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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...
previously published online, VideoVista #28
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