Monday, January 05, 2004

REVIEW: Thrilling Bloody Sword

* * ¼ (out of four)

Seen 3 January 2004 at Coolidge Corner #2 (Midnight Kung Fu Madness)

There's an entry on the Web Film Release Schedule about a "martial-arts remake" of Snow White And The Seven Dwarves. I don't know whether it would be a direct remake of this bit of lunacy from 1986, but if it's being made by Disney, or any Hollywood studio, I doubt it will feature the pure, utter insanity of this Hong Kong kid's film from 1986.

At least, I think it's a kid's film. It's got a talking chicken, after all, and a small fairy of the forest, and a thoroughly chaste romance between the hidden princess and the handsome prince. It's got garishly colored supporting characters, and a script that's even goofier than most Hong Kong action movies. And some of the costumes... My lord, the monsters (as well as the bear that the prince is turned into) are sub-Power Rangers level.

It also has some outright bizarre stuff, too. Like the fleshy, disgusting egg the queen gives birth to when she's touched by a falling star, that later "hatches" the baby princess. The seven dwarves are generals from another kingdom, turned into dwarves by the film's villains. One has a French mustache; another has bagels on a string around his neck. Another is apparently dressed as a woman. Or is a woman dressed as a man. It's really ambigous. And then there's the magic sword and garment which the prince finds - which has no pants. The heroic prince basically spends the second half of the movie wandering around with less than a cheerleader's outfit covering his groin. And, while wearing this, he must fight four magic warriors, which can only be slain by stabbing them through their vulnerable points. And, wouldn't you know it, the final one's vulnerable point seems to be right up the...

Anyway, there's some innuendo here.

This is a Z-movie. It gets 2¼ stars because the audience at the Coolidge was into it; this would be no fun to watch in one's living room, by oneself. But, when you're surrounded by other folks who paid $6 for it, it takes the pain away somewhat.

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