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November 08, 2005

GO IMAGE! SHAW BROTHERS DVD DETAILS

Shaw Brothers logoImage Entertainment has shared with us 18 of the titles (probably the first ones they'll release) in their recent 30 film deal with Celestial to re-release the Shaw Brothers classics in the US.

INTIMATE CONFESSIONS OF A CHINESE COURTESAN - Image wanted to do a new transfer of this one because some info is missing from the top of the Region 3 disc, but the original print is too damaged to do anything with. Still...
THE WATER MARGIN
THE MAGIC BLADE - lots of folks said that the best thing about the Celestial re-issues was the discovery of director Chor Yuen and a new appreciation for his work. And most of them claimed THE MAGIC BLADE was one of his best movies (although I prefer INTIMATE CONFESSIONS OF A CHINESE COURTESAN, which provided the plot for Clarence Fok's later, legendary NAKED KILLER)
LEGENDARY WEAPONS OF CHINA - considered one of the classic Shaw movies. There have been complaints that the Celestial disc has some awkward new foley effects, but it's reasonable to assume that Image might be taking these off.
VENGEANCE IS A GOLDEN BLADE - cult director, Ho Meng-hua, does a swordplay epic.
SHAOLIN INTRUDERS - I don't know much about this 1983 Shaw production but it stars Derek Yee, who just directed ONE NIGHT IN MONGKOK.
THE WANDERING SWORDSMAN
THE DEADLY BREAKING SWORD
BELLS OF DEATH
SUPER INFRAMAN - the delirious cult classic sci fi film finally on a Region 1 DVD. There will be dancing!
BIG BROTHER CHENG - bloody urban action starring the underrated Chen Kuan-tai.
HEAVEN AND HELL - this flick starts out with massively weird musical numbers/martial arts battles and then moves on to a sort of "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Guide to Buddhism" starring the Five Venoms.
THE KILLER SNAKES - this lurid and depraved Hong Kong roughie about a guy who uses snakes to kill is a masterpiece of sleaze and Image will be doing a new 16x9 transfer for their DVD.
HUMAN LANTERNS - I'll be the first to admit that some Shaw Brothers cult classics sort of sucked once you actually saw them, but HUMAN LANTERNS paid off in every way. This movie is absolutely great but one of the biggest complaints was that the Celestial DVD was an edited version of the movie. Not so the Image DVD which will do a new 16x9 transfer of the uncut original. (here's a long review which includes info on the edits that will presumably be restored)
BLACK MAGIC - Ho Meng-hua's crunky, gruesome horror flick.
HAVE SWORD WILL TRAVEL
MONKEY GOES WEST
CAVE OF THE SILKEN WEB - this and MONKEY GOES WEST are parts 1 and 3 of Shaw's adaptation of Journey to the West and they are mighty fine fantasy kung fu flicks, especially the spider vixen filled SILKEN WEB.

The Image discs will (hopefully) start releasing in April 2006 and there will be two per month. April will probably see the release of SUPER INFRAMAN with the other title to be determined. Not only will each disc feature all the extras from the Celestial discs, but there will be new special features that Image is keeping mum about for the time being.

November 8, 2005 at 12:44 PM in News | Permalink

Comments

Exciting news and I very much enjoyed your descriptions, (I swear Mr. Hendrix you could persuade me to purchase a lump of coal and completely adore it forever), but please to define the word “crunky”. When I google it comes up as a Japanese candy bar likened to a Nestle’s Crunch and when I go to dictionary.com I get Crunk \Crunk\ (kr[u^][ng]k), Crunkle \Crun"kle\ (kr[u^][ng]"k'l), v. i. [Cf. Icel. kr?nka to croak.] To cry like a crane. [Obs.] ``The crane crunketh.'' --Withals (1608).

Posted by: Jennifer | Nov 8, 2005 1:14:14 PM

Hooray! Bells Of Death! That's an undiscovered classic just waiting for appreciative HK-geeks. It's one of my favorites.

Also good to see that some of the transfers will be redone.

Posted by: Ian | Nov 8, 2005 1:56:41 PM

hell yeah sounds freaking killer!!!!i allways wanted to see a nice clean print of killer snakes!
and a human lanterns superb and uncut? whoa im shittin myself!

Posted by: claye | Nov 8, 2005 9:23:44 PM

It would be great if Image goes through these films and removes the ambient bird noises that Celestial has seen fit to include on all its releases. I didn't notice the sound at first, but as I've purchased more of these, it's become so noticable it's annoying. And with each new release, Celestial seems to be going wilder and wilder, taking more liberties with the sound editing. Now that I see someone else is picking the films up for DVD release, I'll hold off, even if the Thai versions Celestial releases are available for cheap.

Posted by: Wise Kwai | Nov 9, 2005 5:31:27 AM

Where are the BIG NAME titles that most R1 Shaw Bros fans hav ebeen waiting for? SHAOLIN TEMPLE (DEATH CHAMBER), 8 DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER, 36 CHAMBER, SUPER NINJAS, SHAOLIN CHALLENGES NINJA, DIRTY HO, BRAVE ARCHER, CRIPPLED AVENGERS, BOXER FROM SHANTUNG, MARTIAL ARTS FROM SHAOLIN, MAD MONKEY KUNG FU, SENTIMENTAL SWORDSMAN, ...

it's an intereting start and hopefully more titles are forthcoming.

Posted by: Goro | Nov 9, 2005 7:55:24 AM

A lot of the most popular and best known Shaw titles were purchased by Miramax, which picked up a lot of the Gordon Liu titles and titles that were easily identifiable with KILL BILL back in 2003. Since then, they haven't announced any plans for them. I'm pretty sure (although my memory has more holes in it that my underwear these days) that some of the titles you named were in the Miramax acquisition.

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Nov 9, 2005 10:22:11 AM

I beleive Crunky is a "grunge" term mixing Crazy & Drunk. In any case, BLACK MAGIC didn't really impress me much. Far better, imho, is BM2. It's the shizzizzle!

Posted by: Paul | Nov 9, 2005 11:35:08 AM

SO Grady,
what's the status of the miramax'd acquired titles? Are they still with Miramax/Disney or did the Weinsteins take them with their own new Company? IIRC they purchased those titles sans English dub (and possibly without any soundtrack at all, i donut remember) with a look to redub them.

Posted by: Goro | Nov 9, 2005 12:03:46 PM

Ahh “crazy+drunk” – I vaguely remember hearing some reference to that (guess I’m too old and sheltered for street lingo now especially since my crowd were using zzz words a full decade before I head Snoop use it). But I like “crazy+drunk” - especially as a description for these films. Although “crying like a crane” may be apt as well. Thanks Paul.

Posted by: Jennifer | Nov 9, 2005 12:40:08 PM

I am not actually cool enough to use "crunky" appropriately. I first saw it in a description of STONE AGE WARRIORS in the book "Sex and Zen and a Bullet in the Head." Since then I use it whenever I'm describing something that is dirty, and gross, and sort of cheap, but still kind of cool.

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Nov 9, 2005 7:21:21 PM

Great news on Super Inframan getting a release!!

Quite bizarrely, I just found out that the dad of a good friend of mine directed that film! We honoured Inframan (and Flying Guillotines 2) in our recent Zombie Club report on www.eatmybrains.com, and then this news came out. Now looking forward to picking up a few of these discs next year...

Posted by: rawshark | Nov 11, 2005 3:14:26 AM

I'm very excited to hear this incredible news and cant wait to finally get my hands on Shaolin Intruders, Legendary Weapons.. and Human Lanterns. I'm here to support Image. Thanks a lot.

Posted by: stewart | Nov 17, 2005 7:37:40 PM

hey greatjob I almost have all celestial shaw bros. cant wait to get them in engish see ya.

Posted by: Nikolaos Catechis | Mar 8, 2006 1:57:42 PM

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