in a red skirt and ponytail, and a stone woman with laser beams for eyes. This is all then promptly forgotten for the next hour when Qamar returns home to woo the first princess disguised as a prince called Norman – this bit drags on rather. Then it’s back to undersea kingdom where the stone woman turns out to be the mother of the two princesses and also a sorceress who transforms into a snake, sets the sorcerer on fire, and tricks Qamar into marrying the wrong princess. Then the biggest shock of all comes when the dwarf turns out not to be gay after all. But wait, there’s more… Qamar is cursed with black skin, but redeems himself and is restored, and given a gift of magic mud which he uses to raise an army to recapture the throne which has been usurped by someone who had previously been under the radar, finally rescuing his princess after a fight on a burning magic carpet. This is certainly not without its charms. It’s fast paced, very colourful, very camp, quite bizarre, and contains a very original dance routine involving felines. ” - PeplumParadise
Chaar Sahibzaade (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The sacrifices of the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh ji (tenth guru of Sikhs) - Baba Ajit Singh ji, Baba Jujhar Singh ji... (135 mins.)
Director: Harry Baweja
Chitralekha (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
When Aryaputra Samant Bijgupt ignores Yashodhara and continues to frequent Rajnartaki Chitralekha, Yashodhara's father...
Director: Kidar Sharma
“ This is an opulent, colourful production with gorgeous costumes and sets, but not much else to recommend it. The story concerns Chitralekha (Meena Kumari), most beautiful girl in the royal harem (read brothel), and her love affair with Prince Beejgupt (Pradeep Kumar, with gold painted eyebrows), for whom she renounces the world after realising that her love is hindering him in his duties, but eventually marries after he renounces the throne in her favour. Along the way she also manages to lead astray Guru Yogiraj (Ashok Kumar), causing him to eventually commit suicide. Meena Kumari, although only 32 when this was filmed, was pretty amazingly already a veteran of over 70 films, and appears rather matronly in a role which really requires a youthful beauty, which unfortunately, since the storyline revolves around her being irresistible to men, is a pretty insurmountable stumbling block. The film is also let down by some extremely choppy editing, at odds with the high production values up on the screen. With the exception of several lively dance numbers the film is mostly very slow paced, and reportedly bombed on it’s original release. So, while pretty to look at, it is a rather dull affair with the slight storyline stretched to breaking point to fill the required running time. ” - PeplumParadise
Chunhyang (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
The daughter of a kisaeng in Namwon falls in love with Lee, a noble's son. Her lover leaves to complete... (120 mins.)
Director: Sang-ok Shin
Chunhyang (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Mongryong marries the beautiful Chunhyang without telling his father, the Governor of Namwon. When his father is transferred to Seoul... (120 mins.)
Director: Kwon-taek Im
“ This is an interesting, if flawed, take on a traditional Korean fairy tale concerning a forbidden romance between a official’s son and a courtesan’s daughter. It’s a beautiful, if rather tragic and somewhat cruel, love story with a more-or-less happy ending, well-acted by the two young leads. The film is beautifully shot and acts as a perfect advertisement for Korean country and culture. It also utilises a traditional Korean theatrical means of storytelling using a rather unnecessary singing/wailing narration to describe what’s going on onscreen, which, while novel at first, quickly becomes rather irritating, eventually settling into a constant drone. The film won several international awards, and while not entirely successful, is certainly interestingly different. ” - PeplumParadise
Chûshingura (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After their lord is tricked into committing ritual suicide, forty-seven samurai warriors await the chance to avenge their master and reclaim their honor. (207 mins.)
Director: Hiroshi Inagaki
“ This is without doubt the best known version of this much-filmed tale of politics and manners in feudal Japan circa 1701. The biggest initial shock is seeing a colourful letterboxed historical film from sixties Japan after so many classic black and white productions, though this is maybe not so surprising when one realises it comes from Godzilla-factory Toho (who also produced Inagaki’s colourful Samurai trilogy). Set in a period when honour, manners, loyalties and position in society were all important, the story tells how one slight perceived insult leads, through a series of misunderstandings, stubbornness and conflicts of loyalties, to a battle between the clans. The film looks beautiful, with exquisite costumes and sets and every shot perfectly framed to fully utilise the letterbox format. The film can get a little confusing at times, at least to Western audiences unfamiliar with the storyline, with a few too many characters and plot threads bulking out it’s almost 3 ½ hour length, but don’t let that put you off, all the strands of this fascinating tale are tied up by the ending and this is still one of the great classics of Japanese cinema. ” - PeplumParadise
The Malay Chronicles: Bloodlines (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  
The Malay Chronicles: Bloodlines (released in Malaysia as "Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa") is an adventure... (109 mins.)
Director: Yusry Kru
“ A fascinating idea, merging four ancient cultures through the marriage of a Roman Emperor’s son to a Chinese princess on Malaysian soil with a stop off in India along the way. Unfortunately it fails to live up to it’s promise, let down by abysmal acting, a dull script, poorly executed fight scenes, dodgy CGI, production values that are at best average, and a leading man who seems to have modelled his image on Sylvester Stallone as Rambo! This was a big-budget-by Malay standards-production, intended to break the international market the way similar productions from other Asian nations have, but sorry, better luck next time. ” - PeplumParadise
Come Drink with Me (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A group of bandits kidnaps the governor's son and demands their imprisoned leader to be set free in exchange. (91 mins.)
Director: King Chuan
The Concubine (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A tragic love triangle story between Hwa-Yeon, a daughter of a nobleman, her true love Kwon-Yoo, a servant and the man who will be King, Prince Sungwon. (122 mins.)
Director: Dae-seung Kim
Confucius (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
The life story of the highly-influential Chinese philosopher, Confucius. (125 mins.)
Director: Mei Hu
“ Confucius is a near mythical character, about whom the “facts” we know today are mostly based on hearsay written after his death, much like Britain’s King Arthur (but with thankfully fewer films about him), and whose philosophies became the basis for government in China long after his death. This film takes the few traditionally held theories about his life and creates a fictional, but credible, biography, having him attempting to bring peace between warring states through his wisdom and forced into exile when this fails. This near-legendary figure is treated with the reverence he deserves and is brought to life in a magnificent performance by Chow Yun-Fat. Beautiful sets, costumes and cinematography, and strong acting throughout, support his performance, though some of the CGI used in the battle scenes is admittedly a bit dodgy and it may be a little slow moving for those used to the not-stop action of most modern Oriental historical pictures (it is about a philosopher after all!). Despite the controversy of it’s release this is still a great and moving epic and a visual treat that deserves to be seen. ” - PeplumParadise
Hangyakuji (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Two hostile clans had reached an artificial reconciliation which involves the marriage of a person from each family... (110 mins.)
Director: Daisuke Itô
“ THE CONSPIRATOR ” - PeplumParadise
Crest of Betrayal (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
(106 mins.)
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Crippled Avengers (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Three men, crippled by an evil warlord, become friends and learn kung fu with the help of an old teacher and his idiot pupil. (107 mins.)
Director: Cheh Chang
“ This is a terrific little off-the-wall Shaw Brothers 70’s action comedy that does what it says on the packet and then some. Set in some nondescript historical period when there were evil warlords and everyone lived to be master fighters, the film opens with some villains chopping off the hands of the son of evil Lord Du Tian Dao. He raises his metal-armed son to be a master killer to exact his revenge and that’s where the fun really starts. He picks on four victims, making one blind, one deaf and dumb, one legless and the other witless. The film then becomes about how this four overcome their disabilities (the Paralympics would be proud) to become kung fu masters, before setting out to get some revenge of their own. If this weren’t enough there’s also a muscle man in a purple cape with some issues of his own. The whole thing is done in a subtle comedic style, with some beautiful balletic fight sequences and not a shred of CGI or wire in sight. Very unconventional and quite a joy. ” - PeplumParadise
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young Chinese warrior steals a sword from a famed swordsman and then escapes into a world of romantic adventure with a mysterious man in the frontier of the nation. (120 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
“ This was the film that really opened up the western marketplace to the joys of what Eastern cinema is capable of in terms of visuals, being a huge international hit, scoring a host of flying-ninja imitations, and paving the way for the likes of Hero and House of Flying Daggers. Given that the film won the Oscar for best foreign film the storyline is pretty pants, concerning a stolen jade sword and the various characters involved in the battle to retrieve it. What is important here are the visuals, this movie was the first to display the flying/fighting wire-work pyrotechnics which we now take for granted in both Eastern and Western productions in almost balletic sequences, and to introduce the world to the glory of stunning Chinese locations through beautiful cinematography. It also made international stars of Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi whose performances bring emotion and keep you riveted even when you know the story is nonsense. So, maybe not as impressive today as some films which have come in it’s wake, but like Samson And Delilah and Hercules before it, it’s importance in the history of peplum cinema is undeniable and it needs to be seen. ” - PeplumParadise
The Crucified Lovers (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Ishun is a wealthy, but unsympathetic, master printer who has wrongly accused his wife and best employee of being lovers. To escape punishment, the accused run away together, but Ishun is certain to be ruined if word gets out. (102 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
“ Brilliant masterpiece of complicated relationships and mistaken assumptions with tragic consequences, which happens to be set in 17th century Japan, but could just as easily be set in any time or place. Visually it is unexceptional coming across like a theatre piece using mostly simple yet effective sets, but it is in the performances and plotting where it shines. The plot concerns the owner of a print works who falsely accuses his wife and book keeper of having an affair, a hanging offence, forcing them to go on the run, while his unwilling mistress and her scheming family are also involved in the plot machinations. There’s much more to it than that, but to explain it fully would spoil the joy of watching it unfold (and take up way too much space). A must see, not from it’s historical/peplum standpoint, but as a masterful piece of storytelling. ” - PeplumParadise
Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself. (111 mins.)
Director: Yimou Zhang
“ Quite simply the most beautiful film ever made, a sumptuous visual treat. The palate of this film includes colours I swear I have never seen in any other film, think of the colours worn by women dancers in Bollywood productions for a close approximation, and every frame is a carefully composed work of art. Right, now I’ve got that off my chest…the storyline involves the intrigues going on inside the Imperial Palace of Chinese Emperor Ping (Chow Yun-Fat). The Emperor is slowly poisoning the Empress (Gong LI), who is having an affair with the Crown Prince Wan (Ye Liu), who is the king’s son from an affair with a ninja (Jin Chen), who is now the wife of the palace physician (Dahong Ni), whose daughter is also having an affair with the Crown Prince, who is her half brother, etc., etc. The cast are uniformly excellent, as are the costumes, sets, cinematography, the largest set ever built in China, in fact everything down to the very smallest thread. Compared unfavourably on it’s release to the two earlier films in Yimou’s trilogy, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Hero, due I would expect to those films international commercial success, I am sure this will eventually be acclaimed as the greatest of the three. So…while not quite my all time favourite film, this is in my top 5, and is certainly my favourite film as a visual experience. ” - PeplumParadise
Daana Veera Soora Karna (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Abandoned at birth, brave and loyal Karna grows up to acquire skills as a warrior to battle the Pandavas. (233 mins.)
Director: N.T. Rama Rao
Daimajin (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A giant stone statue comes to life to protect the residents of a small town against the depradations of an evil warlord. (84 mins.)
“ This starts out like a regular monster pic with everyone running and screaming, but then settles down to give you a good hours worth of background plot before the action starts. When a town is attacked it’s young Prince and Princess escape and hide in the mountains for ten years with the Priestess of a big stone idol. When they decide it’s time to recapture the throne, their prayers are belatedly answered when the big stone God comes to blue-faced life. From here on it’s a bit like a Godzilla pic, with the Giant on a rampage destroying all in it’s path, including much of the town he’s supposedly protecting. You do have to wonder why the supposedly protective God didn’t come to the rescue 10 years earlier, but nit-picking aside it’s enjoyable as a drama with a nice monster thrown in. ” - PeplumParadise
Return of Daimajin (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Giant statue exacts revenge upon those who conquer its worshippers. (79 mins.)
Director: Kenji Misumi

The final part of the Daimajin trilogy switches from the formula established in the first two. Here the story concentrates, unfortunately, on three children who have to cross the now-deserted Majin mountain in order to rescue their fathers who have been captured and made slaves in the valley beyond. Having juvenile leads essentially makes it into a film for kids, albeit one with people being thrown into boiling sulphur or having their eyes pecked out by an eagle. Unlike the previous films, Daimajin does not have a cult worshiping him here so when he goes about his usual belated destructive blue-faced revenge he seems to be acting far more independently than in the previous films. The weakest of the trilogy. ” - PeplumParadise
Daredevil in the Castle (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Mohei is a wandering swordsman. He arrives in the city of Osaka, where the Toyotomi clan accepts him... (95 mins.)
Director: Hiroshi Inagaki
“ DAREDEVIL IN THE CASTLE ” - PeplumParadise
Ocean of Mercy (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A 160-minute version of the life of Jesus Christ filmed entirely with a cast and crew of Christian Indians in India. (160 mins.)
“ DAYA SAGAR ” - PeplumParadise
Deadly Melody (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A young security man must prove himself worthy by defending the one object wanted by all the masters of the Martials Arts world - the Magic Lyre! (91 mins.)
Director: Min Kan Ng
“ DEADFUL MELODY ” - PeplumParadise
The Deadly Duo (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A prince of the Sung Dynasty has been taken prisoner by Ching invaders and is being held in an impenetrable fortress by elite men of the Ching... (94 mins.)
Director: Cheh Chang
The Restless (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
It is AD 924, at the end of the United Shilla Dynasty. Continuous riots sweep the land ruled by a corrupted government... (105 mins.)
