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A college student (Yuen Biao) at a university in Canada is a fencing champion and when he has an accident one day, he "dreams" of being transported to ancient China and enters a conflict on Zu, the Magic Mountain. At the end of the story, he regains consciousness (this is in the longer English international version). The first and shorter version is about a warrior (Yuen Biao) who has become disillusioned with the constant civil wars in China and goes to the Magic Mountain. There he encounters ghosts and devils, and also good masters and their disciples who are out to stop the Blood Monster and his demons from destroying the world. Written by
Certainly one of the most entertaining martial arts pictures.
"Zu Warriors" certainly pushed wuxia to its limits; it has such a relentless air of enthusiasm, especially given its limited budget, that its incredibly easy to dismiss any faults it does have just because of its overwhelmingly extravagant nature. Its glorious, vivid production design and intentionally camp attitude makes it very difficult not to be totally drawn into its colourful images while completely forgetting the film has a plot.
Tsui Hark has included just about everything in this one. The special effects may not be up to much but that is a sideline; the wonderful swordplay starts almost immediately and the films rarely lets up as it jumps from one operatic martial art display to another, helped by an impeccable cast featuring iconic stars such as Sammo Hung and Brigitte Lin.
Unfortuantly it still took some work before films of this sort were appreciated in the west. Despite the efforts of John Carpenter, it still took over a decade and Crouching Tiger to truly bring this wonderful form of entertainment to the masses. There's only so much praise you can give a film before saying it has to be seen to be appreciated fully. This is certainly a landmark in wuxia and an essential showpiece of Hong Kong action at its finest. (A testament to this is the fact the DVD has a Bey Logan commentary.)
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