The ZONE genre worldwide books movies
the Last Word in
Science Fiction
magazines online
 
 
critical articles, interviews, author profiles, retro lists, genre essays, incisive media reviews

The Bride With White Hair (1993)
Director: Ronny Yu

The Bride With White Hair 2 (1993)
Director: David Wu

reviews by Jeff Young

Made in 1993, this stunning fantasy romance takes us back to the generic style of A Chinese Ghost Story and Zu Warriors... where supernatural entities, like the glamorous wolf-girl who becomes the title character, lend their invincible fighting skills to combat gangs of murderous bandits bringing terror to humble villagers and cloistered monks alike.
   The romance is irredeemably coy, but the varied martial arts sequences are magnificent and elaborate, and visually witty. The flying heroine slices up her numerous foes with a whip, commending her abilities to the viewer by knowing exactly how many pieces the corpse will end up in. The chief villains though are a memorable pair of opposite sex Siamese twins, whom the besotted hero must confront if he's to win his lover's freedom from the bandit clan.
   Of course, a Grand Guignol climax is inevitable as a bandit army invade the monastery and slaughter the monks, but there's much strikingly photographed scenery and fantastic ultra-violence before an act of betrayal, and the heroine's torturous escape from her masters, results in a whole series of horrific deaths.
   The pace is, at times, very hectic, but if you know how these Hong Kong fantasy adventures tend to develop you should have no problem keeping up, and will get a great deal of enjoyment out of the eventful story.

"Men. I see one. I kill one." Produced by Ronny Yu, the sequel to the above cult classic picks up the plot several years after bride Ni Chang (Brigitte Lin) turned nasty, and accomplished editor David Wu's direction sets up the heroine of Yu's original as a tragically doomed arch-villain, and wicked witch of the east. With a cumbersome subtitle: The White-Haired Swordswoman, Bride 2 sees the title character destroying entire martial arts clans with powerful witchcraft, when she is harassed by vengeful warriors. Strangling attackers with her writhing locks and medusa-like braids, the 'white hair witch' is more formidable than ever. After dispatching most of her enemies, the ivory-robed bride descends on the bedroom of newlyweds Kit and Lyre, almost slaying the groom and kidnapping the girl, to be brainwashed into murdering her husband...
   An ultra feminist sect of beautiful bitch-babes acts as the bride's shock troops against male oppression, but the story's elements of demure romance and lurid horror clash together loudly, weakening all its dramatic force. Blood spitting gore and a particularly frenzied stabbing scene ensure an adult certificate, yet fans of the first movie may weep for this production's lack of the vividly baroque designs, startling use of colour, and the carefully attained balance of light and shadow that distinguished Ronny Yu's remarkable fantasy kung fu.

previously published online, VideoVista #28
The Bride With White Hair
Buy stuff at:
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com

The Bride With White Hair 2


home  articles  profiles  interviews  essays  books  movies  competitions  guidelines  issues  links  archives  contributors  email
copyright © 2001 - 2002 Pigasus Press