Set during the time of the Qing dynasty, this historical martial arts film by Ringo Lam features sweeping scenes in the bleak Manchurian desert and dark, fantastic sets within the underground Red Lotus Temple. The Emperor Yung-ching has ordered the destruction of the isolated sanctuary of the Shaolin monks. After the statue of Buddha is smashed and their books burned, the monks who aren't killed are taken into captivity. Willie Chi stars as Fong Sai-yuk, a young monk who escapes on horseback into the desert. He is pursued by the emperor's troops and captured along with a young prostitute, Tou Tou (Carmen Lee). They are imprisoned in the Red Lotus Temple--a dungeon filled with booby traps under the control of Kung (K.K. Wong), an evil psychopath with no regard for human life. The high-wire stunts performed by Fong as he executes his escape are done with amazing skill. There are some supernatural elements as well, including the evil Kung seemingly flying through the air, but the Red Lotus Temple, however fantastic, is meant to depict a real hell on earth.he film was produced by Hark Tsui, the director who started a craze for supernatural films with ZU: WARRIORS FROM THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN and GREEN SNAKE, which starred a young Maggie Cheung.
It's trouble for the Shaolin monks when Ching cronies raze their temple, round them up, and stash them in the perilous Red Lotus Temple. It's up to Fong Sai-yuk and his punishing sword to cast off the manacles and liberate the boys.
Martial Arts |