Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Shadow Boxing (1979)

What I like about this movie is that I learned something about corpse herding. It's explained in the beginning of the movie: "Transportation was not developed back then. If people died away from their home towns, they will be sent home by the corpse herders."

I had seen in Chinese movies - in backgrounds- a man led jumping zombies, and I paid little attention to it. Now I know that the man was transporting the dead bodies to their loved ones. He shouted: "The dead's on the road, the living stays away." to warn people to stay away or stay in their houses if the corpses were passing by.

Cecilia Wong and Wang Yue
In this movie itself, the location must be very remote, because seeing the hairstyles and clothes, this must be after the Ching dynasty and they should have had carts by then.

Liu Chia-liang played the corpse herder. Wang Yue played his apprentice. With a simple ceremony, they put mantra on the corpses so the corpses could walk (or hop) themselves. No need to carry them.

Corpse herder and his apprentice
On transporting the corpses this time, a fugitive sneaked in and pretended to be one of the corpses. In this way, he could pass through check points safely.

The herders rest, the corpse stay waiting
Like in other Liu Chia-liang movies, the fighting scenes were choreographed in unique styles. This time he took ideas from vampire moves. So far I am most impressed with the fighting styles in 'Return to the 36th Chamber' where Liu Chia-hui learnt how to fight by building bamboo scaffoldings.

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