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Having grown wary of going to war against whoever there is, Dik Ming Kei
(Yuen Biao) hides from his army as well as the enemies in a cavern - where
he stumbles upon hero Ding Yan (Adam Cheng), who fights against the Blood
Demon, and impressed by his courage and determination, Dik Ming Kei
decides to stay with him, to try to persuade him to become his teacher.
Soon Ding Yan runs into reverend Hiu Yu (Damian Lau) and his student Yat Jan
(Mang Hoi), who also fight the Blood Demon ... but to Dik Ming Kei's
disappointment, Ding Yan and the reverend soon start to fight each other
Before you know it though, Dik Ming Kei meets Chang Mei (Sammo
Hung), an old master who keeps the Blood Demon contained for now, but who
tells him he has only power to hold him for 49 more days, and now it's
upon Dik Ming Kei to get the Twin Swords from Lady Li I-Chi (Yung
Ching-Yuk) to stop the Blood Demon from conquering the world as such. But
as if that wasn't enough, Hiu Yu has meanwhile been possessed by the Blood
Demon, and Ding Yan, Dik Ming Kei and Yat Jan have to take him to the
palace of the Ice Queen (Brigitte Lin) to save him. But the Ice Queen is
not easily persuaded to save anyone, and wouldn't she have fallen in love
with Ding Yan she would not even bother at all. However, her rescuing Hiu
Yu goes somewhat wrong when instead Ding Yan gets possessed, and to
contain him she has to deepfreeze her whole palace, with only Dik Ming
Kei, Yat Jan and one of the Ice Queen's guards (Moon Lee) managing to
escape ... oh, and Ding Yan escapes as well, despite all of the Ice
In a special effects-laden finale however, our heroes
find Lady Li I-Chi, and with her help they defeat the Blood Demon for
good. And in the end, Yat Jan gets the girl - the Ice Queen's guard that
is - while Dik Ming Kei vows to do good from now on and try to stop all
Sammo Hung has a dual role in this film, he plays not only Chang
Mei but also a soldier who just like Dik Ming Kei has grown wary of
fighting, and the two of them team up despite being from opposing armies.
However, Hung's character is soon removed from the proceedings.
Tsui Hark's best film, Zu: Warriors of the Magic Mountain is
nevertheless a light-hearted and extremely entertaining combination of
martial arts and Chinese folklore and Western-style special effects on a
scale unheard of in Hong Kong cinema back then (which is why the film was
often compared to Star Wars, usually favourbly). But actually, it's
not so much the special effects that carry the film but its over-the-top
story which is held together by a fine directorial effort, its great
ensemble cast, and its many small but charming scenes (like Sammo Hung and
Yuen Biao pretending to fight each other only to not have to fight anyone
else, or a battleground covered with soldiers who pretend to be dead so
they don#t have to fight another futile war). Excellent action
choreography doesn't hurt one bit either, of course.
Definitely worth a