Bottom Line: A violent, messy dark fantasy, enlivened by some of the most incredible choreography you’ll ever see onscreen.
Format: Special Edition Blu-ray.
Cast: Willie Chi, John Ching, Carman Lee, Quan Lin, Wong Kam-Kong.
Director: Ringo Lam.
Languages: Cantonese and English audio options, with optional English subtitles.
Release date: 1994.
Run time: 105 minutes.
Ringo Lam’s genre-mashing Burning Paradise arrives as part of the Eureka Classics this week. Making its UK debut on Blu-ray from a stunning 2K restoration this is Ringo Lam’s (Wild Search, City on Fire) only film in the wuxia genre—but it’s arguably his best and bloodiest.
Hunted by the Manchu government, a young Fok Sai-Yuk is captured and sent to the Red Lotus Temple, where Shaolin monks are enslaved and viciously tortured by the sadistic warden Kung (Wong Kam Kong). Thrown into a pit of corpses and left to die, Fong survives and attempts to save his Shaolin brothers. Cue an escape that plays out like an online fight-em-up, with endless traps, tricks, pits, and fight sequences.
The result is a messy dark fantasy, enlivened by some of the most incredible choreography you’ll ever see onscreen. However, this won’t be a comfortable watch for many. The violence is visceral, shocking, and disturbing in equal measure.
Available for the first time in the UK since the VHS era a limited Edition O-Card slipcase, featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling is available on the first print run of 2000 copies only.
Special features include:
- 1080p HD presentation on Blu-ray from a 2K restoration of the films’ original 35mm camera negative.
- Cantonese and English audio options (both in their original mono presentations).
- Optional English Subtitles, newly translated for this release.
- Brand new feature length audio commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival).
- Archival Interview with Tsui Hark.
- Original theatrical trailer.