Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Black Rose (Hong Kong, 1965)

The director Chor Yuen is probably today best known for the sumptuous fantasy wuxia films he crafted while under contract to Hong Kong's Shaw Brothers studio during the seventies and early eighties. Indeed, titles like Killer Clans, The Magic Blade and Clans of Intrigue, marked as they are by Chor's unique ability to meld gauzy, haunted romanticism and state-of-the-art martial arts action within an immediately recognizable and alluringly narcotic visual style, present themselves as signature works, the result of a perfect marriage of director and genre. This makes it all the more surprising that these films were, to some extent, a lucrative tangent occurring well into a long directorial career stretching back to the late fifties - one encompassing equally prolific and accomplished work in the areas of social realism and romantic drama.

Still, a look at one standout example of the director's early ventures into action cinema, 1965's The Black Rose, reveals an imprint that is just as clearly recognizable in his later, beloved work for the Shaws...

Read the full review at The Lucha Diaries

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