FantasticFest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and action movies from all around the world. Here's a list of some of our favorite movies at FantasticFest.
The Shaolin Temple is the last place to resist defeat by the Manchu Dynasty, mostly because of their unique fighting style. Men from far and wide come to wait outside the temple, hoping ... See full summary »
An evil gang attacks the Chi school of Golden Sword Kung Fu. One student sacrifices his life to save his teacher and his school, his dying wish is that his son be taken in as a student. ... See full summary »
The Third Master (Erh Tung Sheng, aka Derek Yee, in the role that launched his career) is considered to be the greatest sword master of the day. His displays of skill and strength bring ... See full summary »
Lei Li lost his right-arm in a sword duel with the master of a martial arts school, long ago. Now, he is able to defend himself well with just his left arm, and kung fu techniques. That he ... See full summary »
Wu Sung, a military swordmaster, is acused of murdering his adulterous sister-in-law and a thug, and sent to exile in Meng Chou. At the prison camp, Shih En, son of the camp commander, ... See full summary »
"The Water Margin" is based on a great ancient tale from Chinese literature. HOwever, it's not the entire story--just a small portion of the text "Shuihu Zhuan". I am certainly no expert on it--and that's a serious problem, as I had a lot of trouble understanding the context for the film as well as the sheer number of characters. Keeping track of them was impossible for me though I assume many Chinese viewers would be far more material with the characters and source material. I wish I could have sat and watched this with a Chinese scholar--and it's very likely you'll feel the same way. The story is about revenge and abuse of power--but I did have significant trouble following the story. And, although it's a Shaw Brothers film, martial arts are not that prominent in the movie. My advice is that if you know the story well, watch it. I have no idea how to score it for you. But, for the average fan of martial arts flicks who is NOT familiar with the story, I say skip it--it's just too confusing and the action isn't enough to keep your interest.
By the way, when this film began, my uncle turned to me and asked a very obvious question--'how are those boats moving so fast?'. This is because the ships' sails are not down and there are no oars--yet the ships are going VERY fast across the water! This is supposed to be the Middle Ages--yet the boats appear to be moving as a result of outboard motors. Could the ancient Chinese have been THAT clever? I think not--though they were darned advanced at the time!
By the way, much of the soundtrack for this film was 'borrowed' from the Hollywood film "Hang 'em High". It's pretty weird, as the original film was a western made to look and sound like a spaghetti western--and now it's in a Chinese martial arts film!
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