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Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain (1983)

Shu Shan - Xin Shu shan jian ke (original title)
Unrated | | Action, Adventure, Fantasy | 1989 (USA)
Trailer
1:29 | Trailer

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Chinese soldiers in an ancient civil war get caught up in a fantastical quest to save the universe.

Director:

Hark Tsui

Writer:

Cheuk-Hon Szeto
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5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Adam Cheng ... Ting Yin
Brigitte Lin ... Countess
Damian Lau ... Abbott Hsiao Yu
Sammo Kam-Bo Hung ... Chang Mei / Red Army soldier
Judy Ongg Judy Ongg ... Li I chi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Oliver Albrecht Oliver Albrecht ... Oliver
Jorn Bertram Jorn Bertram ... Doctor
Dani Bishop Dani Bishop ... Fortune Teller
Norman Chu ... Heaven's Blade
Hark-On Fung ... Evil Disciple
Kuang-Li Hsia Kuang-Li Hsia ... Chi Wu-Shuang (as Kwan-Li Shen)
Chau Sang Lau ... Orange Army soldier
Moon Lee ... Mu Sang, Countess's Guard
Hoi Mang ... Yi Chen (as Hoi Man)
Yun-Chiang Peng
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Storyline

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 Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Miramax [United States]

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

Cantonese

Release Date:

1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Golden Harvest Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(international)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

American filmmaker John Carpenter has stated that Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain (1983) was an influence on his 1986 film Big Trouble in Little China (1986). See more »

Alternate Versions

The international English language version, Zu Time Warriors, includes a 25-min. wraparound filmed in Canada with Yuen Biao as a modern day fencing champ transported via his dreams while in a coma to the Oriental fantasy setting of the film and awakening from the coma at the end. The Chinese version was released prior to this filming despite director's wishes. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Best of the Martial Arts Films (1990) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Delightful attack on the senses
3 March 2001 | by drngorSee all my reviews

Because this movie was made in the 1980s, I did not expect the special FX to be the equivalent of anything made in the states, or even up to the level of The Stormriders. However, I found this film a lot more enjoyable than the latter. This film is almost a non-stop ride full of swordfights, optical FX battles, flying people, and it still leaves room for some interesting themes also.

The plot deals with a soldier being disillusioned by the endless civil wars that have been fought. He goes to a mountain where he joins a swordsman, a monk and his apprentice, Sammo Hung, and some lovely ladies in a quest to defeat the Blood Demon, a being of pure evil. On the way, the soldier (Yuen Biao) and the monk's apprentice (Mang Hoi) must find some swords to use in the battle.

The action is nearly non-stop. It first starts out with some basic swordplay. Once Yuen reaches the mountain, than everything shifts into overdrive. Optical FX fly across the screen at dizzying speeds. Humans and demons fly across the screen at dizzying speeds. People get frozen alive. Women fly around with swirling cloth in their wake. Men fly around chained to boulders. Eyebrows are used to contain evil. All I can say is...wow. Only Ching Siu Tung could come up w/ some as imaginative as this.

As I mentioned earlier, there are some interesting themes involved. Tsui Hark seemed to make a statement against world leaders who start senseless wars and kill innocent people. Also, he talks about how battles become futile when people won't set aside their differences for a common cause. If we want to save the world or even ourselves, we all have to work together.

Of interesting note is the International dubbed version. That version makes the film into a dream sequence and turns the war parable into a love story spanning many generations. A lot of scenes are cut and shortened, giving the Zu mountain segment a very rushed feel. Overall, the subtitled version is a lot more preferable.


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