Directed by: Hark Tsui
Starring: Biao Yuen, Hoi Mang, Adam Cheng
I haven’t written a review on here for like, two weeks, and it’s mainly because I wasn’t sure I could write a one paragraph review of this movie’s plot. I think I’ve finally got it figured out. I can only pray…
A soldier fleeing from a war finds himself in a haunted crypt, where he’s saved by a magical warrior. He begs to be the warrior’s apprentice, but there are more important things going on: The devil has escaped and is going to destroy the world. A man with magical facial hair is able to contain the devil inside a pillar of skulls and horns, but only until the constellations change position in the sky. Due to injuries, the soldier and the apprentice of a rival magic warrior must find the two magic swords that can defeat the devil. This adventure takes them through ice caves filled with giggling kung fu women, some sort of crazy asteroid field place with a black hole and an old guy tied to a rock, and finally high up in the clouds for the final fight sequence against the devil. With a cameo by Sammo Hung!
This movie is fucking insane, in the best possible way. It’s an attempt for Chinese martial arts films to incorporate the best western special effects of the time, and John Carpenter cites it as his inspiration for making Big Trouble in Little China. And really, the combination of wire-fu and awesome 80’s special effects makes for a movie where you’re just staring slack-jawed at it the whole time. Because so much crazy shit happens in this movie, it’s a little hard to follow at times (in keeping with traditional kung fu movie storytelling techniques), but the main trio of characters are simple with easily-defined personal growth. Honestly, Zu Warriors From the Magic Mountain reminded me a lot of Star Wars, where it’s a goofy fantasy adventure that’s just plain fun to watch. I heartily recommend this movie, for both those who ironically and unironically enjoy martial arts, cool practical effects, and magical moustaches.