Director: Dong-oh Jo
“ Well this is a real odd one, set partially in 10th century Korea, which if you didn’t know it could easily be any time in the past two thousand years, and partially in some weird limbo world where the dead (and occasionally the still living) wait out their time on the way to heaven, or possibly get re-killed by flying ninjas. At the centre of it all is Ban-chu (Jun-Ho Heo), a professional demon slayer for hire, and Yi Gwak (Woo-sung Jung), his former lover who died and now has no memory of him. I really wanted to like this, but while the ideas are original and some of the set pieces impressive, the CGI now looks badly dated after only 5 years and after several viewings it still leaves me pretty cold. ” - PeplumParadise
Detective Dee: The Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
An exiled detective is recruited to solve a series of mysterious deaths that threaten to delay the inauguration of Empress Wu. (123 mins.)
Director: Hark Tsui
“ There’s a great idea behind this, based on a Chinese folk hero, about a detective (Andy Lau) who is called out of prison by the great Empress Wu (Carina Lau in a commanding performance) to solve a series of mysterious murders that threaten to delay her inauguration. Unfortunately the writers spoil it by giving us a plot that is plain silly and too far outside the realms of believability, concerning fire beetles, which cause people to spontaneously combust. The photography and CGI also spoil things since, while being technically faultless (apart from the fire scenes which are pretty dodgy), everything looks just too perfectly fake and clean to be believable. The investigation, plotting in the royal court and period recreation would have been quite sufficient to sustain a film on their own without having to fall back on giving people supernatural powers. ” - PeplumParadise
Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Joseon's top detective Kim Min attempts to track down those responsible for circulating massive amounts of counterfeit silver bullion in Joseon. He also tries to find the missing sibling of a young girl. (124 mins.)
Director: Kim Suk-Yoon
Detective K: Secret of Virtuous Widow (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
"Detective K" tells about the adventures of Joseon's top detective (Kim Myeong-min) as he investigates... (115 mins.)
Director: Seok-yun Kim
The Devil's Sword (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
The DEVIL'S SWORD lies hidden in a secret cave inside Devils Mountain, everything evil will fight to the death for it... (90 mins.)
Director: Ratno Timoer
“ Trashy, bizarre, cheap, inept as only Indonesian (and Turkish) films can be, and a thoroughly enjoyable entry in the eighties sword and sorcery cycle. This one has something for everyone: decapitations, cannibalism, a slutty Crocodile Queen and her crocodile men, a mad witch, bubbling pink lava, a monster with one yellow eye, and to top it all off, Indonesian superstar Barry Prima – whose acting talent makes Alan Steel look like Laurence Olivier. This one contains the most hilarious onscreen beheadings I’ve ever seen – and I’ve seen a few! ” - PeplumParadise
Devta (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
(178 mins.)
Director: Pattanna
Dharam Veer (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The story revolves around two small kingdoms in British India. Court intrigue, murder, assassination... (165 mins.)
Director: Manmohan Desai
“ Everything about this movie is so wonderfully over the top it would be impossible not to like it. There’s a princess who secretly marries a woodsman after he saves her life, only to go into a coma when she believes him to have been killed, who is then married to a prince while still in the coma, then gives birth to twin sons. Her evil brother, who has already tried to kill her, throws one baby from the palace roof, but it is caught and carried off by a falcon, then swaps her other baby for his own, but his wife swaps them back without him knowing. Meanwhile the woodsman recovers from a nine-month coma, but burns the princess’s effigy, believing her unfaithful. The three children then grow up in a flash and this is when the complications, rivalries and revenge plots really begin, with the twins, Dharam and Veer, accidentally becoming best friends without knowing they are brothers. Bright and colourful, fast paced, exuberant, and totally ridiculous, with visuals veering wildly between the magnificent and the totally inept. ” - PeplumParadise
Dhyanu Bhagat (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Abandoned at birth, Dhyanu Bhagat performs miracles but faces challenges from Mughal Emperor Akbar.
Director: Dara Singh
Diary of King Yonsan (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A historical drama about the life of Yeonsangun of Joseon. (118 mins.)
Director: Kwon-taek Im
“ DIARY OF KING YEONSAN ” - PeplumParadise
Diary of War (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Admiral Lee Sun-shin designs and builds the 'Turtle Ships' in preparation of the Japanese invasion during the Injin War... (100 mins.)
Director: Il-Ho Jang
The Divine Weapon (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
An historical, epic tale of Korea's creation of Singijeon, a variation of the Chinese fire arrow. (134 mins.)
Director: Yoo-jin Kim
“ Without taking a lesson in South Korean history I think I’m pretty safe in saying that this telling of their nation’s discovery of missiles, and consequently fireworks, is pretty far-fetched in it’s storyline, and a little overlong. That said however, it is also fairly entertaining if you can suspend your reality check for it’s duration. Not as flashy or technically perfect as many modern Oriental productions. ” - PeplumParadise
Dragon Blade (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
When corrupt Roman leader Tiberius arrives with a giant army to claim the Silk Road, Huo An teams up his army with an elite Legion of defected Roman soldiers led by General Lucius to protect his country and his new friends. (127 mins.)
Director: Daniel Lee