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Several mysterious killings take place in the underworld and a war fighter is trying to find the culprit behind these murders.

Director:

Shan Hua

Writers:

Wengui Chen (as Wen-Kuei Chen), Nai Pin Tsai | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Jason Pai Piao
Yu-Po Liu
Jung Wang ... (as Yung Wang)
Szu-Chia Chen
Hsiu-Chun Lin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ka-Sang Cheng
Han Chiang
Huang Chin Huang Chin
Yung Chung Yung Chung
Han Chou Ho Han Chou Ho
Yu Lung Hsiao
Hsin Nan Hung
Wai Man Tam Wai Man Tam ... (as Wei-min Tan)
Wei Hao Teng Wei Hao Teng
Chi Ming Wong Chi Ming Wong
Edit

Storyline

Several mysterious killings take place in the underworld and a war fighter is trying to find the culprit behind these murders.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Horror | Mystery

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Details

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

Cantonese | Mandarin

Release Date:

11 March 1983 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Crystal Man See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shaw Brothers See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
"Portrait in Crystal" - Swords and magic and confusion
6 May 2007 | by ChungMoSee all my reviews

Wuxia or martial world genre, take your pick. Obscure Shaw director Hua Shan, best known for the absurd "Super Inframan", is getting a reassessment with the re-release of the Shaw library. Whether that reassessment is deserved is another matter.

A crystal carver applies his blood to his most recent creation, a statue of a maiden, despite the protests of his overweight assistant. The assistant has just finished reading how blood applied to crystal will awaken a malevolent spirit. So after a crystal woman warrior fights and kills several members of the Poison clan, fingers are pointed at the sculptor. The clan sends it's best men out to kill the crystal warrior as well as the sculptor. The sculptor and his buddy set out to find the crystal warrior and stop the killing spree that's being blamed on them. Turns out the sculptor was once a talented swordsman so he's quite able to defend himself. His fat buddy is no slouch in the kung-fu department either. Everyone ends up at the "Du" mansion, a strange place run by a woman warlock who has some hidden agenda.

The film bears comparison to other martial world films out of Shaw. While treading a similar territory, Portrait in Crystal is different in several ways. The photography is interesting at times with some very excellent compositions and color design. Other times it's as garish as you can imagine. While the standard Shaw sets do come up, much of the set design is different from other films. Several props seem to come from the local Plexiglas store. There is more comedy then I've seen in wuxia films, supplied by the fat guy. Unfortunately the story gets very confusing and the end is very abrupt and unsatisfying. Hua Shan has some interesting ideas but it's offset by the confusing editing. The martial arts are mostly done with wires and simple editing tricks, that's to say that there are no real martial arts on display. However, the final sword fight is well done.

Depending on your taste for garish Shaw style wuxia, you might have a good afternoon with this one. A warning, however, there's a rather extreme torture performed on a naked woman constricted in a fishnet. Not for children!


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