5.3/10
116
1 user 4 critic

Saga of the Phoenix (1990)

A Xiu Luo (original title)
The Holy Maiden of Hell, Ashura possesses immense power that can destroy humanity. Buddhist monks trap her in a deep cave to keep her from falling into evil hands. Kindhearted Abbot Jiku grants her wish to enjoy the human world for 7 days.

Writers:

Sau-Ling Chan (adapted by), Yiu-Ming Leung (adapted by) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Biao Yuen ... Kôngquè
Gloria Yip ... Ashura
Loletta Lee ... Chin
Shintarô Katsu ... Jiku Ajari
Hiroshi Abe ... Kujaku
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Noriko Arai Noriko Arai ... Star Abbess
Yung Chung Yung Chung ... Onihi's Man
Shek Yin Lau ... Sha
Wei-Chang Mai Wei-Chang Mai ... Onihi's Man
Yûko Natori Yûko Natori ... High Abbess
Suet Ngai Suet Ngai ... Onihi
Megumi Sakita Megumi Sakita ... Heaven Abbess (as Keiko Hayase)
Yukari Tachibana Yukari Tachibana ... Light Abbess
Learn more

More Like This 

Peacock King (1988)
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Two magically powerful monks are sent on a quest to fight the King of Hell.

Directors: Ngai Choi Lam, Biao Yuen
Stars: Biao Yuen, Hiroshi Mikami, Narumi Yasuda
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young heroic cop in the jungle of Thailand attempts to rescue a beautiful girl from being sacrificed to the "Worm Tribe" she belongs to. As a result, the cop is damned with seven "Blood ... See full summary »

Director: Ngai Choi Lam
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Siu-Ho Chin, Maggie Cheung
Her Vengeance (1988)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Wong plays an unassuming nightclub employee in Macao who alienates a gang of drunken men (led by Shing Fui-on). They tail her after her shift, and mount a gang assault. She attempts to ... See full summary »

Director: Ngai Choi Lam
Stars: Siu-Fung Wong, Ching-Ying Lam, Elaine Jin
The Cat (1992)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An adaptation of the novel Old Cat, by Ni Kuang. A cat from outer space teams up with a young alien girl and her knight, along with an adventure novelist named Wisely, to fight a murderous alien that possesses people.

Director: Ngai Choi Lam
Stars: Gloria Yip, Waise Lee, Christine Ng
An qu (1983)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two very different cops are out to capture a local drug boss. The two cops go about their job differently, one of them doing everything to the letter of the law and the other not caring and doing whatever it takes to get the job done.

Director: Ngai Choi Lam
Stars: Jason Piao Pai, Jung Wang, Meng Lo
Bi gui zhuo (1986)
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A dinner party at a Hong Kong high-rise goes awry when party guest Judy Hsu (Shu-Yuan Hsu) becomes a victim of poltergeists and, as a result, her spirit returns to carry out the sinister ... See full summary »

Director: Ngai Choi Lam
Stars: Joey Wang, Shu-Yuan Hsu, Joyce Godenzi
Zatoichi (1989)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Older, wiser but still a wandering loner, the blind, peace-loving masseur Ichi seeks a peaceful life in a rural village. When he's caught in the middle of a power struggle between two rival... See full summary »

Director: Shintarô Katsu
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Kanako Higuchi, Takanori Jinnai
Rônin-gai (1990)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A group of masterless samurai living in Edo's red light district must fend off a militia bent on wiping out local prostitutes.

Directors: Kazuo Kuroki, Masahiro Makino
Stars: Yoshio Harada, Kanako Higuchi, Renji Ishibashi
Action | Comedy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young man with superhuman strength is incarcerated at a prison run by corrupt officials and seeks to use his martial arts to clean up the system.

Director: Ngai Choi Lam
Stars: Siu-Wong Fan, Mei Sheng Fan, Ka-Kui Ho
Drama | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Zatoichi tries to unrest the mob rule over a small village all while the gang leader's bodyguard is actually the Yojimbo, secretly taking the gang down from the inside. Will the two heroes realize in time that they are on the same side?

Director: Kihachi Okamoto
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Shintarô Katsu, Ayako Wakao
Bu ye tian (1987)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Mr. Yen Lieh-San is a ruthless nightclub owner who holds a grudge against King Gambler Lo Tien-Peh.

Director: Ngai Choi Lam
Stars: Alex Man, Siu-Ho Chin, Pat Ha
Action | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A monk from Tibet is sent to Hong Kong by his master. He is to recover a magical bottle to which he has the cap from a lawyer. When these items were united long ago they protected Tibet ... See full summary »

Director: Biao Yuen
Stars: Biao Yuen, Michelle Reis, Wah Yuen

Photos

Edit

Storyline

The Holy Maiden of Hell, Ashura possesses immense power that can destroy humanity. Buddhist monks trap her in a deep cave to keep her from falling into evil hands. Kindhearted Abbot Jiku grants her wish to enjoy the human world for 7 days.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Remake of Spirit Warrior (1988) See more »

User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Saga of the Phoenix
15 April 2012 | by DICK STEELSee all my reviews

Following Peacock King, this sequel seemed to be somewhat of a rush job to cash in on whatever success and goodwill the first film had established, only to come off as being a pale shadow of the previous movie, dumbed down for a more juvenile audience. A number of principle cast members got replaced, which isn't exactly a good thing, save for Yuen Biao to return as Peacock and Gloria Yip as the Hell Virgin Ashura, now hell bent on living on wonderful Earth instead of going back to where she came from.

With Lucky Fruit (now taken over by Hiroshi Abe) and Peacock forming a friendship with Ashura, they plead her case with Master Ji Ku (Ken Ogata taken over by Shintaro Katsu) and a High Abbess (Yuko Natori), who are adamant that Ashura cannot remain on Earth and have to be sentenced to eternity living inside a Buddha stature, only for them to relent and allow Ashura seven days to roam the human world under the watchful eyes of Peacock and Lucky Fruit, and 3 more female nuns who shadow their movement without their knowledge. Happy for her wish to be granted, Ashura grabs this opportunity, and picks up her companion Genie, a gremlin like creature which allowed the filmmakers to utilize stop motion techniques and puppetry developed from the earlier film.

But of course Hell still has some unworldly creatures left who are harbouring hopes of conquering our world, with the Hell Concubine desiring whatever's left of Ashura's powers, and so from time to time our heroes have some fight sequences during their watch, culminating in Yuen Biao's convenient disappearance for about a third of the movie when he got frozen in ice. The rest of the story deals with Ashura's time spent on Earth like a teenage girl who has her curfew lifted, tracking her Genie down, inadvertently picked up by a girl (Loletta Lee) who brings it back to Hong Kong, who soon got befriended by Ashura and Lucky Fruit, as well as her brother Tan (Lau Shek Yin) who's a madcap scientist working on a teleportation device. Most of the mid section deals with the shenanigans of Genie so much so that you'd be mistaken if that creature was the focus of this film, with half baked subplots such as the unlikely romance between Loletta Lee's character and Lucky Fruit, and some cheap moments where the 3 shadowing nuns got their clothes shredded and subsequently changed into swimsuits, characters who don't even deserve a decent send off in the film.

Fight scenes were extremely limited, and the stop motion, animatronics that were the highlights of the first film got severely reduced as well. There's not much of a story going on, and this is essentially a kids movie along the same veins as any Power Rangers episode, where the conniving villains send their lousy minions to do their dirty work, and when defeated come howling back to base only to get obliterated. The finale battle sees a new Peacock rising, which alas was extremely short and nothing more than an elaborate light show, and budget limitations meant some very cheesy and cheap methods employed to try and get the most bang out of the buck received.

It's a pity though for a film rich in content from its manga roots, cannot deliver something relatively decent, especially when compared with the first in the series where this made that look like a classic. As I have already mentioned before, this series would be ripe for a remake with today's advancement in technology. So as long as someone has a bright spark of an idea for a strong storyline to happen, combined with spruced up effects and a proper ensemble cast, who knows this could be wiped from memory when a remake done with all the right ingredients finally does get made. But until then, you can choose to watch this only for glimpses of how youthful looking some of the stars back then were, having signed a contract to make a film especially friendly for kids.


1 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Hong Kong | Japan

Language:

Japanese | Cantonese | Mandarin

Release Date:

9 February 1990 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Saga of the Phoenix See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed