The East is Red
Hong Kong has its tradition of wonderful kung fu
films, its heroic bloodshed, its girls with guns, but to me the most amazing,
mind blowing films that are so radically different from anything else like
it in the world are the fantasy films. In this world anything is possible.
People can fly, shoot fire, change shapes, throw curses, mix with the dead.
It is a world of vivid colors, stunning imagery, beautiful ghosts and blue
hopping vampire children. It invites the viewer into a world like no other.
These are some of the best.
Heroic Trio - the premier heroic fantasy
film. A pure adrenaline rush of great characters, beautiful actresses,
pathos and vivid imagination.
Swordsman II - Jet Li and Brigitte Lin
in a film that explodes in color and action and ideas. The viewer is just
swept along for the ride.
Chinese Ghost Story - beautifully atmospheric
romantic ghost story with Joey Wong perfectly cast as the unworldly ghost
that Leslie Cheung falls in love with. This Tsui Hark film started a whole
new genre of similar films, but none captured the spirit as did this one.
Zu: Warriors of the Magic Mountain - classic
Chinese tale brought to life by Tsui Hark in this wonderful fantasy adventure
tale with Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung, Moon Lee and Brigitte Lin.
The East is Red - Brigitte Lin and Joey
Wong in this incredible spectacle of a sequel to Swordsman II. Not quite
up to that film, but still a film unlike any you will come across in Hollywood.
Moon Warriors - parts of this film are
a bit slow, but others are sublime. Anita Mui, Maggie Cheung and Andy Lau
attempt to protect the King from his evil brother in this adventure tale.
Saviour of the Soul - slick, wonderfully
stylized film with great characters (Pet Lady!) and choreographed action
sequences. Anita Mui is beautiful and Andy Lau very dashing.
Wicked City - this manga is brought to
life on the screen in a wonderful concoction of sci-fi, action and just
bizarre special effects. The world is full of aliens posing as humans and
Leon Lai is tracking them down. The beautiful Michelle Reis and Jackie
Cheung are here as well.
Painted Skin - a very toned down, but beautifully
filmed story of a ghost (the ephemeral Joey Wong again) trying to find
her way to the afterlife with the help of priest Sammo Hung. Not a lot
of special effects here, but a film that you can take great pleasures in
the small details.
Dragon from Russia - a totally confusing
plot, but with some of the most incredible and fast wire work action sequences
you will ever come across.