Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
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
  Snake Prince, The Sing-along Kung Fu Reptile Romance!
Year: 1976
Director: Lo Chen
Stars: Ti Lung, Lin Chen-chi, Wang Yu, Lin Wei-tu, Fanny Fan Lei, Got Dik Wa, Cheng Miu, Ng Hong Sang
Genre: Horror, Musical, Sex, Martial Arts, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Long ago in ancient China, three beautiful sisters named Hei Qin (Lin Chen-chi), Hei Xiao (Fanny Fan Lei), and Hei Xian (Got Dik Wa) perform a sensual rain dance, hoping to break the drought that plagues their tribal village. This turns into a full-blown, mid-seventies musical number, complete with wah-wah guitar and disco flute as the girls jive about in bandanas, skimpy green halter tops and miniskirts. Drawn by this groovy spectacle, the magical Snake Prince (kung fu icon Ti Lung) adopts handsome human form alongside sidekick General Huang (Wang Yu) and um, another guy (Ng Hong Sang), and is swiftly smitten with Hei Qin. Disguised as a peddler, he visits the village and discovers Hei Qin’s kind heart and good sense match her beauty.

Meanwhile, the locals plot to divert the river and irrigate their village, even though this will damage the sacred forest on Snake Mountain. Flying snakes carry Mr. Hei (Cheng Miu) to a mystic lair where Snake Prince agrees to realign the river himself if the old man promises Hei Qin’s hand in marriage. Although the self-serving villagers try to cheat the prince, Hei Qin agrees to marry the monster and save her people. She settles into a blissfully happy life, singing and dancing amidst Snake Prince’s lavish, fairytale palace. However, trouble starts when Hei Qin invites her family to visit. Greedy Xiao isn’t satisfied with her sister’s gifts and tries to steal the royal jewels, while nasty Xian plots to kill Hei Qin and seduce the prince, which unleashes insanity, death and destruction.

If you don’t enjoy a) musicals, b) the seventies or c) weird Chinese cinema, then you’re clear out of luck with this one. More adventurous film fans will relish this loopy Shaw Brothers production. Celebrated director Lo Chen was known for heart-wrenching dramas like The Shepherd Girl (1963) or My Son (1969), but branched out in the seventies into musicals, martial arts fantasies and sexploitation. Here he seems to be doing all three, which results in an odd, but not unappealing genre hybrid.

One minute it’s a rock musical with a chorus line of scantily-clad dancers shimmying like the cast of Hair (1979), the next Ti Lung is kicking ass with (what else?) snake style kung fu, or unleashing gory monster madness (including real, live snakes flung at shrieking extras). Sultry sexploitation starlets Fanny Fan Lei and Got Dik Wa perform topless solo numbers (“I move my slender waist… lightly bite your lips… let’s make love!”), the fairytale ambience (gorgeous lighting, evocative sets, whimsical special effects) and innocent lovers are straight out of a Walt Disney cartoon, and there is a moment of twisted malevolence wherein Hei Xian stomps their newborn snake-babies to death. You never know what is going to happen next.

At heart it’s an engaging love story, featuring a pair of likeable leads and a message about love and tolerance. The Snake Prince fights when cornered, but clings to his ideal of non-violent co-existence with mankind, while Hei Qin proves a noble, sweet-natured heroine. Perhaps too sweet, given that every other human character is utterly despicable. Adorable Lin Chen-chi played another snake loving girl in Battle Wizard (1977). Here, in a kinky touch, the Snake Prince can only make love in his serpent guise, so we get to see a big, rubber snake wrapped around Chen-chi’s naked body. At her peak, the actress made three movies at Shaw Brothers each year, but her most celebrated performance was as the terrifying anti-heroine of Tsui Hark’s Dangerous Encounters of the First Kind (1980). Today, she runs a chain of steakhouse restaurants in Hong Kong.

John Woo fans will know Ti Lung from his twin handgun twirling roles in the A Better Tomorrow movies. Here is your chance to see him cutting a rug like a kung fu Gene Kelly, and of course turning into a big rubber snake. The giant snakes are blatantly fake, but pretty good puppets, especially when spewing-flames and splattering blood amidst the rousing climax. The funky rock meets Chinese opera soundtrack (which includes a disco version of the wedding song from Hong Kong Nocturne (1966)) comes courtesy of Frankie Chan, the multi-talented actor (he played the villain in Prodigal Son (1981)), composer and film director.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 7031 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
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: