Human Lanterns/Comments

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< Human Lanterns
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  • For Shaw Brothers fans, heres another one of their non-martial arts genre films. In actuality there is a bit of swordplay action in it, but its more of a horror movie than anything. Our story concerns two rivals, Tan (Chen Kuan Tai) and Lung (Tony Liu) who aim to see which one can create the best lantern in an annual contest which takes place in their village. Lung is the more sadistic and evil of the two and after insulting Tan one night, he goes to an old salesman and inquires about the man who creates the finest lanterns in the land. The old man relents on letting the name out but Lung knows he wants money to give up the information. Sparing no expense, he gives him the cash and gets his answer. The mysterious man turns out to be Chun Fang (Lo Lieh) who is basically a psychotic madman who creates lanterns by skinning women and using their flesh. When you see Chun Fang's method of abducting the different women with his big black bag, you will surely be creeped out. This reminded me of something you'd see in a Chinese stage opera. The cinematography and set design is beautiful as is usually the case with the Shaw Brothers films. The colors that are used throughout the movie are so vibrant. Add to that the outrageous gore effects and you get a very provoking film. Lo Lieh's turn as the diabolical Chun Fang is truly horrific and jarring. Lo Lieh was great as the heroic Chao Chi Hao in Five Fingers of Death but I think his work playing villains in the Shaw Brothers and various other martial arts films was where he really stood out. --Peter 12:33, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Chinese Province... At a village fair, two rich men from the community (both can't stand each other) have a competition. Whoever has got the best lantern for the new years festival will win. Through vanity and pride both begin to hate each other more and more. Master Lung charges a lantern maker to do his lantern. But it seems he knows him (from back in the day when they had a fight about a woman and he left a scar on his forehead at that time). Suddenly, some women begin getting abducted by a strange looking creature. Both two men suspect each other. Now the police come onto the scene to investigate. At the same time all the women begin getting their skin cut off. In case your don't know, the Shaw Brothers Studios didn't just make Martial Arts films. They also made Horror genre films like: The Killer Snakes (1974), Black Magic (1975) and Seeding of a Ghost (1983). In addition they made Science Fiction genre films like: Super Inframan (1975) and Mighty Peking Man (1977), just to name a few. Human Lanterns is a mix of Martial Arts and Horror. It's a well made film. The camera work is so nice. By the way, until now the film was edited worldwide. Only in its original theatrical release it was uncut (see also Fun Facts). Closing Words: WATCH IT!... and don't lose your skin when you meet the strange looking creature. --GBS
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