Tuesday, 23 November 2010

ZHAN YEN TAN/Beach of the War Gods (1973)

I first saw this in London's Casino cinema in Old Compton Street. It was cut and badly dubbed but it made me a fan of it's star and director Yu Wang (credited variously as Wang Yu or Jimmy Wang Yu) who, according to some sources, had initiated Hong Kong's Kung Fu film industry with his film CHINESE BOXER which paved the way for Bruce Lee. But for me the best Yu Wang films are the wuxia - the sword and spear fighting films of which BEACH OF THE WAR GODS is an excellent example. It is quite an ambitious film which takes its inspiration from Kurosawa's SEVEN SAMURAI and, at least in its opening sequences, from Clint Eastwood. Like many Chinese films it is violently ant-Japanese. Back in the 80's both this film and Yu Wang's ONE ARMED BOXER were issued by Rank on widescreen uncut VHS tapes but neither has been easily available for years. The copy to hand, which I picked up from a seller on Amazon, is widescreen, uncut and subtitled (if somewhat eccentrically) and is released by Fortune Star and is a welcome addition to my collection. Rating ****


Cerpts said...

Jealous. Jealous.

But of course it is available to watch on youtube methinks.

Weaverman said...

I expect you'll get one soon.