Rent A Touch of Zen (1971)

3.6 of 5 from 90 ratings
2h 50min
Rent A Touch of Zen (aka Xia Nu) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
An unambitious painter named Gu (Shihjun) lives with his mother in the vicinity of an abandoned mansion rumoured to be haunted. In actuality, the mansion has become a hiding place for the warrior Yang (Hsu Feng) and her own mother, both taking refuge following the assassination of their loyal minister father by the wicked eunuch Wei of East Chamber. After the eunuch sends an army to pursue the escapees, the group fortify the mansion with traps and false intimations of the terrifying ghosts within. But even after, things take yet more unsettling turns...
Actors:
, , , , , , , , , , , , Chung Mou Hsieh, , , , , Lu-Shih Ku, , Kwei Li
Directors:
Producers:
Liang Fang Hsia-Wu
Writers:
King Hu, Songling Pu
Aka:
Xia Nu
Studio:
Optimum
Genres:
Action & Adventure, Classics
Countries:
Taiwan, Action & Adventure, Classics
BBFC:
Release Date:
28/07/2003
Run Time:
170 minutes
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
None
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
Colour:
B & W
Bonus:
  • Filmography of Director King Hu
  • Cast and Crew Biographies
  • Trailer Reel
BBFC:
Release Date:
25/01/2016
Run Time:
180 minutes
Languages:
Mandarin
Subtitles:
English
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Select scene commentary by critic and Asian cinema expert Tony Rayns
  • King Hu 1932-1997, a 47-minute documentary on the director featuring interviews with colleagues, collaborators and historians
  • Golden Blood, a new video essay by critic and filmmaker David Cairns
  • Trailer

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Reviews (1) of A Touch of Zen

A Touch of Zen - A Touch of Zen review by WS

Spoiler Alert
Updated 09/10/2019

This is an untutored opinion as I haven't seen many wuxia ("martial hero") films and cannot claim to have a rounded view on the genre.

I felt that for much of the running time the pace was crashingly slow, but at the same time I have to admire its cleverness in the way it only gradually reveals who the main protagonists are and who is allied to whom. It is well-directed, even though at times the locations are so dark you have to concentrate to tell what's going on. The fight scenes, although probably advanced for the late 60's, sometimes lack finesse by modern standards.

But it is definitely worth it for the majestic final and penultimate scenes. There's the terrific multi-participant fight in the eerily-lit forest involving warrior monks, a military commander, a renegade general and the fugitive heroine, followed by the surreal desert endgame which calls to mind a spaghetti Western.

In conclusion, feels slow for a 3-hour movie, but worth persevering with.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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