Saga of the Phoenix (1990) Review

"Saga of the Phoenix" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Saga of the Phoenix" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Director: Lau Shut Yue, Nam Nai Choi
Cast: Yuen Biao, Gloria Yip Wan Yi, Rachel Lee Lai Chun, Shintaro Katsu, Jacqueline Ng Suet Man, Lau Sek Yin, Pauline Wong Siu Fung,
Running Time: 93 min.

By JJ Hatfield

“Saga of the Phoenix” is a sequel to “Peacock King”.

Ashura, Hell’s virgin really wants to visit outside Hell. She wants to feel the sunshine and smell the flowers. Peacock and his brother plead with the Master to let Ashura on earth and promise to keep anything from happening. The Master, overcome with the girl’s seemingly simple request agrees to give her seven days on earth. She is sternly warned what could happen if she is in Hell now.

Her two guardians turns into one when Peacock (Biao) is literally frozen in Hell after an attempt to kidnap Ashura. His brother and Ashura go outside of Tokyo to hide out from Hell’s villains. In the meantime Ashura meets up with the only friend she had in hell. At this point you can pretty much give up on any cool action. Ashura’s friend is a doll/puppet thing that likes to cause trouble and eat a lot. These habits bring him (it?) into conflict with the owner of the house who is an inventor where everyone just shows up and stays there. Well at least until the seven days run out for Ashura.

The creature is a real pain in the ass but there are some downright cruel pay backs from the inventor. A bit over the top behavior by a grown man. Boring as hell but little ones might be frightened by the “evil” stuff. No doubt though they will like the ridiculous puppet. Even the brother has changed and is about 5 inches taller but he still does not fight well. The fx, cgi was tolerable. To replace time Biao would have been on the screen they even experiment with time/space travel. They were getting that desperate.

I just realized I may have watched and reviewed a forbidden film! This may violate the recent edict from the powers that be in government and movies, that “time travel” etc is forbidden in films and books – in China! I’m not picking on China. Any governing body that attempts thought control, through whatever means is doing a bad thing. Of course that has never stopped anyone from trying. If it was the U.S. I would be quite loud and active on the subject. I rather doubt anyone would be concerned about this movie leading anyone astray from reality. Indeed I was very aware of the passage of time and how it really did feel different if you were having a good time, which I was not.

Pass this one by and pick up “Prodigal Son”, “Project A” “Dragons Forever” or “Righting Wrongs” instead.

JJ Hatfield’s Rating: 2.5/10

About JJ Hatfield

Freelance Photo/Journalist Founder and Director of two non - profit humanitarian organizations Writer and film reviewer. I love books, music, the arts and of course films!
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