HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
   
 
  Web of Death Beware the killer kung fu tarantula
Year: 1976
Director: Chu Yuan
Stars: Yueh Hua, Ching Li, Lo Lieh, Ku Feng, Wang Hsia, Lily Li, Wang Chung
Genre: Horror, Martial Arts, Romance, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Superstar Shaw Brothers’ director Chu Yuan brings you this colourful, costume adventure. A delirious kung fu/fantasy/horror/mystery that might seem one of a kind if its maker hadn’t spent a lifetime honing his personal sub-genre down to a fine art. Unlike the revenge-driven plots and historical settings used by his contemporaries, Yuan spins yarns of head-spinning complexity amidst the fairy grottoes and celestial pavilions of the mythical, “Martial World”. This fantasyland of flying swordsmen, mystical heroines and strange beings is ruled by esoteric clans with supernatural powers. Here, ever oily Lo Lieh plays Snake Chief of the Venoms Clan, an evil sect out to rule the roost. Everyone is after a secret super-weapon, the Five Venoms Spider, before he unearths it to wield against the other clans when they gather at Mount Wudang. Complicating matters is Fei (Yueh Hua), prized pupil of the Wudang Clan, when he meets and falls for Susu (understandable, since it’s Ching Li at her loveliest). Susu doesn’t tell him she’s the Venom Chief’s darling daughter, but decides to secretly help Fei find the spider.

Misunderstandings and tragedy ensue as our star-crossed lovers struggle to save their families but are caught in a legacy of bitter feuds, jealousy and betrayal. Things move at a furious pace as the plot springs twists and surprises. It culminates in a fantastic finale at Mount Wudang where clans cower from a death-ray spewing, killer tarantula that glows green and roars like Godzilla! The theatrical special effects pack period charm and the super-stylised sets are beautiful to behold, ranging from the misty mountains of Wudang, the extraordinarily lovely lakeside pavilion where our lovers meet by moonlight, to the spectacular Venom Clan headquarters with its spidery motif, lava pools and bilious, green smoke. Chu Yuan films his spooky, fog-filled, cobwebbed sets in over-saturated colours reminiscent of Mario Bava.

Typically for a Chu Yuan wu xia movie the narrative overflows with major characters, yet his skilful script and editing mean audiences needn’t struggle to keep track of who is double (and sometimes triple) crossing whom and why. A superb cast of Shaw Bros. regulars breathe life into these eccentric oddballs, star players including Lily Li, Ku Feng and Norman Chu. Multitalented leading man Yueh Hua is subdued here, generously allowing Ching Li her chance to shine. A beautiful, versatile performer known for comedic and romantic roles, Li became Yuan’s favourite actress. As tragic heroine Susu, she is lovingly photographed, handles action with aplomb, dons an array of disguises and endures more emotional turmoil than any character in the film. Wu xia novels were considered serious literature and often banned in mainland China for their subversive aspects. Susu is turned away by every establishment figure she meets. Everyone is too busy spouting sub-Confucian malapropisms to exhibit any tolerance or compassion. In a society that venerates age and social status Yuan dares to portray the all-wise martial arts masters as petty, narrow minded and self-serving. Hankies at the ready for a real tear-jerker of an ending.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2684 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 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
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: