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Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain

Poster for the movie "Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain"

Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain (1983)

95 min - Action, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery - 5 February 1983
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In the fifth century, constant civil war scarred western China. To escape death, Ti, a young scout, jumps through a crevice in the Zu mountains where he meets and becomes the apprentice of Ting Yin, a spiritual man with great fighting powers. They encounter a monk, Hsiao Yu, also a great fighter and a good man, but unfriendly to Ting. Because Ting and Hsiao can't work together, it falls to Ti to team with Hsiao's acolyte Yi Chen: they have 49 days to travel far to claim two swords that are the only weapons that can defeat the Blood Demon, who has decided the wreak havoc on the world. They get help from Long Brows, Ting falls in love with a countess, and civil war still rages.

Director:  Tsui Hark
Writers:  Sze-To Cheuk-Hon, Shui Chung-Yuet

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Storyline

In the fifth century, constant civil war scarred western China. To escape death, Ti, a young scout, jumps through a crevice in the Zu mountains where he meets and becomes the apprentice of Ting Yin, a spiritual man with great fighting powers. They encounter a monk, Hsiao Yu, also a great fighter and a good man, but unfriendly to Ting. Because Ting and Hsiao can't work together, it falls to Ti to team with Hsiao's acolyte Yi Chen: they have 49 days to travel far to claim two swords that are the only weapons that can defeat the Blood Demon, who has decided the wreak havoc on the world. They get help from Long Brows, Ting falls in love with a countess, and civil war still rages.


Collections: Tsui Hark

Details

Official Website: 
Country:   Hong Kong
Language:  Cantonese
Release Date:  5 February 1983

Box Office

Company Credits

Technical Specs

Runtime:  1 h 35 min

“Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain” (新蜀山劍俠) is a 1983 Hong Kong supernatural wuxia fantasy film, directed by the acclaimed Tsui Hark. Based on the xianxia novel “Legend of the Swordsmen of the Mountains of Shu” by Huanzhulouzhu, this film is notable for its integration of Hong Kong action cinema with Western special effects technology, notably contributed by Robert Blalack. It has influenced various films, including the 1986 American film “Big Trouble in Little China.”

Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain Movie Trailer

 

Reception and Accolades

The film was well-received and recognized for its technical and artistic achievements, receiving five nominations at the 3rd Hong Kong Film Awards. These nominations included Best Action Choreography for Corey Yuen, Best Actress for Brigitte Lin, Best Art Direction for William Chang, Best Film Editing for Peter Cheung, and Best Picture.

Premise and Plot

Set during the Sixteen Kingdoms period, the story follows Dik Ming-kei, a deserter from the Qiao Shu [zh] army. His adventure begins when he is chased by vampires in the mountain of Zu and is rescued by Master Ding Yan, who takes him on as a pupil. During an ambush by the Blood Devil, devil chaser Siu Yu and his pupil Yat Jan come to their aid. While they manage to fend off the Blood Devil temporarily, the key to its destruction lies in finding the mythical Dual Swords.

Master Ding, with the wounded Siu Yu, seeks help at the Celestial Fort, led by the Mistress. However, complications arise as Master Ding is poisoned by the Blood Devil and succumbs to the Dark Force. The plot then revolves around Ming-kei and Yat Jan’s quest to locate the Dual Swords and their battle against the formidable Blood Devil.

Cultural Impact

“Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain” stands out for its pioneering role in blending traditional Chinese mythology and martial arts with modern special effects, setting a precedent for future films in the genre. Its influence extends beyond Hong Kong cinema, as seen in its impact on Western films like “Big Trouble in Little China,” showcasing the global reach and appeal of Tsui Hark’s visionary filmmaking. The film remains a significant work in the genre of wuxia and fantasy, celebrated for its imaginative story, vibrant special effects, and compelling action sequences.