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The Fate of Lee Khan

Hong Kong/Taiwan 1973
produced by
Raymond Chow for Golden Harvest, Gam Chuen
directed by King Hu
starring Li Li Hua, Roy Chiao, Hsu Feng, Bai Ying, Tien Feng, Angela Mao, Hu Chin, Helen Ma, Shangguan Yen-erh, Chiang Nan, Han Ying-Chieh, Wu Chia-hsiang, Chang Hsi, Fung Ging Man, Ho Li Jen, Li Wen Tai, Ho Pak-Kwong, Wei Ping-Ao, Wu Ming-tsai, Xie Yang, Yang Wei
written by King Hu, Wang Chung, music by Joseph Koo, martial arts director: Sammo Hung

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Flix.com

Innkeeper Madame Wan (Li Li Hua) learns that Mongol Prince Lee Khan (Tien Feng), who is ruling the region with an iron hand, is going to pay a visit to her inn later that week. Now that's exciting enough as it is, but made even more so because Madame Wan is part of the revolutionary movement, and the rebels not only want him dead but also a map containing troop movements from him. So Madame Wan, who is soon helped by a alleged bookkeeper, Wang (Bai Ying) and a travelling musician, Yuanshan (Han Ying Chieh), also rebels, hires four waitresses of doubtful repute (Angela Mao, Hu Chin, Helen Ma, Shangguan Yen-erh) but talents of their own to help witht he mission.

After much guessing and second-guessing who of Madame Wan's guest might be Lee Khan's spy, who a mere crook and so on, Lee Khan finally arrives with his sister Wan-erh (Hsu Feng) and his security officer Cao (Roy Chiao), who is known for running a tight regime, but who's actually one of the rebels.

Our rebel heroes soon figure out the map they're after is in Lee Khan's treasure box, but after an elaborate plan to get it out of there, all they return with is a personal letter - and they only manage to return it at the cost of one waitress's (Shangguan Yen-erh) life. Thing is, now Lee Khan finds out the lock of the box has been tampered with, and now he and his sister decide to smoke out the rebels, initially by turning Wang and Yuanshan against one another ... but when pretty much everyone in the inn reveals him or herself to be a rebel, the two of them and their entourage pretty much find themselves outnumbered - but put up a valiant fight that costs many a life - but ultimately both Lee Khan and his sister are killed, the rebels have won, and Madame Wan burns down her inn to go on to bigger and better things ...

 

A lesser known film by King Hu that owes a thing or two to his earlier successes like Come Drink with Me or Dragon Gate Inn plotwise - but it also shows King Hu in top form: He handles a story of espionage and intrigue in period settings light-footedly like no other, puts the whole thing in elegant pictures, features a few great action setpieces, and ingeniously handles a great ensemble cast playing an entertaining set of characters.

In all, a great film no less.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
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starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD