HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lu Over the Wall
She's Funny That Way
Vox Lux
Aftermath, The
Five Fingers for Marseilles
Jupiter's Moon
Favourite, The
Mysteries of the Gods
Coming Home
De Sade
Patti Cake$
Hellbound
Final Destination 2
Romance
Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Cockleshell Heroes, The
Mule, The
Sunday in the Country
Nutcracker Fantasy
Spellcaster
Hipsters
Executive Action
Captain Marvel
Zombie Girl
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Rhinoceros
Monkey King 3, The
Adventurers, The
Stripped to Kill
Daughter of Dr. Jekyll
Aladdin's Magic Lamp
Christopher Robin
Hole in the Ground, The
Daniel
Blue Christmas
Death Trip
She's Missing
Return of the Soldier
Shaft
Summer Lovers
   
 
Newest Articles
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
   
 
  Battle Wizard drink the snake blood, punch the gorilla, save the girlBuy this film here.
Year: 1977
Director: Pao Hsueh-li
Stars: Danny Lee, Tanny Tien Ni, Lin Chen-chi, Yuen Cheung-yan, Norman Tsui Siu-keung, Ha Ping
Genre: Martial Arts, Fantasy
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Lesson One in how to kick off a cult movie: dive straight into sex and violence. Wong Po-lin catches his wife in bed with Prince Tuan Zhengchun, notorious horn-dog and (unfortunately for Wong) master of the Yi Yang Finger. He shoots an energy beam from his fingers that chops Wong’s legs off. Wong retreats to his candy-coloured lair at the earth’s core (living next door to Blofeld, perhaps?) and plots revenge. Twenty years later, he targets the prince’s son, Tuan Yu (Danny Lee), a timid scholar with no knowledge of kung fu. While wandering the countryside, Tuan Yu meets happy-go-lucky, snake loving maiden, Zhong Ling-ehr (Lin Chen-chi) and the pair fall afoul of Wong’s henchmen, including a super-fast, killer hunchback with fangs, a giant claw and a steel head. More than cute, Ling-ehr proves super-cool and throws snakes as weapons that burrow through victims and explode their skulls! When things get really bad, she sends Tuan Yu to seek out mystical swordswoman Mu Wanqing (Tanny Tien Ni), who practices the Yi Yang finger and unfortunately, is known for killing every man she meets. However, she spares Tuan Yu’s life after he warns her of a bandit attack and he reciprocates when she is poisoned by a demon. Attacked by a magic snake, Tuan Yu kills the giant reptile by biting its throat. Swallowing the creature’s blood transforms him into a kung fu dynamo, but his plans to marry Wanqing are scuppered when Prince Tuan Zhengchun reveals who her father is. To make matters worse, Wong Po-lin arrives with his brand-new, extendable, metal chicken legs; captures Tuan Yu and Wanqing and sets in motion his ultimate plan: to feed them to his amazing, kung fu fighting ape!!

How can you not love a Shaw Bros. kung fu movie this crazy? Nowadays, Danny Lee is best known for pairing opposite Chow Yun-fat in John Woo’s The Killer (1989) and Ringo Lam’s City on Fire (1987), or for directing deeply unpleasant crime-horror flicks like The Untold Story (1993). But, once upon a time, Lee headlined some of the freakiest Hong Kong movies ever made: Oily Maniac (1976), Bruce Lee & I (1975), The Mighty Peking Man (1977) - what was the guy on? Battle Wizard is an immensely enjoyable period fantasy, loosely based on a classic novel, “Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils”. Condensed into a scant hour and twelve minutes, it probably doesn’t do justice to the 2000 page epic, later filmed as Dragon Chronicles: The Maidens of Heavenly Mountain (1994), a lavish adaptation starring Brigitte Lin and Gong Li.

Ice-maiden Tanny Tien Ni is a little too remote to fully engage as Wanqing. Stealing the show is Lin Chen-chi as plucky snake-slinger, Ling-ehr. Always smiling, she’s the closest thing to a kooky hippie chick the martial arts genre has to offer. The appealing actress tangled with serpents before in Shaw Bros.’ fairytale fantasy The Snake Prince (1976), but really stood out as a terrifying anti-heroine in Tsui Hark’s Dangerous Encounters of the First Kind (1980). Fast paced, colourful and inventive (I haven’t mentioned Wanqing’s dinosaur bone that shoots laser beams or the magic frog that when swallowed renders someone invincible), this kung fu quickie utilizes props, optical and sound effects left over from Shaw’s earlier Super Infra-Man (1975), starring - you guessed it - Danny Lee.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4629 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: