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Legend of Zu
Zu Warriors

Hong Kong 2001
produced by
Tsui Hark, Tiffany Chen (executive), Brian Cox (executive), Charles Heung (executive), Anant Singh (executive), Bob Weinstein (executive), Harvey Weinstein (executive), Wellson Chin (associate) for Film Workshop, One Hundred Years of Film, China Film Co-Production Corp, Distant Horizons, Youth Film Studio, China Star
directed by Tsui Hark
starring Ekin Cheng, Cecilia Cheung, Louis Koo, Patrick Tam, Kelly Lin, Sammo Hung, Zhang Ziyi, Jacky Wu, Lau Shun, Chan Hoi, Hong Hoi, Zhao Yi, Ng Yuet, Tian Zhou, Tan Jian-Chang
written by Lee Man Choi, Tsui Hark, music by Ricky Ho, martial arts direction by Yuen Woo-Ping, visual effects by Cinefex Workshop, Menfond Electronic Art and Computer Design, Figital Dimension, Foundation Imaging, Fuzzy Logic Productions, Pixel Magic


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Together with King Sky (Ekin Cheng), the good people of the Onmei Clan led by White Eyebrows (Sammo Hung) and the hero Red (Louis Koo) try to defend Zu the Magic Mountain against the evil demon. Soon enough, it falls upon Red to guard the demon's cavern - and before long, he is possessed by the demon himself (who had some help from Kelly Lin playing an evil picie fairy). With the cavern unguarded, the demon wreaks havoc on the Magic Mountain, so it falls upon King Sky, Enigma (Cecilia Cheung) - the splitting image of King Sky's teacher Dawn - and Ying (Jacky Wu) - Enigma's old partner Hollow reincatnated into the body of an inexperienced fighter - to fight and defeat the demon, but while King Sky is forced to fight his possessed friend Red via astral projection, Insomnia manages to steal his body, and now it's up to Enigma and Ying to free him ... but is Ying even experienced for a task that big, and will they succeed ?

Yes of course they will, even if Enigma dies of something (it's never explained) in the process and King Sky has to kill Red. But in the end, the Magic Mountain is saved once again.

In the course of the proceedings by the way Patrick Tam and Zhang Ziyi fall in love, but their characters are of no importance to the story.


Not really a sequel to Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain (nor a remake as some suggest), this can be seen as a self-contained fantasy film. Sure, it's incredibly hard to understand what's going on on the screen at times, but believe me, knowing the earlier film doesn't help understanding this one one bit. And that's one of the problems of Legend Of Zu: While it's core plot is a rather simple and simplistic fantasy story about the fight of good versus evil, its script as such is incredibly convoluted, with most of its plot elements just going nowhere or just confusing the viewer. At the same time, comparing Legend to Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain, the new one totally lacks the quirky characters of the earlier film (or many of Tsui Hark's early films for that matter), everyone inhere is so awfully heroic and little beyond that that it makes me puke. Pretty much all the characters are the very same born hero, yet there are so darn many of them ... Add to this an over-reliance on CGI-effects that are simply put not always up to the task, and you are left with - well, with not all that much.

Yet Legend Of Zu is not a total failure, it's at least visually stunning, and some of the effects, while not wholly convincing, are at least a whole deal more inventive than most atrocities Hollywood has thrown at us lately. And at least the martial arts choreography is definitely worth a look. That all does not make Legend of Zu a good film - but at least a watchable one. Just don't even bother to follow the plot.


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




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


A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD