Today: June 20, 2024

Burning Paradise

Bottom Line: A violent, messy dark fantasy, enlivened by some of the most incredible choreography you’ll ever see onscreen.
Rating: 3/5.

Format: Special Edition Blu-ray.
Cast: Willie Chi, John Ching, Carman Lee, Quan Lin, Wong Kam-Kong.
Certificate: 18.
Director: Ringo Lam.
Languages: Cantonese and English audio options, with optional English subtitles.
Release date: 1994.
Run time: 105 minutes.
RRP: £21.99.

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.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com

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