Newest Reviews
1 chance sur 2
Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo
Yin Yang Master, The
Hail, Mafia!
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
Strange House, The
Morfalous, Les
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Funeral, The
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Na Cha and the Seven Devils Monsters beware his righteous fury
Year: 1971
Director: Tetsuya Yamanouchi, Michiyoshi Doi
Stars: You Long, Tina Chin Fei, Chen Hung-Lieh, Ching Li, Wai Wang, An Ping, Ho Fan, Lin Lin, Luo Bin, Yu Chi-Kung, Chiang Tao, Shan Mao, Lu Bi-Yun
Genre: Martial Arts, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In ancient China mystical fruit are a big deal. So when child god Na Cha (You Long), the Bart Simpson of Chinese mythology, shakes loose seven peaches from the Heavenly Tree his dad, General Li Jing, is mightily pissed. The peaches promptly descend to Earth in the form of seven evil monsters to terrorize humankind. Oops! Poor Li Jing is summoned to face the wrath of the Jade Emperor. Whereupon a recalcitrant Na Cha and his two older brothers (both useless) journey to the mortal realm on a righteous mission to save humanity, retrieve the peaches and kick giant monster ass.

Strangely Na Cha and the Seven Devils received its digital release several years after its sequel, Na Cha the Great (1974) which replaced child actor You Long with martial arts idol Alexander Fu Sheng. While the Chang Cheh-directed follow up has a momentum and visceral edge lacking in this earlier Shaw Brothers production, the original is grander in scale and less stage-bound mixing stunning scenery with equally lavish sets. It comes from the creative team behind Toei's The Magic Serpent (1966). Co-directors and special effects creators Tetsuya Yamanouchi and Michiyoshi Doi were among an array of Japanese filmmakers the Shaw Brothers brought to revitalize the Hong Kong film industry at a time when Japanese cinema was the most technologically advanced in Asia. Especially when it came to special effects of the giant monster variety. Of course most of these directors adopted Chinese pseudonyms since bitterness over the Pacific war still lingered in the public mind.

With its freewheeling mix of musical romance, kick ass kung fu action and rubbery monster effects, Na Cha and the Seven Devils evokes Shaw Brothers earlier quartet of Monkey King movies spearheaded by The Monkey Goes West (1964) although for westerners its whimsical tone may prove more reminiscent of The Singing Ringing Tree (1957) (which did not feature any martial arts, but you get the idea). While perhaps not up to the standards set by Godzilla creator Eiji Tsuburaya the puppet creatures featured here are eye-catching and well paired with the film's many surrealistic sets. Among the most impressive creatures is the huge flame-spewing dragon that features in the film's best sequence devastating an entire village. Right before Na Cha jumps on its back and rides it into submission. The film also showcases an entirely different kind of special effect in the form of Tina Chin Fei, glamorous star of Shaw films Summons to Death (1967), Temptress of a Thousand Faces (1969) and later her own talk show The World of Tina Chin Fei, vamping it up as one of the more enticing demons White Fox.

Young lead You Long is a remarkable athlete and likable screen presence with an instantly ingratiating smile. He ably captures the quirky but precise mix of naivety, idealism and super badassery that make Na Cha such a unique and interesting mythological hero. Alas the film spends less time on his super-heroics and the amusing antics of various monster-costume-clad ne'er do-wells than on stale, repetitive scenes of various courting couples. The almost slasher movie like plot trots out several sets of young lovers whose protracted romantic (in some cases bawdy) shenanigans are cruelly curtailed by murderous demons. Until Na Cha flies in on his trademark fiery flying wheels to set things right and wake up the audience. None of the bland human characters bear much in the way of personality. Nor do their individual subplots amount to much. Yet they hog an ungodly amount of screen-time as living embodiments traditional Chinese values of piety, purity and filial duty. At least the finale ramps up the monster action climaxing with a spectacular aerial battle where Na Cha takes on both the dragon and a demon bird. Assisting with the demon-busting is Na Cha's ally the so-called "Celestial Dog" - who turns out to be a jolly German Shepherd in a cute kung fu outfit. Aww.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 656 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

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

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith


Last Updated: