Sunday, May 15, 2011
chang cheh's SLAUGHTER IN XIAN
chang cheh was no spring chicken was he made this film. while it is a far cry from his lavish productions at shaw. a few of the chang cheh trademarks shine through, unfortunately the box office showed chang cheh's was out of style.
in hindsight fans of chang cheh look at his later productions as the ugly stepchild and a desperate attempt for him to cash in one last time but i don't think its fair to say this. you have to look at them in the context of style films and time they were made not compare them to shaw brothers backed block busters. when compared to other films of that time they had way more character.
these later films of chang seem to echo the kung fu films of old and used the old storylines. this one plays like the inspector against corrupt officials story. inspector ho is determined to expose the corruption and soon he is on the run with nothing to lose. there is excelent acrobatics on display and the fights have the venom formulamatic feel. the film suffers badly from budget restraints but never stopped us from loving HK movies before. chang cheh is a master of the camera and the look of the inpact of bullets is felt(3:45) but far few in between in this film.
chang was always experimenting while trying to leave a connection with the past and he some how always finds excellent opera talent and manages to encorporate it in his films