HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Tales from the Hood
Radio Parade of 1935
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
   
 
Newest Articles
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
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
   
 
  Battle Wizard drink the snake blood, punch the gorilla, save the girl
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, FantasyBuy from Amazon
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 5202 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: