Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Human Lanterns (1982)

I must confess something. I've never been a fan of Shaw Brothers. At least not the classic jumping around with wires, colorful clothes and titles like "Seven Brothers Against The Deadly Venom-Snake Ninjas" (Hm, that sounded more like a Godfrey Ho-movie!). I prefer modern day action, or at least in a time that's not SO far away. When it comes to Shaw Brothers I prefer stuff like 7 Man Army, Mighty Peking Man,The Naval Commandos, The Legend of Seven Golden Vampires and Shatter. So I decided to try broaden my view on Shaw Brothers.

Human Lanterns is not so much a horror movie as people will say it is. I guess it was more horror before Shaw Brothers did their cuts and removed some of the graphic skinning and mayhem. Now it's a classy and effective, and quite downbeat, kung fu-movie with some gorgeous fighting-scenes towards the end. The killer is really cool, looking like mix between Chewbacca and a skeleton, and has a weird giggling all the time. The story is about a Lantern-competition, and the killer is of course making human skin-lanterns! I wish I had such an orginal hobby!

Though it was more a kung fu-flick than horror, I liked it very much. And the few gory shots that's left is really painful and disgusting, especially the wide shot of the killer tearing the skin of a woman. Nasty! Mostly shot in studio, it has that wonderful set-feeling, but there's a great little fight-scene out in the forrest which was one of the highlights. In the end there's a great and spectacular stunts-scene involving a crumbling building that was sensational.

So, even if it wasn't what I expected, it was a great and great-looking kung fu-movie that really kicks the shit out of the modern "classics" like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the rest of the snooze-movies...


Jocke Andersson said...

Another movie on the enormous "To buy" list. :)

Jack J said...

Unfortunately there are no uncut versions anywhere. :-(