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Burning Paradise (Huo shao hong lian si) (1994)

  Directed by: Ringo Lam
Starring: Willie Chi, Carman Lee, Kam-Kong Wong
Links: Burning Paradise on the IMDb, Buy on Video
Genre: Action

This movie gets: 8.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

Burning Paradise (Huo shao hong lian si) (1994) is also mentioned in timchuma's review of Fong Sai-Yuk II (1993).

""Cut the craps!"" - a review by timchuma

In Ming Dynasty China, the Shaolin order has been accused of plotting against the emperor and so all their followers are being hunted down and killed by the Ching soldiers.

Being chased by a large group of soldiers are Fong Sai Yuk and his 'uncle' from the monastery. Just as they are about to be caught, Fong sends his uncle off on the horse and cleaves a soldier neatly in two with his massive sword (half of him is still in the saddle) and then gets on a horse to escape, only to have the horse's head cut off by the soldier's commander and his killer frisbee on a stick (that's what it looks like anyway).

Fong and his uncle end up taking refuge in a farmhouse where they find another woman is hiding. They get acquainted overnight only to be woken when the house explodes under cannon fire in the morning. As they are surrounded by soldiers, Fong agrees to give himself up and they are taken to the temple of the Red Lotus Sect with the other captured Shaolin monks.

In the temple the monks are treated like slaves and can't escape as the place is filled with traps. The leader of the Sect is a bit of a sicko who likes killing people a lot because he is getting old. Fong tries to fight him, but he first has to cross a bridge filled with traps and fight the leader's guard (Brooke) and a former member of Shaolin who is working for the sect. Needless to say it doesn't go very well and he ends up in the "well of the dead" to consider his next move.

The woman who was captured at the same time as Fong has been offered to the sect leader as his 'plaything' and she discovers just how bad he is, but she is too terrified to tell anyone.

While working with the other monks, Fong cracks it and wants to fight the commander of the soldiers. His request is granted, but he finds out that he has to fight the former Shaolin monk to the death instead, which is where the action really begins...

I had been warned that this was a very dark and graphic film, but I don't think it was bad as The Blade (1995) or similar movies. There was also some unexpected humour in places (from the master in the "Well of the dead") which lightened the mood somewhat.

I am always interested in seeing different movies that have the same characters and how they are handled by other actors. The Fong Sai Yuk in this movie does seem to be a lot more serious than the version played by Jet Li. He is slightly less acrobatic but makes up for it with his skill in wielding his huge sword on his back (no firing arrows in this film).

I would recommend this movie to people who liked The Blade or who want to compare it with Fong Sai-Yuk (1993).

timchuma gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 23 Sep 2004

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