Skip to main content

BURNING PARADISE

Hong Kong, 1994 (MIFF 2003, Fu Fighters)

Director: Ringo Lam

"Someone gave bad seed director Ringo Lam many Hong Kong dollars to remake Burning of the Red Lotus Temple, an epic about popular character Fong Sai Yuk (see Fong Sai Yuk elsewhere in this section). Instead of Corey Yuen's feelgood romp of the year before, Lam served up this nightmare in which all that is good and righteous is shackled and left in chains until the meat rots off the bones. Welcome to the dark side of the fu.

"Fong Sai Yuk (Willie Chi) flees into the desert from the evil Red Lotus Sect. He fails to protect a runaway courtesan (Carman Lee), and both are dragged off to the depths of the death-trapped Red Lotus Temple, an underworld hell ruled by a madman who paints disturbing murals when he's not setting his thugs onto the prisoners for sport. The only Shaoiin master in the joint is hiding out on a mound of corpses and telling his followers to cut the crap, so it's up to our hero to search for salvation, even if it means detonating the Buddha himself.

"Overheated claustrophobia boils over with savage fight scenes; not since Das Boot will you so desperately long for daylight. God bless whoever bankrolled this hot and bloody masterpiece."—Mark Morrison

See also...

DRAGON INN

"The early 1990s wuxia wave hit its apex with this Tsui Hark-produced remake of King Hu's Dragon Gate Inn. Maggie Cheung sasses up the screen as an innkeeper with a thrifty way of both dealing with ... More »

SHAOLIN SOCCER

Painfully funny, gloriously over the top, saturated wrth FX, wire work and outrageous fu, Shaolin Soccer is a comic triumph. A disgraced, partially crippled and washed up soccer coach has been ... More »

CHINESE ODYSSEY 2002

Produced by Wong Kar-wai, cast with several of his favourite actors and spiked with parodies of his films, Jeff Lau's thoroughly entertaining Chinese Odyssey 2002, set in the Ming Dynasty, ruthlessly ... More »

FONG SAI YUK

"Jet Li stars as irascible folk legend Fong Sai Yuk in Corey Yuen's period martial arts riot. Li's charisma and agility have never been more perfectly showcased, and Josephine Siao Fong-Fong is ... More »

BICHUNMOO

1343: China is under the rule of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty. Young warrior Jin-ha, an apprentice in the art of Bichunmoo sword-fighting, meets a young girl named Sullie, the daughter of Mongol general ... More »

COME DRINK WITH ME

"Cheng Pei-Pei is the original swordswoman. Before Michelle Yeoh, before Brigitte Lin, before Maggie Cheung and certainly before Carrie-Ann flippin' Moss, she rode out of the east and into the wuxia ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director