Thursday, 16 April 2020

Zu Warriors From the Magic Mountain (1983)

"Classic Hong Kong Fantasy Epic"

The ground-breaking non-stop special effects-filled fantasy epic that inspired John Carpenter's BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA gets a Blu-ray release from Eureka.

It's a time of civil war during the Tang Dynasty, with all the different warring factions wearing different brightly coloured uniforms to distinguish them. When messenger Dik Ming-Kei (Yung Biao) inadvertently causes the wrath of two clan leaders, he escapes to find himself in a weird desrted temple in the Zu mountain range. There he is attacked by flying demons and is eventually saved, only to find himself in the midst of an epic battle between good and evil that involves battling Buddhist monks, magic swords, an ice goddess, a man with absurdly huge eyebrows and all manner of monsters.

Featuring more special effects and wire work than it was likely thought previously possible to cram in to a single film, Tsui Hark's supernatural fantasy adventure hardly lets up for its 98 minutes, racing from one breathless set piece to another. The dialogue info dumps come thick and fast too, so fast that it's almost impossible to read all the subtitles and keep up with the onscreen action, necessitating at least two viewings to fully appreciate what's going on.

Eureka's disc gives us a new 2K restoration of the film along with ZU: TIME WARRIOR - the export cut of the film shown in European cinemas that also includes a time travelling wraparound sequences. Both Cantonese and English soundtrack options are included. Asian cinema expert Tony Rayns provides a commentary track, and there's an in depth and exclusive interview with director Tsui Hark recorded for this release.

Other extras include the episode of Jonathan Ross' Son of the Incredibly Strange Film Show dedicated to the director, alternative opening credits and a set of srchival interviews with stars Yien Biao, Mang Hoi and Moon Lee.

Tsui Hark's ZU WARRIORS FROM THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN is out on Blu-ray from Eureka on Monday 20th April 2020

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