Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain
|Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain|
Hong Kong promotional release poster
|Mandarin||Xīn Shǔ Shān Jiàn Xiá|
|Cantonese||San1 Suk6 Saan1 Gim3 Hap6|
|Directed by||Tsui Hark|
|Produced by||Raymond Chow|
|Written by||Shui Chung-yuet|
|Based on||Legend of the Swordsmen of the Mountains of Shu|
|Music by||Kwan Sing-yau|
|Edited by||Peter Cheung|
Paragon Films Ltd.
|Distributed by||Golden Harvest|
Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain is a 1983 Hong Kong supernatural wuxia fantasy film directed by Tsui Hark and based on the xianxia novel Legend of the Swordsmen of the Mountains of Shu by Huanzhulouzhu. The film has been noted for combining elements of Hong Kong action cinema with special effects technology provided by a team of Western artists including Robert Blalack. It served as an influence for the 1986 American film Big Trouble in Little China.
Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain received five nominations at the 3rd Hong Kong Film Awards: Best Action Choreography for Corey Yuen, Best Actress for Brigitte Lin, Best Art Direction for William Chang, Best Film Editing for Peter Cheung, and Best Picture.
During Tang Dynasty, army deserter Dik Ming kei, who was chased by vampires in the mountain of Zu, is rescued by Master Ding Yan and becomes his pupil. When they were ambushed by the Blood Devil, devil chaser siu yu and his pupil Yat jan came to their assistance. With the help of Master Cheung mui, they managed to hold off the Blood Devil but they need to find the Dual Swords to destroy it.
Master Ding took the wounded siu yu to Celestial Fort and sought help from the Mistress, but was in turned poisoned by the Blood Devil and he surrendered to the Dark Force. Will Dik and Yat jan find the Dual Swords and destroy the Blood Devil?
- Sammo Hung as Chang Mei / Red Army soldier
- Yuen Biao as Di Ming-qi / Dik Ming-kei
- Adam Cheng as Ding Yin / Ding Yan
- Brigitte Lin as Ice Queen
- Moon Lee as one of the Ice Queen's guards
- Judy Ongg as Lady Li I-chi
- Corey Yuen as Devil Disciple Leader
- Damian Lau as Xiao Ru
- Mang Hoi as Yi Zhen / Yat Jan
- Norman Chui as Heaven's Blade
- Chung Fat as Blue Commander
- Dick Wei as Blue Commander
- Ha Kwong-li as Ji Wu-shuang / Chi Wu-chuang
- Ka Lee as Orange Army soldier
- Fung Hak-on as Devil Disciple Leader
- Yuen Miu as Orange Army soldier
- Sai Gwa-Pau as Boatman
- Tsui Hark as Blue Army soldier
Reception and influence
In a 1991 Fangoria article by Tim Paxton and Dave Todarello, Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain is referred to as "a film which freely intertwines Chinese myth and lore with Hollywood special FX and comic-book action. It's the proverbial rollercoaster of kung fu, magic, monsters, humor, tension, visual spectacle and gruesome bits."
Craig Lines of Den of Geek wrote that Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain "was a significant film for the Hong Kong 'New Wave' movement that revolutionized the industry in the late '70s", characterized by "young filmmakers [who] broke free from the traditional studio system to create weird, energetic and experimental movies". Lines praised the actors' performances and the martial arts choreography, and noted the film's "warm, full-hearted message of kindness and acceptance".
The U.K. release of the DVD by Hong Kong Legends features an audio commentary with Tsui Hark and film critic Bey Logan.
The Hong Kong release of the DVD by Fortune Star Media features the Cantonese version of the film's trailer, as well as an interview with actor Yuen Biao.
- Lines, Craig (2 July 2018). "Zu: The Movie That Inspired Big Trouble In Little China". Den of Geek. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- Paxton, Tim; Todarello, Dave (October 1991). "From Asia with Blood - Part One". Fangoria. No. 107. Starlog Group, Inc. p. 58. ISSN 0164-2111.